Dilemma: I wish my husband would buy me a Valentine's Day card

Jo Brand / 28 January 2019 ( 05 September 2019 )

A reader asks Jo Brand's advice on convincing her husband to be more romantic around Valentine's Day.



Dilemma: My husband hates Valentine’s Day 

My husband thinks that Valentine’s Day is too commercial and refuses to have anything to do with it. I always give him a card and would love a little something back on the day.

I’m not asking for roses, a meal out or jewellery. Should I ask him to make an effort and buy me a card this year or just give up?

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Jo Brand's advice

There’s an increasing effort in our society to rule out spontaneity so thoroughly that at some point in the future no action will ever be off the cuff but controlled, requested and refined to a point where the recipient of a gift might as well have just ticked a box online and bought the blasted thing for themself.

I know some couples, for example, whose anniversaries are a huge event in the calendar and others who can barely remember the year they married, let alone the day. It’s possible that one half of the couple is just going along with the wish of the other in their refusal to acknowledge the day of their coupling or reluctantly covering the house with roses and chocolates to keep their voraciously romantic spouse happy, but most couples come to an unspoken agreement about these things. You haven’t, and are trying to unspontaneously organise the Valentine’s day response you want.

My feeling is: if it isn’t there, don’t construct it. There is nothing worse than forced romance being boxed into commercial packages.

Do you feel judged by your friends or is it that you need tangible evidence of his love for you? If it’s the first, sign a card to yourself and lock him in the cupboard until your friends have left after admiring the 2ft x 3ft work of art.

If you need tangible evidence and he’s not romantic, that’s a bit harder. Rather than force the man into buying a card under duress, I would treat yourself to something you like, such as flowers or a romantic film, and move on. Easier said than done, but if you badger him about it, the Valentine’s day spirit will fly out of the window double quick.

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