What Do Men Really Think about Valentine’s Day?

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: “What’s the male consensus on Valentine’s Day?”

daniel_100Gay Single Guy (Daniel): I honestly don’t think there is a male “consensus” of thought on the issue of Valentine’s Day. Men can be either true romantics who love this kind of thing, who wouldn’t forget it for the world, who enjoy doing something extravagant and/or totally thoughtful, who will remind you why you are (still) so in love with him; or they are NOT romantics — who see Valentine’s Day as some kind of obligation, who go through the motions of the holiday to get some tail, who might even break up with you BEFORE the holiday and try to get back together again after it because he is just a prick like that, or perhaps worse, don’t even care anymore because passion has been drained from their relationship like a once flooded basement. Now the real question is: do you want the former, or can you live with the latter?

mark_luczak_100Straight Single Guy (Mark Luczak): The stereotype that guys dread V-Day, or forget it, or make some kind of bumbling or half-hearted attempt to fulfill its “obligations” is kind of charming to a point, but isn’t at all necessarily true. I think relationship status determines a huge part of our feelings about the holiday, and it’s actually not even all that gender specific. If you’re in the honeymoon stage of dating someone new, it can be tricky and even nerve-racking to navigate the degree to which you acknowledge or celebrate the romantic benchmark with each other.

In a long-term relationship, the pressure to do something big can be low if both parties are on the same page about it (better make sure, though!), but it can also be as good an opportunity as any to do something special that stands out from routines that have been long settled into.

And finally, as depressing as it can feel not to have a Valentine, per se, single folks don’t have to rebel or poo-poo the whole scene. I myself am pretty romantic and thus would embrace sharing V-Day with someone in whatever fashion, but in the absence of that special person, I just use it as a catalyst for self-celebration, reflection, and motivation to keep becoming an even better person that will eventually find his partner in Valen-crime (saving some cash on stuffed animals, exotic chocolates, and extravagant nights out on the town is just a bonus)!

anonymous_suitStraight Married Guy (Michael): Valentine’s Day is just Madison Avenue’s way of creating artificial expectations in relationships across the country. Should I bring her flowers? Lingerie? Chocolates? How about a candle-lit dinner? Doing any of these things on a designated day is a clear path to a romantic life about as exciting as a Hallmark card. Surprise is a much better approach. I’d rather do things for her when I want to do them: it’s far more romantic, truthful, and real.

Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors. This week’s Gay Guy is one-time stripper and sex columnist Daniel; our Straight Single Guy is Mark Luczak, a tech geek at Carnegie Mellon University; and our straight married guy is shy. To ask the guys your own question, click here.

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11 Comments on "What Do Men Really Think about Valentine’s Day?"

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My opinion about the damned thing changes from year to year, nevertheless I think the emphasis shouldn’t be on what you’re supposed to do or not do but on communicating your expectations and desires. I sense this weird Vday message that lovers are meant to accurately predict what their partner wants. And yes some ideas are like asking for a vowel, it’s likely to pay off, but to totally beat the high pressure, easy to resent game is to stop playing it.

Madamoiselle L
We were watching the Olympics and out of the blue, The Man grumbles, “You know, I hate Valentines Day.” “Yep!” I replied, cheerily while watching some insane person hurl themselves down a mountain. I said nothing more. The next day, for me: A bouquet and a box of Fannie May and a really cute card, for him, a sampler of massage oils, some trail mix and a really cute card. Now I will make a red velvet cake and we’ll order Chinese food for take out. He’s watching some shark show, now. Love in the morning, hot monkey sex in… Read more »

Whether VD is a made up event to sell cards and candy is irrelevant. It is a relationship benchmark that every woman has. No lady wants to have lunch with her pals on Feb 15th and tell them that he did ‘nothing’. Guys, you don’t want be the lame boyfriend/husband in the discussion. So suck it up and do the drill. There are no real winners, but don’t send your girl home a loser.


I’m not saying that someone shouldn’t do anything on Valentine’s Day. I’m saying that it really doesn’t mean as much as if they do something nice on a random day.

I absolutely agree with most of the comments above… yes, Valentine’s day is overly commercialised and men may be annoyed at the sense of obligation to do something romantic. But it doesn’t matter how you feel about Valentine’s day, it matters whether you want your girlfriend/wife to feel good about herself and your relationship, or feel like you don’t care enough about her to put in a tiny bit of effort to make her feel special. So yeah, you’re obligated to be a good boyfriend/husband on Valentine’s day (heaven forbid) – stop trying to rebel against “society” and just suck… Read more »
Cat Skyfire

I really dislike the “I don’t want to do it on the ‘made up day’, but want to do something special when I want to.” I dislike it because a lot of people say it…and never do anything.

I know a guy who never gets his wife flowers on V day, because he wants to ‘do it on his terms’. Which means she never gets them at all…

Madamoiselle L
PK, a LOT of men are capable of doing BOTH. (My Man is. I get flowers, candy and junk on all manner of random days AND on VD and other days of importance.) Many men are capable of being spontaneously romantic AND remembering a day on which their women would be HURT if they simply did nothing. It won’t kill you to do something, it does NOT “cheapen” the relationship, and she will care if you do SOMETHING or do NOTHING. (Guess which one makes her happy? ONE guess. Is that important?) Most people can do spontaneous things, and do… Read more »