Don’t Be “That Guy” this Valentine’s Day

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When it comes to the 14th of February, the one thing I don’t want to be referred to is this:

“That guy.”

You know who “That guy” is…

At worst, he’s the guy who forgets about Valentine’s Day altogether, at least until he gets to the office and is reminded when he sees all the red and the flowers and boxes of heart-shaped candy on the desks of his female colleagues.

He’s the guy who waits until 6 PM on Valentine’s night and stops off at the supermarket to try and fulfill his obligation. He can usually be seen, dazed and confused, examining the picked-over flowers and chocolates near the bananas.

He’s the guy who buys the card, but just signs his name to it, figuring the stranger at Hallmark must know what his beloved wants to hear better than he does.

He’s the guy who may ignore the holiday altogether, citing some contrivance or conspiracy of greedy capitalists. “We don’t need one day to acknowledge our love when we do so the other 364,” he might say, feeling pretty smug.

He’s the guy who ignores his wife all week, instead sitting in the glow of the lights of ESPN’s “Sportscenter,” but expects her to suddenly become romantically inclined because he is.

He’s the guy who buys his wife a vacuum cleaner for Valentine’s Day.

Don’t be “That guy!”

But wait. Am I setting the bar too high?

I have to admit – years ago, I was guilty of being “That Guy.” I forgot about Valentine’s Day until a friend reminded me about it – halfway through it! It wasn’t a pretty scene.

But I’ve been trying to sand my rough edges and in the years since, I’ve attempted to show my love for Jean each Valentine’s Day by cooking a special meal for her. I pull out the candles and the table cloth. I try to find a recipe that she’ll love almost as much as I love her.

Of course, in the process, I run the risk of being “That guy” too, as in, “That guy who almost burned down his house, nearly poisoned the family and caused his wife to ban him from the kitchen.”

But it’s a risk I’m willing to take. :)

What are your plans or traditions for Valentine’s Day? What’s your most memorable February 14th? Wives, I want to hear from you, too!

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Anonymous More than 1 year ago

ANONYMOUS sounds like a bitter old man-heating woman who never looks or anallze what she does. I know. I am married to one. I pay most of the bill, takes care of the kids and still getting treated like trash due to the opionion of woman like you who tells her she is be expect the world while not reciprocating.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

I wouldn't mind so much about the day except that it has just become a way for Hallmark, florists and restaurants to cash in on our need to do the "right thing".  I never liked acknowledging the day before I was married.  Now that I am I feel trapped by modern culture to spend money on very expensive items that I would rather give her on some other random day when I can do more with the same amount of money.  And while a TV is not exactly romantic, it was actually her idea to make it our gift to each other.  However, a TV can be romantic when you watch something together.  

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

$150 for a dozen long stemmed red roses vs tickets to any major league or college athletic event ??? a couple could take turns!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

I married "that guy" over 22 years ago. Each year  I give him little gifts and cards. I buy a little box of chocolates or a frozen yogurt for myself and enjoy it in the presence of the ONE who created my heart and knows how to heal it.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

My poor husband has it tough,my birthday is on Valentine's Day ! I miss out on an "extra" special day. He is so good to always give me a card and some type of flowers for Valentine's Day and then something else for my Birthday. This year well had a little potluck for my B=Day and Valentine's. We invited several single ladies from my Women's Bible study and others came with their husbands and/or kids. We talked about our families and traditions, it was a wonderful Valentines'/Birthday!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

OK well I'll say my guy is 'that guy'... last night he "asked" me if he could go out to "thirsty Thursday" with the boys.  My reply...'do what you want to do'.  So then when he tells me he wants to stay home with me because it's Valentines Day, I can't quite appreciate that.  If he really wanted to spend the evening with me, then why "ask" me if he could spend the evening with the guys?  Yep, it's just another evening.... Nice

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Men, man-up! Paul exhorts us to nourish and cherish our wives. This is not an option. Also Peter is very clear in 1 Peter 3:7 as to what we are to do for our wives and how we are to view them: "joint heirs." We have no excuse if we have been called to be husbands. No, we are not to use Valentine's Day as the only day to outwardly express our unconditional love to our wives and demonstrate to them our willingness to lay down our lives for them as Jesus did for the church, but it is a great day for us as Believers, as Men of the only True and Holy God to shine in the marketplace and be an example to our unbelieving colleagues, co-workers, and friends that our wives truly are a gift from God and We as their husbands are responsible for them. While you are checking out the passages in Ephesians and 1 Peter about being a godly husband, flip back to the OT and refresh yourself on Proverbs 18:22. Does your wife know that you love and cherish her as a joint heir to the King? This from a slow learner but a life-long student of my wonderful bride of nearly 20 years. I just hope it doesn't take the rest of you young husbands as long as it did me to figure out the true, eternal value of my wonderful and beautiful wife.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

I am married to "that guy"

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

I wish this article made it into my husbands inbox, and not mine... I got the roses (I hate roses and after 17 years of marriage, youd think he would know that) and the card.  It was purchased today, from the little gift shop in his building.  My love language is gifts, and I get about 3 of them a year... and holidays such as Valentines Day always turns out depressing despite the fact that each year, I think, " This is the year, he'll be thoughtful."  

