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Valentineís Day For Men
We know what women want, but what do men want for Valentine's Day?

Isn't it about time that women started to offer guys a little Valentine's love?

The fact is that Valentineís Day means something different to men than it does to women, and the better women can understand this, the better the chances are for everyone getting along with Cupid.
The doorbell rings, and just as Justin crosses the threshold of his apartment he catches a whiff ofówhatís that?ófresh roses. Sure enough, as he swings the door open, there stands his wife, Becky, a fresh bouquet of long-stem roses in one hand, a gold-foiled box of Godiva chocolates in the other. Breathless, Justin stares adoringly at Becky, tears in his eyes as he murmurs, barely audibly, "You shouldnít have."

Another typical Valentineís Day? Let me put it this way: in my 20 years as a psychiatrist, and my 48 years on this planet, I have yet to hear of a Valentineís scene like the one above. Oh, Iím sure it happens; but then lots of things happen, such as a 62-year-old women getting pregnant or someone discovering a Van Gogh in his attic. But a gal standing outside a guyís door on Valentineís Day with flowers? Rare indeed!

Why is it then, that in a world with so many gains in womenís rights and countless advances toward equality of the sexes, that you just donít see women bringing men flowers. Because, men donít want flowers! We donít want boxes of chocolates, we donít want cards filled with six pages of poetry, and we donít want Mariachi singers outside our windows (although if you could arrange to get Jimmy Buffett to perform, then youíve got our attention).

The fact is that Valentineís Day means something different to men than it does to women, and the better women can understand this, the better the chances are for everyone getting along with Cupid.

Iíll warn you that what Iím going to say isnít true for all men and all women. There are plenty of gals who hate roses, there are plenty of guys that get all gushy over greeting cards, but Iíll plunge head first into the world of broad generalities because this is information you gotta know if you have a man in your life. And before you get all "but I can change him" on me, I want to remind you: men are happy with their ways. Iím not giving you insight into men so you can set your targets on what to change, Iím letting you know so you can get Valentineís Day right for both of you.

Hereís the one thing your man wants above all others for Valentineís Day: he wants you to be happy. Whether he chooses to bring home seashells he picked up from the beach, or give you pearls he ordered from Mikasa, he wants to feel that heís rocked your world. You see, the average guy starts to get pretty nervous around this holiday because he knows youíre expecting something special. Thatís a lot of pressure. So if he tries to do something special, remember to bubble over in rapturous appreciation. Believe me, your enthusiasm will mean more to him than any present you can buy (and may result in even better presents next time, as you build his confidence).

And speaking of buying things, if youíre wanting to plunk down some change on a Valentineís Day gift, donít get clothes for your guy unless youíre married to Mr. Metrosexual. Many of us men are still traumatized by birthday parties or Christmas mornings when the big box we unwrapped said "Macyís" or "J.C. Pennyís" on it. We knew right then and there, even without opening the box that we werenít going to get that shiny new toy we coveted. Itís a bummer and we donít want it repeated in adulthood. As for the shiny new toy that we wanted back thenÖ well we still want it, but itís changed over the years. The odds are that youíre not sure what shiny new toy your husband wantsówhat specific model and what specific feature heís looking for. So, sorry to say, donít try buying that for us either.

Some men want material objects for Valentineís Day, but the majority of them would rather have time with you then something you bought. Going out to dinner, for example, is nice for both of you. And after he pays the bill, you can treat him to ice cream at the local Ben and Jerryís. Seeing you smiling while eating a cone will mean as much to him as glancing at you over candlelight and fillet mignon. Going out for a walk together, taking the dog out for a Frisbee catch, bringing home a video or some Chinese food all say, "I enjoy being with you," and are worth more than a new silk tie any day.

And speaking of being with you, another really awesome thing that your man would like for Cupidís Day is you. All of you. Most men love sex, and love to share a sense of closeness and connection that having sex can bring. If youíre an adult woman in a marriage, then thereís a good chance that a dash of perfume, an unbuttoned nightshirt and an open hand gesturing towards the bedroom may be all the Valentineís that your man will ever need. Donít be surprised if he murmurs, just barely audibly, "You shouldnít have."

Dr. Haltzman is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Brown University. He is also the author of multiple books, the newest is, "The Secrets of Happy Families: Eight Keys to Building a Lifetime of Connection and Contentment." You can find Dr. Haltzman at www.DrScott.com

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