As you may have noticed, February is slowly creeping around the corner and with it will invariably come with all of the hearts, flowers, diamonds, and Lexus’s that the universe has decided everyone needs to demonstrate their true, undying love.
A holiday that has its roots in sacrifice, martyrdom, and Catholicism, Valentine’s Day has come to mean so much more and at the same time, so much less to couples across the world. The men in our lives begin to sweat at the thought of planning out a night as magical as the commercials tell them we want, so we have put together a few points for ladies to keep in mind as Valentine’s Day fast approaches.
1. Men hate being told what to do.
If you ask most typical guys, they will tell you that one of the worst aspects of Valentine’s Day is that they are being forced into romance by a date on the calendar. It’s (probably) not that he doesn’t treasure you like the rare gem that you are, it’s that he wants to feel free to express his love at the exact moment he feels like it and not just because tradition has dictated February 14th.
2. Your boyfriend/husband/soulmate feels like you have very high expectations and they don’t want to let you down.
If you ask Pinterest, Facebook or any site geared towards women what is supposed to happen on Valentine’s Day, you will receive a very idealistic and usually very costly answer.
Women have somehow decided that the day that used to be devoted to handmade cards and sweets is now the day for marriage proposals, heart-shaped food and rose petals on everything. And the sad truth of that is most average human men just don’t have enough hours logged on to these websites to even have a glimmer of a chance at making your rose-scented dreams come true.
Does that mean he doesn’t love you? Of course not! It means that he was really busy being a guy and forgot to do an internet search for “25 Things that MUST Be Heart-Shaped on Valentine’s Day (or else).”
3. Sometimes having a date in the middle of the week is complicated.
Since Valentine’s Day falls on the 14th every year, it will always land on a different day of the week. That’s a given, right? Well, most couples have busy schedules these days and fitting in a date night on a work night can really throw a wrench in a good system.
Typically, men are creatures of habit and take their work/play schedules very seriously. They want you to feel pampered and appreciated, but there is a chance that every year on February 14th they won’t have the kind of time required to fill your car with “I Love You” balloons and hand-write you a sonnet detailing their affections.
Life just doesn’t work out that way sometimes. You may have to compromise and go out on the 13th or the 15th instead.
4. Blatant displays of affection just may not be his thing.
You have probably come to understand over the years that men and women have certain differences. I’m not talking physical differences, but, obviously, if you don’t know about those, you may be in for a very interesting Valentine’s Day. If a women likes something, she will stand on the top of a mountain, shout about it, proclaim it hers and then proceed to protect it like an angry pirate looks after his booty.
Men, on the other hand, aren’t usually the ones to go hollering on top of mountains, unless deer is in season and there is a cooler of beer involved. A man will show a woman that he loves her in a million tiny ways, each and every day. It will be different for every couple, but there will always be evidence, provided love is there.
Does he carry in the groceries or take out the trash? Does he shower before your mom comes over or lock the door before you go to bed at night? Does he listen to your long, overly dramatic portrayal of your day chaperoning the school field trip to the zoo? I hate to trivialize it, but that’s love for a lot of men and all of that mushy, romantic stuff is just for show.
5. If he forgets, its not that he doesn’t care.
There is a horrible stereotype hovering over guys these days. On holidays, it is usually the guy running around to convenience stores at the very last minute, desperately trying to find the last card, rose petal, box of overpriced chocolate or trinket that proves they hadn’t forgotten the occasion that completely slipped their mind.
According to this tragic story, men are short-sighted, self-absorbed and ignorant of all holidays, personal or national. Is this guy out there? Probably, but hopefully no one has lost enough of her self-respect to consider him as a life partner.
Do guys forget holidays? Of course. But, women do, too. And if you are the recipient of a scribbled on card at 10 PM or a box of Rite Aid’s finest assortment of Russell Stover’s finest balls of chocolate-covered goop, it’s not because he forgot about you. It’s most likely because men are extremely efficient at compartmentalizing their lives. While a women goes through her days stringing things together, a man will concentrate on one task at a time.
After the tasks of his day have been completed, he will (hopefully) remember and there is a chance that he will remember a little bit too late. While a woman will incorporate doting on the man of her dreams into everything she does, a man will think about his special lady when he has time to do so.
What You Can Do to Help Him and Help Yourself
Your man wants to keep you happy, ladies. Trust me, it’s in everyone’s best interest, but there will invariably be bumps on the road. Here are a few things you can do to keep your Valentine’s Day from ending up in the newspaper with interviews from witnesses.
Keep your expectations within reasonable limits.
If he isn’t a “moonlit walk on a beach” kind of guy, then it would be unfair to expect that. If he does pull through with something that is not his area of expertise, but he thinks you would like, go along with it. It may not be everything you dreamed it would be, but if he is making an effort, so should you.
Tell him what you want.
If you have your heart set on something, let him know. None of us are mind-readers here, so if you are the type of lady who is not big into surprises, plan something out together. It takes the stress off of everyone involved. Be warned, though, if he has already planned a magical evening together, try not to push the issue. He deserves the fun of planning something special, if he wants to.
If you know he might forget, don’t be upset if he does.
Let’s say that every Sunday night, he goes and plays cards with a group of very single guys and Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year. There is a chance that it might slip his mind. That’s reality, but a few gentle reminders would be nice.
Don’t play games and see if he remembers. Let him know, ask him if he wants to do something and give him the opportunity to schedule your magical evening on a night that works for both of you. Valentine’s Day will never be a government holiday, so if he has other obligations, cut him some slack.
Agree to keep it casual.
If money is tight or someone has a big project at work, maybe making a big romantic gesture just isn’t in the cards right now. Holidays can be stressful, especially one that is tailored around feelings, and if life, itself, is a bit crazier than usual, try ordering in and snagging a flick on Redbox. Nothing says, “I love you” quite like cuddling with pizza breath.
There seems to be a day of the year reserved to celebrate everything and everyone. From National Doughnut Day (the first Friday of June) to National Ice Cream Day (the third Sunday in July), our calendars are packed with festivities.
February 14th just so happens to be the day that we are societally obligated to honor the love we share as couples, but it doesn’t have to be terrible. It will be exactly what you make it, so go ahead and make it awesome. Having someone to love who loves you back is a pretty great reason to celebrate.