By Gabrielle. Photo by Amy Christie for Design Mom.
I already told you I don’t wear my wedding ring. And now, I have a further confession that will no doubt cement your thinking that I am the least romantic person in the world. Hah! Here it is: Though I always enjoy having fresh flowers in the house, I don’t like Ben Blair to give me flowers. At all. So much so, that a couple of years into our marriage, I asked him not to give me flowers from that point on (and we’ve been married 20 years).
Doesn’t that sound awful? But stay with me for a minute, because though it took me awhile to pinpoint what they are, I do have reasons. And happily, expressing my no-flower-request to Ben, didn’t even slightly ruffle his feathers. He totally understood. My reasons? The first one is simple. Money was especially tight when we were first married, and fresh flowers aren’t always inexpensive. If we were going to use some of our budget for flowers, I thought we should discuss it first, like we would discuss any non-essential purchase.
But the second reason is harder for me to articulate, because I’m not opposed to flowers as gifts in general at all. I give flowers as gifts often. And I’ve been sent flowers from friends and even clients, flowers that have brought great joy! So I’m really only not into flowers-as-a-gift from my husband.
I think it stems from when we were young and still learning how to be married, and I could see that when Ben Blair gave me flowers, it was about the gesture, not about the flowers themselves. He didn’t have strong opinions about the flower types or the colors, he’s not someone who puts importance on having fresh flowers in the house, he just wanted to do something sweet to show me he loved me. And in our limited experience, flowers were the thing that husbands were “supposed” to buy for wives.
That bothered me because I didn’t like the idea of him feeling pressure to keep up with a societal tradition that wasn’t particularly important to either of us. It was if he felt like he couldn’t be a good spouse and partner if he didn’t bring me flowers. Which of course, wasn’t true.
It’s not that I don’t want flowers in the house! I definitely want flowers in the house, but instead of wanting flowers because they are a symbol of love from my husband, I want flowers because I happen to enjoy beautiful flowers. Does that make sense? And it’s not that I don’t want my spouse to show me he loves me. I definitely do! And I should note here that Ben Blair found other ways to show he loved me. He has always been really good at making me feel loved.
There is a third reason, but it’s minor. I really enjoy shopping for fresh flowers, so if we’re going to include flowers in the budget, I want to help shop for them. : )
To sum up, I LOVE having fresh flowers in the house, but I prefer to buy them myself. Not because I am trying to make a statement, but because I don’t want my husband to feel pressure to buy them, and because I just really enjoy buying flowers.
That said, every once in awhile, Ben will wonder if he should be buying me flowers — he wonders if it’s good for the kids to see him do so. Will they be better partners to their future spouses if he models giving traditional romantic gifts? I get what he’s saying, but I’m not worried. I feel like our kids see us do kind things for each other daily — even if those kind things don’t involve traditional things like flowers, or chocolates or jewelry.
Okay, now I’m curious. What’s your take on fresh flowers? Do they ever make your shopping list? Or do they make the “unnecessary expense” list? I’ve had years where they were a regular weekly purchase, and other years where I hardly bought them at all. And what about flowers from your partner? Does anyone else feel like me and prefer to buy flowers yourself instead of receive them from your spouse, or am I on my own this time?
P.S. — I wonder if this is also related to the idea of love languages. I’m pretty sure gifts are not my love language. : )
110 thoughts on “I Don’t Like It When My Husband Buys Me Flowers”
How interesting that you tie this to love languages. I think about those often because my love language is definitely gifts of service while my husband’s is a mix of physical touch and words of affirmation, and for our daughter it’s physical touch and quality time. I try to be aware of what’s important to each of them so they feel the love I have for them.
I love fresh flowers, but it’s never been a priority to have them in the house. I don’t mind if my husband gives them to me, but he rarely does (and I rarely give them to him). For me it’s more that I realize how much I like them when we have them, but then I forget when they’re no longer there.
I love your comment, Amy. It made me realize that I don’t think I really know each of my kids love languages. Now I want to figure them out!
Gary Chapman writes a book called “The 5 Love Languages of Children”. Its a great read!
