Valentine’s Day is coming. And, it has exploded into every grocery store, convenience store, and drug store in America. It’s almost as if you’re assaulted by red and white singing lace trimmed hearts and hundreds of pink foil balloons every place you go. The day is highly commercialized. It’s a little corny.
You may hate Valentine’s Day. You may resent the fact that “they” try to tell you when you should romance your wife. You may tell yourself that you are romantic all year long, and you don’t need Hallmark telling you when to do so. Your wife may even join in on the scoffing and nay-saying about Cupid’s big day. But, can I tell you a secret?
She is just dying for you to make a big deal about her on Valentine’s Day.
Yes, it’s true. And, it’s not just because it’s the “day of love.” She wants you to romance her because it’s her dream for you to take EVERY opportunity (especially a day specifically set aside for celebrating love) to romance her and tell her what she means to you. She wants to know that you still adore her the way you did back when your love was fresh and exciting and new, back when you wrote letters, back when you leaned over to whisper something sweet in her ear while you were at dinner. She needs to know that you are more than willing to show her, on Valentine’s Day and on plenty of other days, that you are still just as amazed by her, just as infatuated, just as engrossed in your relationship as you were way back when.
I’m not talking about spending a bunch of money (although if you want to do that, I doubt you’ll hear complaints). I’m talking about taking time to do something personal and special for your wife. Write her a love note. Tell the world how thankful you are for her. Buy her a flower. Pick up her favorite coffee.
Whatever you do, DO NOT refuse to do anything at all. Even if your wife never complains about it, even if she doesn’t seem upset, even if she tells you not to do anything, please hear me when I say she is terribly hurt when you ignore her on Valentine’s Day.
I often hear married men complain that their wives aren’t interested in sex anymore. Think back to the days when she couldn’t keep her hands off of you. How were you treating her, on Valentine’s Day and the whole rest of the year? Chances are you were taking time to make her feel special, treasured, and loved in all kinds of big and small ways.
Don’t neglect your wife on Valentine’s Day. Show her what she means to you. Pick out the biggest card at WalMart. Sing her a song. Get down on one knee and relive your proposal. Just do something, fellas. Your marriage will be better for it.
If your wife were here, she’d probably say, Oh, don’t worry about it. I don’t need for you to do anything. Lies. Trust me. She needs you. She needs your love and your reassurance. She needs to hear you say it. Or sing it. Or whisper it in the middle of a crowded restaurant. You won’t regret any day of the year that you loved your wife well. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Does this work in reverse, or is Valentine’s Day a one-way street? Where are the suggestions to women to “show him what he means to you”. He needs your love and your reassurance. He needs to hear you say it. Or is there the incorrect assumption that wives already do this frequently? Why can’t a man be romanced? We need it to, although most won’t say it.
And for the record, I’m happily married. I’ve been with my wife for over 20 years. But I’m a firm believer in what you call out; I’m romantic on many days of the year, writing notes on the mirror, sending flowers for no reason other than love, leaving hidden messages where she won’t find them immediately, and the occasional poem. I don’t need a special day to force me to be romantic, but I won’t condemn those that buy in to this ‘mother of non-holidays’. I will also note that in 20 years, my wife has never planned a V-day, nor has any female relative/friend/acquaintance done that for their significant other. For some reason, its always the man’s job, as if women have the romance market cornered…
Romantic Husband, I think marriages are stronger when both parties make an effort to be romantic. But, I do think that men are more likely to see Valentine’s Day as a day when they are “forced” to be romantic, as you say, and that attitude is really hurtful to their wives. Thus this post. I think it probably would be helpful for a man to write a post about being romanced. Since I am not a man, I wouldn’t presume to speak for you all. But, I think most women would agree wholeheartedly with what I’m saying here.
Thanks for reading and for your comment.
I was married to my first husband for 22 years, and he never did the Valentine thing, because, , in his words, I love you all the time, so why force a hallmark moment on me.
I , too, after several years of being ignored, claimed it didnt matter. By that time, it actually didnt, because that part of my heart became hard to him every time he did nothing. What men dont realize is that there is a certain amount of social status that comes from Valentines day. Ignoring your wife puts her in the social position of appearing to be unloved by her husband, or married to such a boor that he is too hard and proud to publically acknowledge her on a day that is specifically for that purpose. Women whose husbands do nothing are in the “oh that poor dear, look at how her husband treats her “category.
So, while your wife says it doesnt matter, and you think things are going well, do not be surprised if you find out differently. My ex thought we had a strong marriage, and so did everyone else looking in. In reality, I was dying from his selfish insistence that only his needs mattered.
He thought everything was fine, right up til the day he got the divorce papers. Boy, did he lay on the VD flowers after that happened. He suddenly woke up and realized that if he wanted to keep me, he needed to SHOW me. Unfortunately for him , it was too late.
