should men be romantic when the calendar calls for it?

Thanks for all the comments about the DIY Valentine's gift I made for Hawk--now  you just have to do more of them on the blog itself:) And a few of you asked what Hawk did for me.

Nothing. And it got me thinking.

Because I didn't mind, I wasn't surprised, and I wasn't the least bit disappointed. He knew a few days in advance that I was making him a gift, and he received everything early that morning. I made a yummy steak and balsamic-soaked strawberry dinner, too.

But I didn't do these things because they would be reciprocated. I did them because I love him and I wanted to treat him with some sweetness that day. Just before dinner, he even joked and told me he thought of grabbing chocolates and flowers on the way home from work but that he figured they were pretty much picked over. And I laughed.

I think guys get a bad rap for being unromantic. I gave a talk to our local MOPS group (now Compass) about keeping the romance alive, and the best thing I said was that we should be the romantic we want our spouse to be. And that we should be clear about our expectations and needs.

I try to be extremely clear in what I want from him. I let him know that I like exotic flowers more than roses (I think roses are more of a how beautiful, let's grab that dozen for $10 at Pick N Save and enjoy them this random November week). I'd rather open a bottle of red wine or pour a few Belgian beers and cuddle, talk, and play cards or Scrabble. Hawk and I are just SO different in our personality, our likes and dislikes, our styles, etc., that it's just unreasonable and cruel for me to expect him to be me. Sure, I like surprises, but I also know that he loves me and he wants to show me that love in the way I will most appreciate. And in terms of expectations---since we never celebrated Valentine's Day before last year, I had no expectation that he should do something special.

I also think it is a great thing for one person to simply offer an act of romance out of love. Plain and simple love. I love you so I did this little thing for you. It's so much more enjoyable to receive something done just because I love you, and it's easier to give something for the same reason.

What do you think? Should guys be the lead romantic, or is it more an equal-effort sort of thing? Is it okay for women to be blunt about what they want?

I'd love to hear what you think.

Happy Thursday!



  1. I found this comical because I think I spent a little too much time wishing that R was me and that he would know what I needed/wanted/how I desired romance, etc. After 3.5 years of marriage its easier to say, "This is what I need today. Can you handle that?" Most of the time he is going above and beyond anyway. It's illogical to expect our husbands to be able to read our minds, but people forget to tell you that on your wedding day!

  2. Beekay,

    You're hilarious. I agree, it's easier to just say what we want, even if it's "you need to plan something to surprise me." Almost like what we do with anyone we love--we give them enough to get them going and then have to step back and see if they go with it, and how.

    I would love to do a series on the expectations we create prior to marriage--far deeper and even different than what is commonly discussed at marriage retreats, classes, etc.



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