Why Are Men So Bad at Valentine’s Day?

February 14, 2009 at 7:03 am | Posted in Why Are Men So Bad at Valentine's Day? | 5 Comments

Dear Mr. Answers,

I am a woman who is pretty confident that as usual this Valentine’s Day my boyfriend will not exactly overwhelm me with gifts and shows of affection. Why are men so lousy at celebrating Valentine’s Day?—Hoping but Not Hopeful

Dear Not Hopeful,

First of all, I should tell you that my answer to your question probably won’t be especially hilarious. It’s 2 a.m. where Mr. Answers is, and right now Mr. A. is just a tad sort of delirious from exhaustion.

But onward!

The problem is not that men are lousy at Valentine’s Day. The problem is that men are too good at Valentine’s Day.

You are to be forgiven, Ms. Hoping, if you have accepted as truth the common misconception that men don’t really feel as deeply as women. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reason that men on average die five years younger than women is because men feel everything so intensely that in the end the stress of having to process it all makes their heart explode.

A man in love—and every man, at most every moment of his life, is deeply in love with someone—is absolutely, instinctively convinced that no one but he has ever loved with his infinitely sublime ferocity. The emotions of a man’s love are to him so powerful, so riveting, so blinding, so passionately personal that he finds almost physically repelling the idea that they should be turned into fodder for (of all things!) commercial profit.

So to  a man, Valentine’s Day is like being gutted. If Hallmark made a big red Valentine’s Day Massacre card, men would buy them like hotcakes. Because that’s pretty much what every Valentine’s Day feels like to a man.

To a woman, love (sometimes) means getting dressed up and going out with her man to a fancy restaurant.

To a man, love (always) means sitting on the couch, watching TV, and just knowing that the love between he and his woman is so deep, intense, and permanent that as far as he’s concerned the only thing talking about it can possibly do is degrade it.

And if that man is told that on a certain day he has to act just like every other man, and do exactly what he’s supposed to do, which is to essentially prove his love—or, worse, display his love—in the exact same way that every other man in the world is displaying his love?

Forget it. Instead of a cute little Cupid arrow, you might as well spear him through the heart with an Actual Crossbow.

Mr. Answers would like to say more on this matter, but before he passes out he wants to arrange into an enticing display a dozen red roses, some chocolates, and a bottle of Mumm’s champagne.

When it comes to matters of the heart, Mr. Answers is as dense as any other man. But he hasn’t been married for 28 years for nothing.

Related post o’ mine (written last Valentine’s Day): Love is a Many Splinterd Thing.

Show me some love by joining my Facebook fan page.



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  1. Many men have the same problem with Valentine’s Day that they have with Viagra. It steals spontaneity. It creates a structured, defined, timed expectation. Nothing kills romance for me like an expectation.

    I do Valentine’s Day for my lover. I have been with her more than half of my life. Valentine’s Day fits like a comfortable worn glove, but it pales in comparison to romancing her with an element of surprise.

  2. Already this year we’ve had the aftermath of Christmas, we’ve had New Year, Burns Night (in my part of the world anyway), we’ve had Chinese New Year, now this other hog festival. Soon we’ll have Pancake Day, Mothering Sunday, Easter, Fathers’ Day…….

    Why do all these things mean bloddy-well buying something? What’s so romantic about bloody-well buying something? Or bumping up the profits of some cynical hotel chain?

    I’ll enjoy a party, a few glasses and a cuddle with someone nice, but none of that has to cost a lot. And it doesn’t need to be tied to the calendar.

    It always amazes me that you can get millions of people to conform to all these so-called celebrations.

    If you want to go back to the origins of Valentine’s look up Lupercalia – and practise slauthering goats if you want to be a real wow at the party.

  3. Massacre…Valentine’s Day…har har…

    We took our kid to Chili’s and rented Prince Caspian. Not much for the standard celebrations, either of us.

  4. Why, EVERY DAY is Valentines Day for me and my gal.

    My in=laws, married for over 50 years have a very romantic custom for this holiday. They go into Hallmark, each one picks out a card for the other, shows it to them and then puts it back on the rack.

    Now that’s Love.

  5. Bahahahahaha … I thought this was only an Asperger’s trait, when my godmother complained about her 3rd husband not SAYING “I love you” once they got married. Now I wonder if it’s just a male thing.

    Agreed, a lot of men aren’t very expressive when it comes to emotions (or a whole lot of other things, for that matter). I find myself usually to be an exception. It freaks some people out sometimes, makes them think I’m gay or trans or something. I just think it’s how we all should be.

    I’ve never celebrated Valentine’s with anyone, because I’ve never been in that kind of relationship with anyone at that time of year. Maybe women secretly prefer the other kind of guy, tho they say otherwise???

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