With Love and Gratitude

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3 Reasons That Real Men Buy Valentine Flowers

Sometimes men learn from their fathers how to give and receive love.

If I could be the Valentine’s Day Fairy Godmother I would wave my magic wand to send a shower of hearts and flowers to women everywhere. Instead men are often expected to send flowers and buy a box of chocolate-covered calories. Yet, there is something special about even a single rose. While I find that the price of a rose on Valentine’s Day is obscene, I confess that I have come to expect them, especially since learning that real men do buy flowers.  

And so on Valentine’s Day women wait for the hearts, the flowers, and little signs of affection. When I read, “Are Secure Relationships the Key to an Exciting Life?” by Craig Malkin, Ph.D., on these pages, I thought about why it is that some men are generous lovers.

3 types of men send flowers:

Women love receiving flowers. Some men learn about giving flowers and love from their own fathers. Some learn from men’s magazines that flowers are a romantic joy. Still others learn from women. 

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First reason – a role model 

John Devore, in writing “Why real men DO buy flowers,” talked of the flowers and little gifts his father gave to his mother. The man was a princely role model in a loving marriage.  Devore wrote:

“They never seemed to tire of each others’ gentle words. And 45 minutes after he died, on my mother’s birthday, FedEx walked into the ICU with her present…. While my mother was in a street fight with doctors (and a dependably cruel universe) for every dwindling minute of my dad’s life, he had been sitting up in his hospital bed, buying her something he knew she’d love.”  Why real men DO buy women flowers - CNN.com

Reason two – men’s magazines encourage the good guys

There really are good guys out there who take pleasure in seeing the smile on a woman’s face when they give a gift.

French researchers recently found that if you want to increase your odds of making a good first impression with a woman, it’s as simple as bringing her flowers—or, if it’s too early for that, reserving a table at the nearest garden café.

So potent is the effect of fresh petals, the study found, that merely sitting near a floral display caused the man to “appear more attractive and sexier.” The study authors also observed that the presence of flowers made women more likely to give up their phone number to a complete stranger. Men's HealthFlowers Make You Sexy

Regarding the validity of the study, I can't vouch for it at all. But I can admit to being an incurable romantic.

Sitting in a diner recently, I noticed that the counter was abloom with an exquisite bouquet of 18 deep-red roses. I asked if there was a special occasion. “From a secret admirer,” said the waitress. At that moment I wanted to write on the vase: “Dear Giver — You are a keeper.” Love Good Kissing? Date Generous Men Not Cheap Ones

Reason three – a woman takes the initiative

One colleague started a tradition. After they were married, just before their first Valentine’s Day, she sent a note to him reminding him to send flowers to her office — several days before the price for roses skyrocketed. He did just as she suggested with an added surprise that still continues. He assumes the personality of different movie character each year and writes a note that fits the character’s personality.  Once he was Snow White’s prince and another time he was Captain Jack Sparrow.  She never knew if he would be setting a tone for the night with a bed of roses or a silk blindfold.

Is he the one or should you celebrate with your BFFs?

Men who boast that they never send flowers or buy gifts on prescribed holidays are often divorced. The late sexologist Carol Botwin relays how such a withholding trait carries over into sex and dooms relationships. Her book, “Love Crisis: Hit-and-run Lovers, Jugglers, Sexual Stingies, Unreliables, Kinkies and Other Typical Men,” dating to 1981, is said to be the inspiration for “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” However, she waves red flags for women to avoid such men.Love Good Kissing? Date Generous Men Not Cheap Ones

If you are hoping for Valentine’s Day flowers, first ask yourself: Is he The One? Or is he just the one for now? If he is just filling time and space, forget the flowers. Look for a new man. And spend Valentine’s Day with your girlfriends.

But if you do care about the man in your life and are hoping for a Valentine’s Day bouquet — yet fear he is clueless — take some tactful initiatives and give him a few hints. Yes, real men send flowers. Their gifts are meaningful. Their love is tender. And they are keepers.

Copyright 2013 Rita Watson/ All Rights Reserved 

 

Rita Watson, MPH, is an Associate Fellow at Yale's Ezra Stiles College and a columnist for The Providence Journal.

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