Agreed. Reading this book gave me a deeper understanding of my daughter and how to relate to her in all ways. I look forward to figuring out my son’s LL (he’s 2.5) one day,
I agree with you! I buy fresh flowers often, but I love to pick them out! And sometimes, if my husband wants to do something for me, I would definitely prefer to spend the money on something else–like a milkshake run or a movie–rather than flowers!
Yes to milkshake runs! I also feel very loved when he stops by the one and only grocery store in the area that carries my favorite chocolate milk, just so he can pick some up for me.
Acts of Service for the win! 100% My LL. My husband is Physical Touch. Our daughter (11.5) is Quality Time and Gifts. The Gifts really bothered me until I realized that while she loves to receive gifts, even little trinkets for the thrift store, she really loves to GIVE gifts. She’s got her list of family members and has already made+wrapped gifts for many of them. She asks me (daily) what I want for Christmas and really thinks hard about what to give her baby brother. One of my kindest, most generous friends is likely a Gifts person, as well. She shares with is all the time, constantly dropping off little surprises (donuts, tshirts and toys for my kids) on our porch. And she appreciates a gift like no one else I know. So, if my daughter ends up like my friend, it’s not bad at all!
What a sweet description of your friend!
For almost the exact same reasons, I asked my husband to not buy me jewelry, chocolate, or red roses. Red roses seem wasteful. I don’t wear jewelry. I do enjoy chocolate, but I am a total chocolate snob and dislike those Valentine’s boxes filled with super sweet truffles. He’s been nice about it. On a special occasion he’ll often do a box of macarons, which always delight and even on repeat feel so special because macarons are my love language!
“Macarons are my love language!”
Made me laugh!
I feel the same way. I like plants, not cut/dead flowers, but prefer to choose my own instead of receiving them as a gift. I also don’t like how bad for the environment cut flowers can be. They’re often grown in one of the few clean freshwater sources in developing countries, pumped full of toxic fertilizers, cut by people who aren’t paid a living wage, and then flown across the world to your neighborhood Trader Joe’s or wherever. That doesn’t say “love” to me.
Good point, Ris. For my book launch party in New York, I worked with a florist who ONLY used local flowers — as in grown in the tri-state area. And it was early spring, so there wasn’t much growing yet. But she still found some wonderful options!
That’s such a good idea. And what a great way to support local businesses!
I am a florist and try to buy local when I can. There is a slow flower movement (similar to the slow food movement) that is gaining momentum as many florists are looking for local, seasonal flowers to reduce the environmental impact. A google search for Slow Flower or Field to Vase florists can help find a florist in your area.
I am on the exact same page!!! I told my husband early on that if he wanted to buy me flowers they needed be a flat of flowers from the nursery that he/I could plant in the yard.
Love the idea of giving plantable flowers as a gift! An investment in your home and yard.
When we were first married, I asked my husband why he didn’t ever bring me flowers (he never brought me flowers when we were dating, so I don’t know why I expected/wanted flowers after marriage). He told me that he was saving the money from buying flowers to take me on a cruise. We had a good laugh together over that because we were so young and poor that cruises were a faraway dream.
In the years since, he has taken me on a few cruises. My husband always makes sure to mention that we can afford to go on them because we save the “flower” money.
That super sweet! I love that he saves the flower money.
My husband would never think to buy me fresh flowers. It’s just not something that crosses his mind. However, there is a patch of wild daises (in early summer) and black eyed susan (in mid to late summer) that grow right outside his office window at work. A few times a year, he’ll come home with a handful of freshly picked wild flowers for me, some with the roots and all. Nothing says love more than that. It makes my heart melt.
Oh. That’s pretty wonderful. That he think of you as he looks out the window at work.
My husband usually buys me flowers on the traditional flower-buying holidays, and I’ve never liked it, but found it hard to articulate why. And I didn’t want to make him feel bad about his efforts to show his love and appreciation, especially on days like Mother’s Day which he knows is hard for me anyway. Thanks for explaining it so well! Now I can have him read this before we discuss it.
