This Valentine's Day, Give the Poor Guy a Break

Because it's Valentine's Day, it's pretty much a given that our dear husbands and boyfriends will complain at least a little bit today. Even if it is in jest, they'll act like children who don't want to do their chores. "It's just a dumb Hallmark holiday! Why do we have to exchange gifts, buy Edible Arrangements/roses/chocolates, go out to a fancy dinner, etc.?" 

But they pretty much always come through, don't they?

Earlier today, my boyfriend of four years left our apartment for work per usual. About a half hour later, he showed up back at our front door, and I thought, "He forgot something ... or, oh no, he's sick! Or work got cancelled!" I said, "Babe? What are you doing home?" and he walked in with a bouquet of two dozen roses. I wasn't expecting anything -- at least not this morning!


I thanked him, of course, kissed him a bunch, and then noted that the roses were both yellow and red. "For friendship and true love!" I said. And he said, "What do purple ones mean?" I didn't know and asked, "Why?" and he said, "Because they were cheaper!" Funny, right? I'm pleased he decided to go with classic over economic, though, because the meaning behind the red and yellow roses is more fitting and meaningful to us.

I had once read that red roses have always traditionally stood for deep, true love, while yellow ones symbolize joy and friendship. White ones represent innocence, purity, new beginnings. Purple roses symbolize enchantment and express feelings of love at first sight; orange ones symbolize fervent romance/passion/excitement; pink ones indicate grace, admiration, and appreciation; and rainbow roses ... well, they probably mean your love is all kinds of phony and crazy!

Fresh flowers in a bouquet -- like roses in full bloom -- express deep gratitude, while a single rose says “I still love you.”

But as nice as it is to know these factoids, we also know ... it doesn't matter. Don't get me wrong -- obviously, it's romantic for a guy to pick up on the symbolism of the gift he's giving. But I don't really think they should have to worry as much about that on Valentine's Day as on, say, your anniversary or even your birthday.

There's so much pressure on them, and all our guys want to do is live up to our (admittedly sometimes out of whack, Hollywood-ized) expectations. All they really mean to say when they give us roses/candy/a massage on Valentine's is, "You're beautiful," "I love/adore/cherish you," "My life would suck without you," and also probably, "Please let this be my free pass out of the doghouse ... or prevent me from landing there in the first place!" They know, we know, they know we know, and Valentine's Day is just a nice excuse for being reminded of that.

That said, I think we'd do well to give our devoted guys a bit of a break and enjoy Valentine's Day by remembering the only thing that really matters anyway: It's lovely enough to have someone to love. (But if they totally forget what today is, they're definitely ending up in the doghouse!)


Image via Maressa Brown

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