I am not disputing that there are men out there who have no issue in making Valentine’s day special for their “other half” just as there are those guys who are not so convinced. Feedback from guys as below is not uncommon:
“It’s a woman’s thing – it doesn’t bother me at all”
“Why do I have to prove to her that I love her on one particular day? I should be able to do that any day”
“it’s a day I often get in trouble”
“It’s commercial rubbish I am not interested in Valentine’s Day”
“I just go through the motions”
Now whether this is just banter or a true reflection of their feelings is a tough one to glean. However, when hearing of guys who have “forgotten” it’s Valentine’s day it is kind of hard to believe - unless they never go to a supermarket, walk past a shop, look at TV or pick up a newspaper.
With over 53% of women saying that they would end their relationships if they didn’t get something at Valentine’s the pressure really is on for guys to do something.
This does not mean that the aforementioned men don’t do Valentine’s Day as many of them will inevitably still take part in the expected spending of £86 million according to a study by Eharmony. Statistics also show that 73% of all Valentine's flowers brought are by men.
The question I am exploring is should men value Valentine’s more or is it enough to just go through the motions?
In contrast feedback on Valentine’s Day from women not surprisingly tells a different story:
“it’s a day that I can feel special and loved”
“it’s important to me as it shows that we care about each other”
“I have got used to not getting anything – I learnt to get over it”
“I know its really commercial but I at least hope to get a card”
“He says he can do that any day of the year – but he doesn’t”
Don’t get me wrong there are those women who are not emotionally invested in Valentine’s Day and those who “pretend” not to because they have given up their expectations, but many women still see Valentine’s day as a test of love and guys are expected not to fail!
So is it enough to pass begrudgingly?
The reason that many women love flowers at any time of the year is because as men say “they are a waste of money”. The very fact that he is prepared to waste his money to show his love is very attractive to women. The same thought process flows with Valentine’s days – “it shows he is prepared to invest in our relationship and happiness”.
However. there is an added dimension guys may not have fully considered!
Valentine’s day is likely to be the most competitive day of the year amongst her and her girlfriends! To have to admit that yet again he has not bothered, or even “forgot” is compounded when her girlfriend calls and casually asks what she is doing for Valentine’s? Women will compare their love tokens it’s a given! Any other day of the year any lack of affection, attention or romance may go sub consciously under the radar however with expectations raised at Valentine’s the stakes for conscious resentment are raised.
It’s ironic that when first dating, both flowers and Valentine’s Day for men can be seen as opportunities to impress. However, it does not go unnoticed that once in a relationship the same actions can often be treated as a chore.
This could all come down to expectation. Many men like to lead not follow so resistance is not necessarily about the act but possibly about the expectation to conform.
So when asking the question of whether Valentine’s day should matter to guys let’s reflect on another day of the year where flowers, chocolates and dining out are all part of showing a special woman in your life that you appreciate her – Mother’s Day!
There doesn’t seem to be the same outcry of non-conformity on this day, not really heard a debate on whether it is over commercialised or comments of “why should I do it on one day of the year when I tell her I love her all the time”. It just seems to be the right thing to do to show any mother that they are appreciated and important on this special day and is often done with a loving and appreciative heart. If your partner is also the mother of your children hopefully she automatically gets this treatment.
However, when it comes to Valentine’s day there appears to be some resistance to focussing a day on her feeling desired, romanced and loved for her role as a partner. The actions taken on this day, for many women, confirm that she is still that someone special person in your life.
If you are willing to embrace it as a day for you to go back to the original feelings of dating and being reminded of why you both first fell in love it is likely to pay dividends in your sex lives and the well being of your relationship. Putting your time, money and energy into making her feel special could go a long way towards the patience and kindness needed for each other when days get rough - as they often do when sharing lives with someone else.
So as we know there is always a choice when it comes the importance of Valentine’s day. Ignore it, do it with a heavy heart or open your heart and do it because you truly want to invest in your future happiness.
Whichever route you choose there is no escaping that as a man the value you put on Valentine’s day could possibly be reflected in the mind of your partner (rightly or wrongly) as the value you put on her and your relationship.
Articles that TJ writes for The Love Coach cover all steps in the cycle of love and include tips and advice for many dating or relationship issues. Her experience as a Love Therapist, Love Coach and Life Coach bring a real-life approach to everyday situations Remember life is for loving – that includes yourself!