Oh I hear you. Somehow Valentines or Mother’s Day — when it’s expected — is even less appealing. I hope the discussion goes well, and that you can brainstorm other things that would make you feel loved.
All ‘obligatory’ gift giving is hard for me – both as the giver and the receiver. To me that’s the opposite of what a gift truly is. Gifts should be given because you happen to see/find/think of something that you know would DELIGHT the other person.
There shouldn’t be a reason and there shouldn’t be a time stamp deadline. Gift giving on demand is something that sits wrong with me.
Agreed – for all the reasons you mentioned but also for one more. My husband is not particularly interested in flowers and to him they are all the same. I am just the opposite and have very decided opinions! This resulted in me not being very enthusiastic when he came home with something I didn’t really like. Which then led to frustration on both sides: Him “Why can’t she appreciate the gesture?” Me “Why can’t he remember what I like?” So the whole thing had the opposite of the intended affect! Romance is not one size fits all. Do what works for you!
Oh my goodness, yes! Totally agree. Been there, done that. I should add that in as reason #4.
So agree. with all of this. He bought the wrong flowers; why didn’t he ever remember what I liked. We couldn’t afford it. Etc. I always thought I was alone and simply an ingrate. I’m so grateful you wrote about this, and to hear other’s responses.
Exactly the same reasons for me. Add to that I get annoyed (privately) that I have to take the random pile of flowers and arrange them into something. So I never really like them because of the mischosen stems themselves and the time requirement put on me.
I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to call the whole thing off though. My mother always tells me to never complain about a man’s cooking because then he won’t ever do it again. I wouldn’t want to discourage his romantic efforts full stop. :\
Early in our relationship, my fiancé mentioned that he liked to give his mother daffodils for Mother’s Day and from that I made clear I don’t like flowers as gifts. I guess it comes from my own mother, who also doesn’t like flowers as gifts – a waste of money, she calls them. I’m very happy for him to demonstrate his love for me by cooking my favourite food or buying me an app. A book is also always appreciated :)
“buying me an app”
My husband will buy me daffodils in the spring because we had over 2000 of them at our wedding. He knows I also like peonies and dahlias and will buy them for me when they are in season. That’s about it though!
I love that he knows which flowers you love. I wonder if I would feel differently about Ben Blair bringing me flowers if he only brought bunches of my favorites when they are in season.
Well this post was a rollercoaster for me. Ha! At first I thought: that headline is such click-bait! Then as I read, I found myself agreeing with everything you wrote. My (now ex) husband bough me flowers only a few times and each time was very special, and he had a great eye and chose beautiful arrangements, so I really enjoyed that. I remember my father used to always buy me a dozen roses on my birthday. I wasn’t “a daddy’s girl”, I was closer with my mom, and it always felt disingenuous, though I couldn’t articulate that feeling at the time. I knew he felt obligated to get me something and roses were just so typical and ordinary, while I wanted to be unique and different.
“I knew he felt obligated to get me something and roses were just so typical and ordinary, while I wanted to be unique and different.”
I think you nailed it.
(And sorry about the bait-y headline. I know I don’t typically do that. At first it was titled Fresh Flowers, but that didn’t really convey what I wanted. Hah!)
I’ve also found them to be a waste of money (however, I do value it in the courtship phase)! I’ve had the talk about no more on valentine’s day, but I’ll keep them for my birthday. Otherwise, I much prefer to buy and arrange my own; your timing is funny, because i’ve been on a big flower buying kick lately. Normally it’s maybe once every month or two, but it’s been weekly lately. I think it’s the autumn weather/holiday fever in the air, haha.
I’m curious if you’ve taken the love language tests, Gabby. I’m definitely an acts of service and words of affirmation person. Physical touch was #3, which surprised me, but now I see that I totally am! My husband is suuuuper thoughtful with gifts though, which has made me appreciate them more than I used to.
I haven’t taken the love language tests, and I only know a little about them. My guesses are that I’m words of affirmation and physical touch, with acts of service 3rd. But I don’t really know. I should look up a test!