My new husband , for ten years now, isnt tht stupid. He knows better than to publically embarass a woman the way my ex did. I pray that you are right, and your wife actually doesnt care, but I do know that if she is saying she doesnt as a defence mechanism for your coldness, then you are killing your marriage slowly. Buy her a card already, FFS
“All of the girls who will be getting four foot tall teddy bears on Saturday will know beyond any doubt that they are loved.”
Yes, nothing says “I love you” like an idiotic, juvenile, useless, expensive, cumbersome, space-taking teddy bear sold to sophomoric men under the guise that they will be rewarded in the bedroom.
I don’t think you thought that sentence through very well. Do you really take all women to be so shallow?
Eric, I think I made it pretty clear in the post that I don’t think that the four foot teddy bear is anyone’s ideal gift choice. 🙂 But, my point is that it doesn’t MATTER what the gift is. The thought behind it is what makes a woman feel loved. And, the gift doesn’t need to be store bought or expensive. Some of my favorite gifts from my husband were just heart-felt words that he wrote down. So, no I don’t take women to be shallow at all.
“The thought behind it is what makes a woman feel loved.”
That’s kind of my point. You used the 4-foot teddy bear example explicitly. The teddy bear is sold as a quid pro quo for sex.
Additionally, I think you may be projecting your own desires/insecurities on a host of other women. Your ultimate thrust about showing constant love and devotion is spot-on, but your insistence on doing something special on Valentine’s day misses the mark. I can say unequivocally that my wife does not desire/need anything special on that day. After 22 years I suspect that I know my wife intimately more than you do. No, she is not lying when she says she wants/desires/needs nothing special on that day, and I know this because we are honest with each other – it’s part of how we show daily love to each other. You may be excited all you want for Valentine’s Day, but for us it is silly, contrived, and shallow.
Eric, I just don’t happen to believe that smart men give gifts to their wives in order to get sex. Maybe it happens sometimes, but it’s possible you’re projecting your own thoughts/insecurities onto other men. I think it’s wonderful that you and your wife are open and honest with each other. It’s essential for any good marriage. Thanks for your comments.
Funny, I just had one of my girlfriends send me a text on Valentine’s saying how stupid the day is. I asked her if her husband got her anything and she said “Hell no. Stupid day”. Then I said he could have gotten you single flower, or a cupcake, or made you breakfast or just ANYTHING! and her response was… “yea, I know *sigh*” MInd you, her husband takes her for granted the 364 other days of the year so this one day is no different however, dont assume that just because a woman says it’s a dumb day mean she wouldnt secretly be thrilled if you surprised her with something anyway…even it is the littlest thing.
I agree, Carrie. I think most women say that as a protection for themselves because they suspect their husbands won’t do anything. Thanks for your comment!
Well, I’ll be pretty upset if my husband got me flowers or teddy bear or chocolate. I hate all of those. Though I think the reason why I don’t need to be romanced on this particular day is because he consistenly show his love and care throughout the year, in the right love language and according to my taste. 🙂
A, that’s wonderful! It sounds like your husband knows how to make you feel loved. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!
I am a woman who finds the whole Valentine’s Day deal just cringe-inducing. I absolutely cannot have any depth of feeling about a gesture that is rooted in external pressure of any kind. Surprise me on a random day in April, and I’ll really take notice. Follow all of the other sheep on Valentine’s Day, and I’ll just feel embarrassed and awkward. And don’t even talk to me about the notion of going out for dinner on that day… the thought of sitting in a crowded restaurant amongst a bunch of other couples who are being “romantic” on cue, just gives me hives.
I also think you may be confusing women who love the idea of Valentine’s Day, but who are saying “oh don’t worry about it”, for reasons that are problematic in other ways (they won’t feel worthy, they are being manipulative etc.), with women like myself who honestly cannot abide the idea.
I do not think that your post speaks to me, or to many women that I know personally, or anecdotally. For the record, I also hate “chick flicks”, and I am at heart a very romantic person.
Kelly, it’s good that you know your own mind and hopefully express it well to your husband. Thanks for your comment!
Well, my husband does a wonderful job being sweet and romantic throughout the year! I do not need to be showered with romance on Valentine’s Day. That being said, when he gets me thoughtful gifts, or takes me out for the evening on Valentine’s Day it sure does make me feel special. I would never be disappointed if Valentine’s Day came and went without much romance because like I said, he is romantic all year long. There have certainly been years when it’s just not possible to “go all out” (new babies, moves, etc.). I’m just saying, like the article says, I do like when my husband romances me on a day set aside to show love. And because the day is so popular I am thinking the author is on to something in this article. 🙂
Thank you, Mandi! As far as I’m, going all out isn’t necessary. But, a sweet something written in a letter or a card goes a long way. Thanks for reading and for your comment!