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

My husband and I take turns organizing Valentine's Day.  This year I suggested that we eat at home (it's way too busy in the restaurants).  So, I cooked his favourite dishes and he set the table in the dining room romantically.  There was a "no peeking" rule until dinner was ready to be served.  It was so nice to sit together and talk, lingering over coffee and a chocolate dessert.  One of the best Valentine's we had in our 6 married years.  Then we did the dishes together and talked some more (well, he listened, mostly).  PS.  There were no small children as this is our second marriage and they are all grown and moved away.    

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

My husband personally delivered gorgeous roses in a beautiful red vase to me at work today at lunch.  It was a long day standing on my feet; but everytime I looked at the flowers, it lifted my spirits!  :)  

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

My that guy forgets my birthday, mothers day, our anniversary and Christmas.  He gets so tied up in get the one perfect gift that I get nothing.  I do make sure he has a card and gift for all of his days, Father's day, birthday, our anniversary, Valentine's day and Christmas.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

I found a sale on gourmet sardines,gift wrapped them and really surprised him. I added to the drama by assuring him over the phone he would never be able to guess his gift this year. You can be sure I was right.He has recently taken a real liking to them so I knew it would make him smile.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Directing this admonition only at men does seem rather sexist.  Women as well as men need to take responsibility for the romance in their lives.  This isn't a "men you do all the chasing" thing  and women sit back and then complain when he doesn't come on strong enough.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

I have chosen to remain single after seeing so many years worth or ruinous relationships around me. It's true that it's better to be single than be in a bad marriage and I'm loving it. Traveling the world and not being tied down to anyone or anything is the best decision I could have ever made. I thank God for the wisdom to know my limitations and not ruin my or someone else's life. I have never been married and I am happier than I've ever been.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

My husband and I are not talking right now.  It's our 2nd valentine after getting married.  Feeling pretty sad right now :(

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

I received a marriage proposal on Valentine's Day in 1990, and while nothing really beats that, my man has always made Valentine's special!  My favorite See's candy, a fresh bouquet, and a sweet card can't be beat! And this year he even surprised our 17 year old daughter with a bouquet of red tulips - her first-ever bouquet from a guy!  And that just makes me love him more!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

"That Girl" was Marlo Thomas

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

My wife gets her card, flowers, candy, etc on the 13th because I don't ever want to be "that guy". I get up and go to work before anyone else is out of bed and I won't get home until almost dinner time. "that wife" is my wife and has been ever since the "I do" 24 years ago. I'm the one who reads marriage books, goes to counseling alone, reads Focus on the Family web stuff, etc. Unfortunately, many men of my acquaintance claim a similar situation. The man is responsible to lead, yes, but I'm tired of the seemingly wildly unbalanced approach in christian circles of placing the "yoke" on the man and leaving the ladies to do little but wait until he gets his act together. Maybe my wife and I are the exception to the rule but from my (wounded and aching) perspective "that guy" is far too often the focus and "that wife" is flying under the radar way too much. Sorry Jim, it isn't you. Your headline was just the straw that broke the camel's back. I know your heart is right - Please keep up the good work.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

My husband has always been the "other guy" that shows up "that guy".  He is very romantic and is just the opposite of "that guy."  He always goes all out.  The two most memorable Valentines were: 1. Our first Valentine's Day as a dating couple he took me on a Cessna flight over the local area and I was flying the plane... at the direction of the pilot.  I was terrified but I did it, we all survived, and it was an experience I never forgot.  2. One Valentines Day after we were married he hired a barbershop quartet and had them serenade me at work.  It was such a surprise.  I walked into the office and there they were.  People are still talking about that one.   He is really good and I am good to him too and this year I gave him a gift card to one of his favorite stores and wrote him a very passionate hearfelt poem instead of buying a card.  I love holidays and love to give as well as receive I was never one of those wives who pretended that the day wasn't important to me and yes he does show me love the other 364.  I think I'll keep him till I wear him out and he takes his last breath.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

I would like a new vacuum cleaner for Valentine's Day. My husband thinks I'm nuts.  Remember to give your sweetie a hug on Valentine's but don't forget to do it everyday not just today. That goes for the husband and the wife!!!  

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

A great many of the men I know claim "that wife" exists.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Sadly, what I have is "that woman".  She wasn't always this way but she has become bitter and fights with just about everyone over the dumbest of things.  We celebrate Valentine's Day and do the cards, roses, etc., thing.  But, at this point, I do it without the same joy in my heart I used to have of knowing that the smallest thing can bring joy to her day.  Now, she has closed her heart towards encouraging this type of behavior so it is to some extent a duty on my part to avoid ending up in the doghouse.  I used to write her notes on a daily basis when I traveled for work and mail them to her.  Somewhere along the way, those notes seemed to mean little.  If I ask her to repeat herself during a conversation because I didn't hear her, she gets annoyed with me.  And, yet, through the grace of God, I love her as on the day we were married and remain hopeful of a change in her heart back to being the loving person she was that inspired the love I have for her.  A Valentine's Day such as this one really stinks.  I miss the days when I was excited to return home to see her.  Now, my drive home is spent wondering what sarcasm or criticism awaits me in the approximately 3 hours we will be together before bedtime.  I remain ever hopeful, desperately hopeful of a return to a loving marriage.  Men/women, create a sanctuary in your homes and don't let the things of the world enter between you.  I pray for all the married couples in the world and those entering into matrimony and ask for prayer for our marriage too.  

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

Yep, this was my EX husband lol!

Anonymous More than 1 year ago

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