This just in: Men prefer sex to a Valentine gift.Posted by Donna Freedman on Feb 8, 2014 | 17 comments
Stop the presses, right? It certainly doesn’t surprise me that 66% of the men polled by Retail Me Not would choose the pleasures of the flesh over, say, a teddy bear holding a red sateen heart embossed with “I Wuv You.”
They’re likely to be disappointed. In the same survey, 70% of the women said they’d much rather have a present than an extremely personal moment.
Selfish? Maybe. But let’s face it: Most women in relationships can get all the sex they want. Gifts, on the other hand, are a surprise.
Well, sort of: Apparently it’s expected that we’ll be getting gifts on Valentine’s Day. Just flip through any store circular, turn on the TV or surf the Internet to be bombarded by ads that shriek some version of, “Feb. 14 is at hand! Buy the right gift or you won’t get laid for the rest of the year!”
I feel sorry for the men. Each year they’re tasked with reading their partners’ minds, especially as regards what not to get, yet they’re also supposed to do something utterly unique.
Those who’ve been dating for a while are likely to feel pressured to produce a ring and pop a question. For an over-the-top example of this kind of pressure, see a Washington Post article called “One-Ring Circus.” Although it was published in 2008, it reads like the 1950s. (Well, except for the fact that they were already living together.)
The author admits she’s been obsessed with weddings since early childhood. As an adult, she went so far as to create an “Engagement Watch Team,” a group of pals who helped “scrutinize his every move.”
Does anyone but me find that not only appalling, but tiresome? If a friend asked me to dissect her boyfriend’s behavior and listen to her kvetch about why he hadn’t asked her to marry him yet, I’d be tempted to suggest that her high-maintenance neediness might be the reason he wasn’t rushing to commit. I’d also asked to be kicked off the “team,” pronto.
She’s lucky her boyfriend didn’t do the same. At one point he copped to feeling like he had “a 500-pound brick” on his shoulder. If someone had been nagging me and even going so far as to ask whether I could “speed this up,” I’d probably speed for the door.
Believe it or not, he actually did propose.
The richness of a relationship
We’re not doing an evening out for Valentine’s Day. Apparently that’s a growing trend. The RMN survey said that 38% of interviewees would be fine with staying home on Feb. 14, compared with 28% in 2013. However, 57% of those surveyed said going out would be “preferred.”
Going out to dinner isn’t in the cards, in part because of my new economic reality but mostly because DF likes to cook. We just don’t go out to eat, because our meals at home are not only delicious but also comfortable and cozy. (Frugal, too, since we’re still eating out of the pantry.)
Your mileage may vary. I think you should celebrate romance the way you want to, but try to avoid going into debt to do it.
As for us, we’ll do what we generally do: Fix dinner together, talk, laugh, enjoy each other’s company and remain in love. The richness of a relationship isn’t determined by the number of dollar signs in it.
Readers: What are your plans (if any) for Valentine’s Day?