Hey it’s Mike Fiore with your weekly Digital Romance Newsletter…
Yesterday was the big one… Valentine’s Day. For some, this is a day filled with flowers, kisses and lingerie. For others, it’s a fun excuse to drink wine with your girlfriends and celebrate Valentine’s Day. And for some, it’s an awful reminder that you’re single and sparks thoughts of lighting that bouquet of roses on your coworkers desk on fire.
But what about MEN on Valentine’s Day…?
Before we dive into that…
Wow! Last week’s email about cheating got A LOT of responses (not exactly a surprise with such a… ahem… “touchy” subject) so let’s just take a second to respond to some of your concerns…
- I wasn’t trying to let the man who cheated off the hook. But, his question was about moving past his mistake. He clearly knew he messed up and he and his wife deserve a chance to make it better. We can’t just write him off as a cheater, leave him single and lonely on the street and tell every woman (or man) who is cheated on that the should END IT right away (Did I mention that like 45% of men AND women end up cheating at some point in their relationship? It’s not just guys who do this, ladies.)
- A lot of people said communication was the problem. Which I 100% agree with. Communication does build strong relationships, but more often than not, couples don’t communicate and then bad things happen. Both parties need to listen to each other and also REACH OUT to each other. (And even more importantly, both partners need to show they can LISTEN to what their partner is saying and not FREAK OUT the moment they hear something they don’t like.)
- Lastly, and my favorite, were the “men cheat because they can’t resist other women”. Which, as a man who gets “hit on” by women pretty regularly and (gasp) doesn’t cheat on my amazing wife, I can say with 100% accuracy is ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT. Folks saying this are probably the same kind of folks who think women should wear nothing but baggy jumpsuits so they’re fleshy bits don’t “TEMPT” the poor, helpless men. I’ve said this before but let’s say it again: If a guy (or girl) cheats once, it’s totally possible to fix the relationship. If a guy (or girl) cheats over and over again? Leave them. Just do it. It’s ingrained behavior at that point and nothing is going to change them.
I love hearing from you so make sure you shoot me an email at email@example.com
And now, on with the show!
“Is there a link to an article with helpful Valentines Day gifts for the man? Maybe something special the woman can do for him to show her love and appreciation.” -Summer Richards
(You ever see the show “Rick and Morty?” Just pretend I’m saying that in Morty’s voice.)
You know what I love about your question? It brings men back into Valentine’s Day as people who, you know, might actually deserve to GET SOMETHING on this very-special-Hallmark-Holiday (instead of just being targets of scorn and disappointment for not being “Romantic” enough.) I know it might be a shock to hear, but men actually like being romanced too. Men like knowing that they are loved. Men like knowing you think of them. And most of all, men like not feeling like they are doing everything wrong all the time (more on that later.)So first off, YOU ROCK!
What Can You Get for Your Man for Valentine’s Day?
If you write into most “Women’s Magazines” the first thing they would say is “Girl, go get some LINGERIE! Give him the gift of YOU!”
And that’s great and all. I mean, my wife is GORGEOUS and seeing her in tiny, lacy things (that soon end up ripped off her probably with my teeth) is GREAT but…
Um… ultimately, lingerie is kind of boring. And it’s kind of egotistical (the gift I got for you is something that I’m going to wear. I wish I could make a “Gift of The Magi” reference here, but I’m reaching.)
PLUS there’s the whole issue of “Hey, I’m giving you SEX for this holiday” which, to me at least, probably means you guys aren’t having sex the REST of the time and that’s the biggest recipe for a crappy relationship I’ve ever heard.
So Here’s What Men ACTUALLY Want For Valentine’s Day:
It’s a good one.
It’s one I talk about all the time.
You know what men want (just like what YOU really want, even though the freaking flower and candy and jewelry and stupidly-expensive restaurant industries tell you you want STUFF)?
Men want to to be emotionally loved and appreciated. To get sex without “earning” it. To be touched and talked to and hung out with and LOVED without those dastardly (and toxic) expectations.
Now, you might say, “Mike, he already KNOWS I appreciate him.”
But… does he though?
I get a LOT of emails from guys and I’ll tell you, he has NO FREAKING IDEA.
And you know why?
Because if you’re like most women YOU SIMPLY HAVEN’T TOLD HIM.
(Oh, and by the way, saying “I love you” as you give him a peck on the lips out the door doesn’t count. Say it enough times and “I love you” has as much power as “Take the garbage out.”)
No, the way to appreciate a man is to (gasp) think of what you ACTUALLY LOVE AND APPRECIATE ABOUT HIM and TELL HIM (with no “but I wish you did this better” BS attached.)
You know, like…
“I want you to know that I appreciate what you do for me. Whenever I’m having a bad day, you always take time out to hold me in your arms and tell me it’s okay. Thank you for that.”
