What should I get for my man on Valentines Day?
Coming Face to Face with the Baggage of Masculinity
This question is as old as the day itself. In fact it has existed in other forms for as long as gift giving has been around, I imagine. But there is somethine especially challenging about gift giving for a man on Valentine’s Day. A lot of men don’t seem to appreciate romantic gifts for example. But why?
Well, men, it is time to be held to account. It’s time to be open and honest and share a little bit of insight with our other (better) halves. Now, at first glance, I may not seem like the best bloke to tell everyone about what men don’t like about romance and Valentine’s Day. I love them both! I am serious and hopeful romantic, who showers my wife with affection and attempts at meaningful and romantic gifts and treasures. But … and this is a big but! I have not always been this way <cue lightning flash and scary music>.
Indeed, I was once what may commonly be called a jock; I was a quasi-literate and sensitive jock, but nonetheless a jock. And everyone is sensitive when it comes down to it anyway … it all really just depends on how closed off a person has decided to become. I digress.
What causes men to become closed off is basically social conditioning? I’m sure there has been someone out there who has written a doctorate on this, which is fantastic, but really I think it is clear enough that young boys are trained not to cry and not to show affection nor weakness. And through this process men often grow hard or at least emotionally detached. That is the burden of masculinity, which brings privilege, even today, but a HUGE load of baggage!
But how does all of this relate to your man on Valentine’s Day? Well, there are two basic ways that it relates.
1. It helps you start to walk in his shoes, which in turn will help you give him something he will love. Trust me this is possible. I have seen men who have starved themselves of feeling who still appreciate certain signs of affection. The problem remains that they still don’t show it.
2. Because our masculinity is socially conforming and defined, there is some room for give and flexibility when the two of you are alone. That is why men open up a little bit (or a lot) when they are in an intimate situation with someone (usually a woman). It is one of the age old rules of male personae that we tend to be better people when women are around. Some men are misogynistic and insulting to women, but that’s a whole other matter.
Before, I go too far off track, let’s come back to getting him a Valentine’s gift. How can we actually apply this knowledge? In understanding that everyone wants to be loved, we can all find ways to show men that they are loved. That is true for any father, brother, husband, boyfriend, or son. The key is finding a way that will actually impact that person.
I find things that cause a man to reminisce, remember, or consider are powerful. The medium for conveying this feeling is up to you, but it can be liberating to understand that it is possible.
Some of the most basic ways, I know of attaching value to gifts and causing him to experience the above states of mind are actually quite easy. Things like attaching a note, picture, video, or favor to any type of gift for Valentine’s Day are a few examples that come to mind. At the end of the day, I encourage to get him to ‘take something away’ from the gift. In my mind that almost means literally telling him, in the media mentioned (notes, pictures, videos), what the gift means to you and what you hope it should mean to him.
Of course there is no silver bullet, but nonetheless, we hope this helps you figure him out this Valentines.
Here are our gift lists if you need some ideas: Unique Valentines Gifts for Boyfriends 2011, Top Valentines Gifts for Him, some cute Valentines Gifts for a boyfriend, and Valentines gift ideas for him.
As always, be sure to contact us if you need any help with gift giving for your man this Valentines.