I don’t mind flowers but not just for the sake of it; my favourites are yellow chrysanthemums so when my husband gets me those, then it feels special. But I don’t like flowers on the days you’re supposed to; I want them random and not commercialised :)
My love languages are acts of service and words of affirmation (please take the test Gabrielle, and get the whole family to do it too), and I’ve been quoted in a local South African magazine that there’s nothing sexier to me than a clean kitchen :) (it’s true!) For Mother’s Day this year, I asked for breakfast in bed and an hour to read my book, and nice cards from the kids! PERFECT Mother’s Day :)
I love this. We’re a no-flower-buying household, too. My grandmother, a farmer and farmer’s wife, had a passionate dislike for cut flowers because she had a passionate love for living plants. She planted about a million flower beds around the farm (which my grandfather maintains and has expanded since she passed away a couple of years ago), and filled the house with plants that flowered during the winter (african violets, poinsettias, forced bulbs). At her funeral the church was overwhelmed with beautiful potted plants and many were given out as gifts to family and friends. I hadn’t given much thought to this, but it turns out that I inherited her taste. The first time my husband gave me flowers when we were dating I thought that it was so weird–he did, too! He was only doing it because he thought he was supposed to. I made it abundantly clear that if he wanted to express his affections, he should leave the flowers at the shop and try using one of his other gifts (for example, he is our personal librarian and is AMAZING at choosing the perfect book to read). In 20 years, he has only given me cut flowers once since then, and then it was a really meaningful gesture.
My mother (the daughter of the no-cut-flowers grandmother!) was actually scandalized when she learned two days before our wedding that I hadn’t made any arrangements for flowers. It hadn’t even occurred to me that there should be any flowers other than a few fresh seasonal blossoms in my hair. She hit the craft store for cheap vases that night and stopped by a local florist for a bucket of flowers on her way to the wedding the next day. My husband, my grandmother, and I all had a good chuckle about it.
Now that I have kids and a garden of my own, my mom always makes a special point a few times a year to take the kids shopping for the “pretty plants” at the nursery and she spends a day with them updating and cleaning out our flower pots. I don’t know if I’ve ever bought or planted an ornamental flowering plant on my own! But I love how we’ve managed to flip the script about flowers as gifts in our family.
Your wedding story is fantastic!
My husband is all about the mixed bouquet… my least favorite. I try to tell him what I like, but all he sees in the mixed bouquet is value and variety- his favorite things! I buy our house flowers quite often, though.
Sarah – Exactly! When I buy flowers, they’re always the same color/tone. I dislike (hate) the mixed bouquet. My husband chooses a mix of flowers and colors … even though he sees that when I buy them, they’re never a mix of colors. The scariest thing is that he doesn’t necessarily buy the mixed bouquet – he puts one together.. and the results can be – well – interesting.
I don’t like getting fresh flowers as gifts either! My dad passed away unexpectedly right before my husband and I started dating. Flowers and casseroles in the house remind me of his death…and for some reason I’ve held onto that for the past fifteen years. (I don’t eat casseroles either, haha!)
I wish my husband would surprise me with flowers now and then. HOWEVER, I tend to just buy them for myself when I really need a pick me up because I know it’s not his thing. He will bring me an orchid for major-major events because he knows how much I love them (and in this house they actually grow and bloom!). (Which means I now have about a dozen orchids from our 13 years of marriage.)
I’m imagining all those orchids and it makes me smile.
Hallelujah someone that feels the same way I do. I never liked my husband giving me flowers. I’m so happy to read this post, I thought there was something wrong with me. I’m totally with you on this one.
I adore fresh flowers. ADORE them. That said, my husband grew up in a home where his mother was the poster girl for practicality and I don’t think she ever got a gift other than for Christmas from his father. He knew, but it wasn’t a practical application.
Early in our marriage I craved it. I wanted ‘something’ to show me that he had thought of me as something other than the housekeeper, and I felt flowers were the quick solution. Eventually I just began buying them for myself, because, yes -I really like fresh flowers in the house.
