A little Valentine’s Day advice for men from a romance author

Guys,

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and most likely, you’re in a panic. All day long, you’ve watched the parade of florists in and out of your office, listened to the squealing of your female co-workers as yet another gets a bouquet, balloons, or some kind of mushy card. You probably also noticed the women who weren’t getting flowers attempting to studiously ignore the women who can’t wait to show the entire office how much they are loved.

You might not care about Valentine’s Day at all. You might think it’s a commercial holiday made to support florists, candy manufacturers, Hallmark, and the diamond industry. You might think your girlfriend or wife is above it all. You are wrong.

Here’s the thing: No matter how many times any woman might tell you that she doesn’t care and it doesn’t matter to her, she longs to know that the guy in her life loves her. Here’s a few ideas you might think about, and how you can turn them in your favor. After all, actions speak louder than words.

The women you work with might be flaunting that dozen red roses on her desk right now, but you want the woman in your life to smile with the certainty that she found the Holy Grail of manhood: A guy who doesn’t let her know he loves her only one day a year, he loves her enough to show her how he feels every day.

Is this work? A little. Will it pay off bigger than you ever dreamed? Keep reading.

1.Write her a love letter. It does not have to be perfect. Legible is good, but mostly, how do you feel about her? Write it down. Do you love her eyes, the way she kisses you, and the fact she laughs at your jokes? Do you miss her when she’s away? What’s your favorite memory of her? All you need is a pen, paper, an envelope, and a little time. She will read and reread it, she will treasure it, and all her girlfriends will hear about it, too. This is great for Valentine’s Day, but there is no law stating it should only happen one day a year. Even once a month will thrill her. This must be on paper. E-mail or texting is out.

2.When you come home in the evening, kiss her, and ask her how her day went. Spend the first twenty minutes you’re together just listening to her. The rest of the evening will go better as a result.

3.Everyone sends roses on Valentine’s Day. If you really want to get your love some flowers, great, but order and deliver them yourself. Does the woman you love like something different? How about freesias, irises, Gerbera daisies? It’s a whole flower world out there. Plus, they will still be going strong when the roses have wilted and died. It’s a thought.

4.Let’s talk Valentine’s dinner. The restaurant is crammed, there’s no privacy, and it’s guaranteed to cost a fortune. Why not try something different? If you can cook at all (or call the local breakfast/brunch place for takeout) breakfast in bed with the appropriate beverage might outshine that dinner date. The objective here is to a) have a great meal and b) be alone with the woman you love. Put your thinking cap on. What does she like to do? How about a picnic in front of the fire? If you live in one of the areas of the country with snow, how about a bottle of champagne and going outside to make snow angels? Hiking? Sitting on the beach at sunset? Whatever it is that your sweetheart enjoys, with a little extra thought and preparation, you can ensure a great evening.

5.When was the last time you picked up the phone just because you wanted to hear her voice, stopped by to see her for five minutes because you missed her, left a goofy note and some little thing she likes (her favorite kind of candy, a gift card for the coffee place, a flower or whatever) in her car, on the bathroom counter, etcetera?

6.Mostly, if there was one bit of advice I could offer any man, it’s the following: Shut off your phone/the TV/everything else, and focus on her. You did this when you started dating her. Why not do it now?

You may be muttering something under your breath about what’s she going to do for you, and why should you have to do all this crap. Here’s the thing: Women read romance novels because they want that breathless, heart-pounding feeling of falling in love again with a guy that keeps chasing her even after he’s sealed the deal. Women also tend to respond as they are treated. Your girlfriend or wife does a lot of things for you, doesn’t she? Besides the whole housework thing, she tries to take care of you when you’re sick, she braves sporting events she may not like because you love them, on and on. Truly: This is not a zero-sum game. This is all about helping her remember why she’s with you, and not with someone else.

Again: You outwitted, outlasted and outplayed other guys to get her attention. Why not remind her again why you are the guy she fell in love with, not just this weekend, but every day?

Happy Valentine’s Day,

Julie Brannagh, Romance Author

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