You Don’t Bring Me Flowers

Valentine’s day is fast approaching. I know because this is the time of year that I start to feel the dread coming off in waves from my men friends.

“Should I get her chocolates? Nope, she’s watching her figure.”
“Dinner and a show? We both need to get up early for work the next day.”
“A dozen roses? May as well admit you forgot until the drive home.”

Husbands (the ones who remember Valentine’s day at all) face an annual quest to find the perfect gift. The one that will make her heart melt. The one that will let her know how much she is loved. The one that will get them laid.

It was so easy in the early years of dating and marriage. A group of hand picked wildflowers, a chocolate bar and dinner at (insert your favourite one-level-above-McDonald’s-sit-in-restaurant here) was a gesture so grand that she would be talking up your romantic skills to her girlfriends for weeks.

Now it seems like a chore. Where has the romance gone?

Once again Vanessa and I were listening to the oldies station on the way to church and the heart wrenching love song by Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers came on.

It’s a beautiful sounding song, unfortunately it is a real downer. It speaks of a couple whose romantic flame is all but extinguished. He doesn’t bring her flowers, She doesn’t write him love songs. Sex is perfunctory. And he is pretty sure that he wants out.

What went wrong?

In the beginning there was fire and passion, now they barely know each other. Longing for the past and afraid there is no future. Can they ever recover?

Well, of course!

As long as you are willing there’s always a way back to a healthy functioning marriage.

The couple in the song have failed to maintain their Love Maps (You may have noticed by now that I’m a really big believer in the power of Love Maps.) and, what’s worse, they have moved on to taking each other for granted. Each longing for what the other used to do to make them feel special, and neither willing to make the first move to give the attention their partner craves.

What does this have to do with Valentine’s day? Everything.

Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity for Husbands to decide to show their unbridled love for their wives. If only they knew how.

Well here’s the key…. Don’t guess. Ask!

Seriously, just ask. I promise they are dying to tell you EXACTLY what they want.

This is the most important thing… Ask them today, right now if you can. Ask them what would make this Valentine’s Day the most special, most romantic, most memorable one they’ve ever had.

Then Listen.

Without judgement, without butting in, without any negativity (If the words “Wow, that’ll cost a fortune.” or “You’ve got to be kidding.” come out of your mouth, just move yourself to the couch until July.) Ask for clarification, take notes. give her your undivided attention. After that there is only one thing you have to do to win at Valentine’s Day.

Do EXACTLY what she told you to do.

Nothing more, nothing less. Do it all. Start planning as soon as you finish the conversation (Do. Not. Wait.) Do it with a smile on your face and glee in your heart, and this will be the Valentine’s Day to end all Valentine’s Days.

Until next year.

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