I have to say I’m sort of shocked by the responses here. Can I kindly say, lighten up? The age of blogging and talking head pundits all over TV has certainly resulted in some interesting exchanges and shifts in communication. Let’s read the article in the spirit in which it was intended. Let’s not presume the author is always speaking about everyone everywhere, but is speaking out of his or her own personal experience. And for those who feel Valentines Day is a commercialized forcing of emotive demonstrations, do yo also react the same way to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mothers Day, and other holidays? You could really make the exact case for most of them as well. Let’s resolve to celebrate holidays in ways that make our loved ones feel special, in ways that we feel honor God, and in ways that make happy fond memories and traditions for our own families. That will look different for everyone because we are all different.
Thank you, Marla! I appreciate these thoughts!!
I think this is a great post. The negative comments are ridiculous. Her post clearly says to do something/anything. If you and your spouse are fine with not celebrating that’s great. There are plenty of people that this post applies to even if it isn’t you.
Oh, and to the man complaining about it being a one way street–maybe you should talk to your wife about that or write a post for women. This post was meant for married men.
Thanks, Cocojo! 🙂
This is a great post! I agree that (almost-judging by some of these comments! Yikes!) every woman loves to be romanced. I think the reason why so many look forward to Valentine’s Day is BECAUSE they aren’t getting a lot of it through the year. It’s the one day when it’s so clear and obvious to typically oblivious men, that they should be romancing their wives! My husband and I did pass on much of the celebration this year because of budget issues, and I believe that part of being a supportive wife is making sure he senses from me that I’m ok with that. So, I have to confess, that I do say things like “Oh, don’t worry about it Love. We don’t have to do anything,” when inside I’m just DYING for elaborate romance. BUT, my husband works hard, and I want him to know that his hard work to make sure the bills are paid is so valuable and precious to me. I don’t want to project my selfishness on him and make him feel so guilty that he has to sacrifice important financial obligations for me. To me, his hard work is more valuable than an overpriced box of chocolate. We still had a great day together, but we didn’t have to blow buckets of cash on the highly commercialized fluff. My Valentine’s Day post is linked in this comment. While I totally agree with your post and the deep desire to be romanced, I think that some things are more important than being romanced. 🙂 As a side note, my husband did buy me Valentine’s candy… after it went on clearance- I was totally surprised by it, and was totally cool with clearance candy. 😉
Becky, thanks for this comment! I think what makes most women feel loved and special has little to do with how much something costs. It really is the thought that counts. I’m a words person, so a little note from my husband means more than diamonds any day! Thanks for reading and for your comment!
I am engaged this is our first vday engaged. 1st vday where vday was ignored I am drunk sad and want to say something
I just wanted to say, as a teen-almost-legal-adult, you are such an encouragement to me in the area of always responding with love! As I read through these comments (ooow) and then your responses, I was praising the Lord for giving you this ability. 🙂 Keep going!
Sarah, thank you so much for this encouragement!
Great post Melissa. Thanks. I am a husband of 23 years to my first and only wife. I try to take her out on a date every week. I love doing it. Valentines Day is no different, she (as well as my 3 daughters) all get extra special treatment on VDay because it’s another opportunity. I love what Marla says above. Right on. God gives us memorials all through the Bible. Why not celebrate other memorials, even if they are ‘man-made’ … at least when they are for a great reason! I don’t like the commercialism any more than anyone else, but who’s to say I can’t take yet one more day to let my sweet girlfriend know she is the only one for me? So Melissa, I have some advice I’m looking for… Since we do go out every week, usually dinner, or hunting for old books, or crashing downtown for foodtruck grub, or catching a movie – how can I make VDAy stand out from the rest. We will be going out in a few hours, and I want it to be different somehow. As an example, what would you love to do or receive from your husband in this scenario?
Jon, I think it really depends on the woman. I am a words person, so what I would love more than any gift is sweet words from my husband, written, spoken, sung, or just about any way that he wants to deliver them! Other women feel loved when they receive a special gift or when their husband puts an arm around them or when their husband does something nice for them, like washing their car. My advice would be to ask your wife what really makes her feel loved, and then, no matter what other variety or new adventures you add to your daily life or to the special days, always be sure to include something that addresses that one thing that really makes her feel your love for her.
Not married but in a relationship for 18 years. He has never gotten me anything for bdays, anniversaries, mother days or any other important date. It hurts because our sons grew up thinking that that’s the way things are supposed to be. He doesn’t buy any presents for the boys to give me. Ever. My heart hardens a little every time and is increasingly hard to pretend I’m cool. I just move him to the other room and I closed my bedroom and my legs for him. I don’t want him gone because he helps with the boys, but I am not longer with him. Can’t feel anything anymore. Is incredible how his lack of appreciation toward me ended up killing my feelings. I don’t think I am going to forgive him. I am ready to move forward with my life, with a man who shows that cares about my feelings , who caresses me making me feel that he has thoughts, someone who puts some effort to make me smile.
I forgot to mention, he never got me a ring or anything for our commitment. He didn’t want to talk about marriage. 18 years and not even a promise of marriage. And right now, I am the one working the most of the hours. Great, isn’t?