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


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


The fact is that Valentine’s 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 of—what’s that?—fresh 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 shouldn’t have."

Another typical Valentine’s 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 Valentine’s scene like the one above. Oh, I’m 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 guy’s door on Valentine’s Day with flowers? Rare indeed!

Why is it then, that in a world with so many gains in women’s rights and countless advances toward equality of the sexes, that you just don’t see women bringing men flowers. Because, men don’t want flowers! We don’t want boxes of chocolates, we don’t want cards filled with six pages of poetry, and we don’t want Mariachi singers outside our windows (although if you could arrange to get Jimmy Buffett to perform, then you’ve got our attention).

The fact is that Valentine’s 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.

I’ll warn you that what I’m going to say isn’t 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 I’ll 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. I’m not giving you insight into men so you can set your targets on what to change, I’m letting you know so you can get Valentine’s Day right for both of you.

Here’s the one thing your man wants above all others for Valentine’s 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 he’s rocked your world. You see, the average guy starts to get pretty nervous around this holiday because he knows you’re expecting something special. That’s 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 you’re wanting to plunk down some change on a Valentine’s Day gift, don’t get clothes for your guy unless you’re married to Mr. Metrosexual. Many of us men are still traumatized by birthday parties or Christmas mornings when the big box we unwrapped said "Macy’s" or "J.C. Penny’s" on it. We knew right then and there, even without opening the box that we weren’t going to get that shiny new toy we coveted. It’s a bummer and we don’t want it repeated in adulthood. As for the shiny new toy that we wanted back then… well we still want it, but it’s changed over the years. The odds are that you’re not sure what shiny new toy your husband wants—what specific model and what specific feature he’s looking for. So, sorry to say, don’t try buying that for us either.

Some men want material objects for Valentine’s 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 Jerry’s. 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 Cupid’s 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 you’re an adult woman in a marriage, then there’s a good chance that a dash of perfume, an unbuttoned nightshirt and an open hand gesturing towards the bedroom may be all the Valentine’s that your man will ever need. Don’t be surprised if he murmurs, just barely audibly, "You shouldn’t 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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