“You know what I love about you? I love that no matter what is happening you find a way to make me smile. I appreciate that so much.”
“I know you’ve been really busy lately but I wanted you to know that I’ve noticed you trying to take time to give me a really good kiss before bed, or pulling me in for an extra long hug before you leave for work, or sending me a cute text during the day. It means the world to me”.
Hey, you want to know a secret that most men simply won’t tell you because they are petrified? (I can tell you because I have the internet between us to protect me).
Men Hate Valentine’s Day (And For A VERY Good Reason)
As a guy I can tell you, we don’t see V-Day as a chance to have a wonderful, romantic and connected evening.
Nope, we see it for what it is.
(And worse yet, a trap that’s RIGGED so we’re almost sure to fail no matter how hard we try.)
Like I mentioned before, there’s a whole INDUSTRY (multiple industries actually) dedicated to telling women that if a man LOVES you he will BUY YOU STUFF and SACRIFICE on Valentine’s Day.
It’s all “He loves you if he buys you this jewelry,” “he loves you if he blows a week’s paycheck on a fancy dinner,” “he loves you if he does a GRAND ROMANTIC GESTURE that can make your girlfriends’ jealous.”
Which means almost-every woman in the world goes into V-Day with EXPECTATIONS… knowing we are going to be compared not just to other guys we know but to the PLATONIC IDEAL OF PRINCE CHARMING WHO DOES EVERYTHING RIGHT ALL THE TIME ON VALENTINE’S DAY AND OH, BY THE WAY DOES NOT EXIST.
Plain and simple, us guys have been trained that Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for your wife/girlfriend to get mad at you.
We don’t buy you flowers for VD to show we love you, we buy them to avoid getting yelled at.
Don’t believe me? Next time you get those flowers, look at his eyes. Do you see adoration? Or do you see FEAR? FEAR that he didn’t get the RIGHT flowers. FEAR that he didn’t do GOOD ENOUGH. Fear that he didn’t meet the invisible expectations in your head.
When you’re day dreaming about flowers and chocolates and yummy, yummy romance…
He’s stressing out on whether he’s getting the RIGHT flowers that you love or if you’re going to get mad because the bouquet isn’t as big as that bitch Carol’s from work. He’s spending the whole week leading up to VD not LOOKING FORWARD to the night but trying to “get through it” with as little damage and disappointment as humanly possible.
So here’s the question:
You might get a story or romance or a feeling that “yes, he loves me because he went through hell putting this together” but what is he getting out of it?
Let me tell you: Relief. Relief that he “did good enough” and he’s hopefully not sleeping on the couch tonight.
So you know what you can give him?
Give him a break.
Cut him some slack.
Say “Hey, it’s Valentine’s day but how about instead of a big production we just go for a walk and actually ENJOY each other.”
AND MEAN IT.
(Tangentially, my wife and I don’t do Valentine’s day AT ALL. At first I thought she was tricking me, but she thinks it’s as stupid as I do.)
Tonight when he gets home from work, take him in your arms, kiss him and tell him you love him and his love is the best thing he can give you on Valentine’s Day.
If he doesn’t get you flowers or doesn’t make that reservation, don’t worry about it (it doesn’t mean a single THING about how he feels about you, I promise.)
If he apologizes for not being able to do those things, let him know that it’s not a problem and that you love him.
Thank him for trying and thinking of you but let him know that you don’t need those things to know he loves you. You already know he does and doing anything with him is enough.
“But, I WANT Him to Romance Me!/Letting Him Off the Hook Will Make Him a Lazy Romantic!”
Of course you want to be romanced, and there is nothing wrong with wanting the romance, but have you to stopped to think about what you can do to romance him?
If your answer is, well he’ll get a blow job… you need to try harder.
This is a hard truth to accept, but women are bad at romance. Think about it… what was the last romantic thing you did for your man?
You might think that men don’t need as much romance. Well, they do, it’s just a different kind of romance. They want to feel appreciated. They want to know you believe in them. They want to feel supported.
Letting him know that he doesn’t have to bend over backwards on Valentine’s Day isn’t going to make him a lazy romantic. In fact, the relief in knowing that will probably send him into a fit of “how the hell did I get lucky enough to be with a woman who understands” and he will start doing more romantic things for you randomly.
Words are Great, but I Want to Give Him Something…
There are lots of different love languages and yours (and his) might not be words. Well, don’t worry. Here are some ideas of gifts you can get him:
- Tickets to his favorite band live
- A Date Night For Him (he picks the restaurant/what you do/everything is his choice)
- A framed photograph of the two of you for his office
Agree? Disagree? Send me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Don’t forget, text messages are the best way to keep that spark going in your relationship. Go check out my Text the Romance Back to send him steamy, heart pounding messages tonight.