Now when people see a bouquet on the table or wherever they ask if Thor bought them for me, I always reply “yes”, because, technically it was his money that provided them. : ) win win
I have learned over the years if I want something, *I* need to go get it. He’s happy to pay for it, and often wishes he actually did buy it, but it’s difficult for him. (Although last year for Christmas he bought me a *very* nice purse, that I KNOW was extremely difficult for him to do, both physically and mentally!– The gesture meant more than the purse.)
Some how all of my sons are flowers and jewelry and cards filled with emotion and candy and date nights -all for no reason- husbands. I’m not sure where they picked it up, but I hope their wives appreciate it!
I like both. I buy flowers for myself regularly but it is fun to come home to a box shipped to me. Growing up my grandpa sent me and my sister and my mom flowers every year on our birthday. (He did lots of great things for our birthdays). It continued while I was in college until he passed away. I miss those arrangements. In fact I may mention it to my dad so he can start doing it for my daughter.
I had to click on this post to hear your view as soon as I saw it because, as a florist, I was appalled! But, I do agree with you. I am an event florist (weddings, fundraisers, etc–not the everyday flowers) and love that I’m telling a story and incorporating what the bride and groom/ non-profit having a fundraiser/ etc. is trying to convey. I know of some (really good) florists who take the time to talk to guys who come in their shops to buy flowers for their girlfriends/wives. They learn what the recipient likes and does not like and the florist helps to guide them to the best decision. I am sure those recipients appreciate their flowers even more because of the thought put into them. Thoughtful over grocery bouquets/online orders any day!
I think it definitely has something (or a lot) to do with love languages. I love fresh flowers as well, but like you, would rather be the one to pick them out. I’d rather have a note written to me or even have my husband sit me down & express why he loves me. This is because words of affirmation is my language. His is service & so I’ve worked hard over the years to see his unloading the dishwasher, starting the laundry, & a whole host of other household chores as his expression of love to me. He’s always trying to make my life easier & I really appreciate it even though it’s taken effort on my part to switch my mindset. I still wouldn’t mind a hand written letter from time to time! :)
I’ve been married more than 30 years. During that time I’ve learned a thing or two. Isn’t the point of understanding love languages to figure out what the people you love LOVE? and what you LOVE? and then use that information to express LOVE. My husband bought me a few expensive bouquets and I remember being upset that he’d spent too much of our limited resources to try and smooth things over instead of just saying “I’m sorry. I’ll try harder.” or ” I love you, happy birthday.” or whatever. He also bought me some ridiculous gifts in an effort to try and figure out what to give me on special occasions. I would think long and hard and get very creative with my gift giving to make it perfect. Usually it went right over his head, haha. Now when I receive the spontaneous mixed bunch of flowers from the grocer I just smile because random flowers with one purple thrown in are awful, but thinking about me is very sweet. My daughter and daughter-in-law both know I love pink or red tipped carnations and buy them for me whenever they see them. The point is when he gives me a flashlight and enthusiastically tells me how great it is I smile, and know how much he loves me because I know how much he loves and values a good flashlight, and when he accidentally gets the right color of flowers just because, I thank him and remind him how much I LOVE carnations because they last for weeks and look good the whole time! win win. When I spend days, weeks, or months procuring the perfect whatever for him I recognize I’m doing it because it makes me happy and will make him happy. We don’t always speak the same language but hopefully after thirty years we’ve become BILINGUAL. THAT’S LOVE.
My husband, of 16 years, occasionally brings me flowers when he goes to the grocery store. I love the sweet gesture. And I love having fresh flowers. He works at home and never goes anywhere, so on the one occasion he is shopping- at the grocery-I know I’m on his mind…even when he’s just been a way from the house for 15 minutes! Ok- now that I write that, he may just be codependent! Hahaha
I received flowers once from an ex, and it felt weird, and not like me, and may have been a sign of things to come!
My current partner has never bought me flowers, and it feels just right. One time he asked me “Should I be buying you flowers?” and I responded that nope, he has been just fine with how we show each other love!
