I stopped giving her flowers

I'm a self-confessed hopeless romantic. Flowers are my tools - I mean, "were" my tools - for 'you know what.'

In 2006, I was in Dubai, she's in Manila. I surprised her with a birthday flower delivery - not knowing it was the sign she was praying for - that if she'll ever get flowers, "yun na yun!" And I won her.

Three months later, a day before we met for the very first time, I brought flowers from Carrefour to welcome her upon arrival at the airport the next day. On my way home, I spilled some water from the flowers in the taxi seats. I had a tussle with the cabbie and he threatened to call the police if I won't pay a hundred dirhams for the damage. To stay away from trouble, I gave him 100.

The first two years of our relationship was filled with flowers. When my wedding proposal had gone wrong, I made it up by filling her room with petals, para makabawi.

Year after year, one occasion after another - even without occasion, I often give flowers. I had to learn a bit of botany to expand my flower-knowledge beyond roses and tulips. I had to be creative with presentation ideas. So when the surprises became predictable, I made a twist in one of my plots. I ordered a bouquet and have it delivered to her office. She was delighted, and SURPRISED - not by my thoughtfulness, but by my quirkiness - because I ordered it 'Cash-on-delivery' and she had to pay for it. :P

I gave flowers on monthsaries, anniversaries, Valentines, birthday. I welcomed her with flowers at the airport. She did the same to me one time.

Flowers have become so ordinary it lessened the excitement and the surprise factor. I thought it completely lost the magic already.

Valentine's day of 2013, I told her that was the last time I'll buy flowers, and we're both okay with it.

Understanding the Love Language

There was nothing wrong with the flowers, nor with the wife. It's not about the price tag too. Apparently, her love language during those years (and for many years), is not about 'receiving gifts.'

There are five love languages:
  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Acts of service
  3. Receiving gifts
  4. Quality time
  5. Physical touch or affection
Each one is important and expresses love in its own way. Typically, a person can have 2-3 love languages at a time. It is important to learn our partner’s love language, to better understand how to connect with them; to create a stronger bond in our relationship.

Apparently, her love language at that time was 'words of affirmation,' 'quality time' and 'acts of service.' So I have to ensure that I am responding well to what she's looking for.

But I still want to give her something because I'm a hopeless romantic, remember? What would I do?

Well, I strive to be more creative and try to 'show' my appreciation in a non-costly but priceless manner. And, instead of flowers or gifts, we eat out or try to do something new.


Love languages are seasonal. So when I felt sometime in 2018 that her love language is becoming 'gifts' again, I brought the flowers stunt back. Just one and done. Then our love languages aligned and neither of us speaks the language of 'receiving gifts.'

Believe it or not, we rarely buy each other gifts during occasions. O di ba, tipid na masaya pa! For us, gifts can be given at any time or any day naman. That, actually, has more unpredictability factor.

And that's how we settle things every day - by going back to the love language.

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