On Love Languages: I have a theory about them that if you are already in a relationship, your love language is something that your partner does, but does rarely. For example: a friend is constantly (and for the most part happily) doing projects with her husband. They are always renovating, or fixing up the yard ect ect. Her husband is a man of few words. She expressed to me that quality time was not her love language, but instead it is words of affirmation because she really values when her husband tells her something thoughtful. I argue that she already functions and loves him without many words of affirmation, but she would not be happy without a husband to do projects with (quality time). Do you have thoughts on this? ( I wonder if I expressed that clearly at all).
I love flowers. My husband does gift them on a few special occasions, but I definitely relate to wanting to pick them out myself. I also prefer more unique options (we have a ban on roses at my house).
Hate getting flowers. Which I nearly always get accused of lying about, but it’s true! I need time and security, not stuff that’s going to die and clutter my house. I had flowers at my wedding (on the table with the food only) by default, not because I wanted them and I CERTAINLY didn’t have a bouquet. I find them such a waste!
I love that you know you want time and security. Knowing what you actually want seems like half the battle.
(And also? HATE obligatory gifts. We forego that completely. No dates on Valentine’s, etc. It’s so not us!)
Call me conventional, but I appreciate the gesture, and it doesn’t bother me at all that it’s a cliche. True, my husband’s color-sense and flower choices don’t make for as good a use of the flower budget as if I bought my own flowers, but in this case I think it really is the thought that counts. After all, symbolism is a big part of the beauty of flowers: they’re not just pretty-colored objects of a certain shape and size to put on a shelf: they represent fecundity, frivolity, lavishness, the ephemeral beauty of life.
Luckily, as the years pass, my husband has begun to figure out what I like a bit better: i.e., gold and orange or white flowers rather than hot pink, and interestingly shaped individual flowers rather than generic mixed bunches.
I also have to note how much it meant to me as a kid, seeing my dad buy my mom flowers from the farmers market every single Saturday morning of my childhood. Being a gardener at heart, he tended to choose more beautiful flowers than my husband does, but that really wasn’t the point, when you get right down to it. It said a lot to me about my parents’ relationship that I’ve never forgotten.
Gifts are my love language, so flowers or any kind of I’m-thinking-of-you gesture like that make me happy. I understand saying no to traditional gestures though. Very early I asked my husband not to walk around the car to open my door. It felt so ridiculous when I’m perfectly capable of getting my own door. I think it is perfectly OK to alter “romantic” traditions according to your own preference.
Oh my goodness, yes. The car door thing. Unless my hands are full, please don’t open my door.
I adore fresh flowers, but I’m married to a very practical guy who hates buying something that’s already dying! His inclination is to buy a potted plant, whereas I prefer something in a vase. Our compromise is that I plant and cut flowers to my heart’s content, and if he brings something home in a pot, he has to make sure it gets into the garden…I’m not responsible for its continued longevity. :-)
I had the opposite situation. I desperately wanted my husband to give me flowers. They are my favorite gift, but he could not get passed his mindset that they are a waste of money because they die. It was an item of contention for a long time until I came to a realization that I have used throughout 30 years of marriage. “Buy your own damn flowers!” – That is just short hand for if you need something in your life, don’t wait for someone else to provide it. Go out and get it yourself. Value yourself enough to reward your own efforts and accomplishments. Give yourself what you value. My husband shows his appreciation and affection in other ways. This helps me to fully appreciate his ways rather than resent their differences to my expectations.
“Buy your own damn flowers!”
My husband and I are exactly like you guys. We haven’t had the don’t give me flowers conversation, but he feels obligated to give them to me on Mother’s Day, Valentines, etc… and he always orders them online which costs an additional arm and a leg. I’ve explained to him that there are much better things I could have done with the $30, and if I’m going to spend $30 on flowers, it’s not going to be roses. I like you, would rather us spend the money elsewhere, and have the love gifts done in a different way!
I so enjoyed the comments for this post! I have never enjoyed cut flowers much, especially not pink ones, and have always preferred something I can plant in the garden and enjoy year to year. My husband has been great about getting flowers occasionally “just because,” sometimes cut flowers, sometimes potted plants. I try to give suggestions and reward positive behavior – so if he gets something that is especially my taste – a bouquet of cut wild flowers or a perennial potted plant, I want to encourage that, since I enjoy them the most! But I find it hard to say no since he does it because he wants to, not because it is obligatory. I admire bold women who speak up about what they want, and the spouses who get creative in the absence of flowers. I also want to take a second look at the love languages of my husband and kids – I have long been curious but haven’t actually figured it out, although I have a good guess for most of them.
I love having fresh flowers in the house, and though I appreciate the thought, I do get frustrated when my husband buys me grocery store bouquets. I’d really rather choose them myself. He’s a funny guy, though. Whenever we see a guy buying a bouquet, hubby will start whistling the “Somebody done somebody wrong” song! Makes me laugh every time!
Those darn grocery store mixed bouquets!
I appreciate a beautiful bouquet now and then :) My husband has always been a sweet and thoughtful gift giver. When we were engaged he made me a blanket because I was always cold. He knows my favorite flowers and I have some florists friends. It’s nice to support them and I feel like they always make them extra special! I don’t usually buy flowers for myself so a pretty bouquet a few times of year is lovely. But I’m lucky, because he shows his love in lots of little ways, and cut flowers don’t last long at all! The last few years he’s given me an herb garden instead, and I love it even more! And my heart melts when I think of him picking out basil and rosemary!
He made you a blanket!!!! Oh my goodness gracious. And I love the heart-melting herb garden. So beautiful- thank you for sharing your husband’s romantic and meaningful expressions of love.
Why my daughter (and first born) was born almost seven years ago my husband left the hospital a few hours after we were settled in recovery to go home and walk the dog, clean up (it was a LONG labor), etc. He returned to the hospital a few hours later with a bouquet of flowers and balloon from the grocery store. He had NEVER given me flowers before and at this point we had been together for 13 years, married for seven. I saw the balloon said Happy Birthday and I realized they were for his baby daughter. And I loved him even more for it.
So flowers as a gift, I am eh. I buy them for the house all the time and love them.
PS – he still buys her flowers (all the heart emojis)
Flowers for his daughter! I love it. I have some wonderful memories of flowers from my father as a girl.
I would have to say I’m in the same camp, and I’m okay with it, too. On a funny note, my husband, a funeral director, sometimes brings me home a lonely flower that’s fallen out of an arrangement and needs a nice home for a few days, and I don’t mind being its caretaker… silly, I know : )
Not silly, sweet.
Secretly, I’m blown away that your admission about flowers has garnered such attention and rapport! It is impressive that you can articulate this seemingly simple but obviously complicated situation many of find ourselves in. Receiving flowers from a partner is obviously an intimate experience and, especially if it doesn’t feel right, it is a bit tricky to handle well. Nice job on the bravery!
I’m loving the comments on this post. I’ve found I really appreciate every reminder that we all experience life so differently.
I feel you! I prefer receiving potted plants to flowers – I find it hard to justify to spend so much on lovely flowers that wither away in a week! That said I do go to the market for fresh ecalyptus and baby breathe and they last for weeks and doubles up as decor when they dry up :) I don’t fall into the trap of flowers definitive of romance as it’s very much a marketing concept. I much prefer a lovely gesture in the moment. However, I also do appreciate the creativity, skill and beauty of florist making the world a more beautiful place a moment at a time. I am just not the target audience ;)
My guy has given me flowers a couple of times. While they were beautiful and I loved them, the gesture seemed somehow forced. I’d much rather he continue all the other romantic things he does, like cleaning the kitchen after I cook, whisking away our talkative 4yo on the weekend when my head is about to explode, and planning fun vacations. On the other hand, I love when my best friend brings me flowers! She totally gets my aesthetic , knows the right colors and flowers, and always nails the occasion to be celebrated.
I rarely do a full-on thorough cleaning of our house (I mean, I keep it tidy, but I’m talking about the works). I usually do this when I know we have guests coming and I always reward myself for completing the job by buying some flowers of my choice. This is great because not only can I enjoy the flowers, but our guests can too and it all feels a little fancy. My husband is sweet to bring me flowers from time to time and often it’s just random or to compensate for a bad day, which I appreciate. He’s gotten better with my flower taste over the years.
what a great article. one of our biggest fights was when my husband bought me flowers for valentinesday. i hated it. it felt so wrong. we had no money and he was not even buying from a local shop, but ordered some.
it overroled me with despair. all the pressure of being in need manifested in this unloved present.
my husband never understood. he is still hurt, although i excused myself for overreacting he never gave me a present again. although i love thoughtful presents.
What an unexpectedly cathartic post. Together with your wedding ring post this frees up so many women from feeling like they are not loved, not in the right relationship if they don’t have these traditional signs of love and romance.
PS: I just popped into my local Fruit & Veg store and saw my first peonies of the season (southern hemisphere) Buying them for myself is such a joy. I don’t need anything more. But if my hubby wants to spoil me I love a foot rub. Just saying.
This is a great post. I understand your reasoning on this. Myself, I love fresh flowers. I always had them given to me in the traditional sense in previous relationships. BUT, my husband…. Oh, my sweet husband. We purchased a home we are remodeling that had the perfect touches to it. The previous owner had wonderful landscaping put in. There are thirty rose bushes that bloom til December! I can see some from our kitchen window. He has bought me flowers in the past even when I’m with him. He picks just the right flowers. He’s so particular. Now, he will go out and pick me roses from our bushes and say ” Most husbands would go to the store and buy you a dozen, but I love you so much I bought you 88,000$ worth”. I love him so.
I do not like being given flowers from my hubby either! And I also told him to please not buy them… (he didn’t often do it anyway) but I have similar reasons to you and clicked through to your post as soon as I saw the title!!
I also am not gifty so Love Languages probably does have something to do with it!! I also recommend the book 5 Love Languages of Children – it’s great and I think I’ll request it be returned from a friend who borrowed it! ;) Time to read it again!
I smiled when I read this because I am similar. My husband had been buying me roses our whole dating and married lives! I love the gesture but roses are so high maintenance and they are not my favorite flower. I have never told him because I don’t want to hurt his feelings. I would prefer tulips or just buy them myself!
Gabrielle, I find this post so interesting and actually really helpful and affirming. See, my husband I think feels the same as you do, and I find it refreshing that you as the woman, feel this way. As I was first reading your post I found myself like getting defensive and feeling like, bad that I have felt hurt over the years that my husband won’t run out and buy me a bunch of flowers on a special day. However! I have come to realize that with him it has nothing to do with his love for me and he DOES show me in other ways. He doesn’t give the typical romantic presents and I TOO have wondered if we should be modeling the societal expectations on how you show that you love someone. BUT, what I realize our children witness, is a dad who cooks amazing meals, who makes things with his own hands out of wood and paints beautiful paintings as gifts, who shows love through affection- and who will occasionally cut some fresh flowers from the garden to bring in.:) Thank you for just giving me that affirmation that we don’t have to be like everyone else!!!!
I really wanted to receive flowers at work, especially when I wasn’t married yet. And I did wedding flowers as a sideline business to my day job. After I was married, my husband sent me flowers at work for our first anniversary, including the main flower from my wedding bouquet. I was very touched.
Then I saw the line item on the credit card bill and I asked him not to send me flowers at work anymore. He still buys me flowers, but not arrangements or bouquets because I like to do that part myself.
I love having fresh flowers in the house. I also like receiving a surprise bouquet a the office. While I love selecting them on my own, I am always happy if my husband (or children!) pick some up from me at the farmer’s market that has a great locally-grown selection. Sometimes my kids will pick out flowers at the market and then gift them to someone sitting alone — this is an amazing surefire hit with little old ladies. My husband always remembers what I like (tulips, non-red roses, and anything crazy and alien looking). I only dislike getting flowers on expected occasions (anniversary, Mother’s Day, birthday, etc.) because that nothing says “sorry, I forgot” or “didn’t bother to try” better than that!