Though our planet may be warming, America's romantic climate registers "fizzle" not "sizzle," according to a recent survey. Only 19% of men rank themselves as a seven or higher on a romantic scale of one to 10. And women agree: Just 19% rate their husband, boyfriend or significant other a seven or more.
The remaining 81% of men rank their romantic temperature anywhere from mild to downright chilly, according to the survey. But each year these men can take advantage of an ideal opportunity to spark a heat wave.
"Valentine's Day is the perfect opportunity to ignite the romance in any relationship," said Bruce Anderson, floral consultant for the Society of American Florists (SAF). "It's a great time for men to step outside their usual routine and explore their passionate side."
The survey results suggest many men would rate higher on the romance scale if they simply planned their Valentine's Day activities before the last minute. When asked how early they prepare for Valentine's Day, only a third of men said they purchase gifts or make arrangements a week or more in advance. On the other end of the spectrum, 30% wait until Valentine's Day or the day before to order or purchase gifts for their sweetheart.
"Planning ahead is the best-kept secret of romance," said Anderson. "It's a good idea to order Valentines flowers and make any special arrangements early."
Men who rank particularly low on the romance scale may want to start warming things up before Valentine's Day itself. "If you're planning something together on Valentine's Weekend, sending flowers or other romantic gifts to your Valentine at work a few days before is a wonderful way to set the stage and keep her smiling all weekend long," said Anderson. "There's nothing like a special delivery at the office to make a woman feel appreciated publicly."
A Little Effort Goes a Long Way
For men, there is good news in the survey results: There are so few red hot Romeos out there that it won't take much to make yourself stand out from the competition. "With a little planning, you'll seem positively hot-blooded," said Anderson. And with some creativity, you can really light a fire.
Tips For Men
Plan ahead. Make your dinner or weekend getaway reservations in advance. Call your florist early as well.
Do your to do's. Make your romantic evening or weekend special and do errands early to avoid being late.
Double the fun. Plan to go to a concert, ballgame or theater during the week. Invite your Valentine to accompany you by sending flowers with the tickets tucked in.
TV free. Make a pact with your partner to turn the TV off for the entire day -- enjoy the silence and each other.
Set the mood. Send flowers to your Valentine a day or two early -- to get things started right.
Petal power. For a quick and easy way to create a romantic setting, take rose petals and sprinkle them on your bed or in a bath and add some soft lighting.
Countdown calendar. Build the anticipation with romantic gestures all week long:
- Leave a romantic message or song on your Valentine's answering machine
- Place a box of fragrant bath crystals on your loved one's pillow
- Tape a romantic quote or poem on the bathroom mirror for your Valentine
- Tuck away a romantic gift -- wine, candles, CD -- for your loved one to find
- Bring home flowers to set the mood for any time together during Valentine's Week, whether it's dinner out or just wine and candlelight after the kids have gone to bed.
Tips for Women: How to Turn Up the Heat
If your man is playing a little too cool, light a little romantic fire on your own.
Order brochures from romantic getaway spots and casually leave them where he's likely to see them.
Circle February 14th on the calendar in your kitchen (or call your sweetheart's office and ask someone to circle the date in his calendar).
Team up with a girlfriend: Each of you can remind the other's sweetheart to plan ahead for Valentine's Day.
A week before Valentine's Day, send your sweetheart a romantic e-mail message, or change his computer screen saver to display a romantic quote.
Early in the week, draw a heart on the bathroom mirror with bright red lipstick, or tie a red bow around the neck of your cat or dog to signal that Valentine's Day is coming.
Give him flowers or a gift in the middle of the week with a note saying how much you're looking forward to a romantic Valentine's weekend.
Why Roses Are Sometimes More Expensive on Valentine's Day
A simple case of supply and demand
Valentine's Day inspires the heaviest demand for long-stemmed roses, and several rosebuds must be sacrificed to create a single long-stemmed rose. After the Christmas season demand for red roses is filled, growers need 50-70 days to produce enough roses for Valentine's Day. Winter's shorter daylight hours and higher energy costs hamper efforts to grow large rose crops. Inclement weather often requires extreme measures to ensure that flowers are delivered in time. To fulfill the tremendous number of orders for Valentine's Day flowers, florists have to hire additional help, work longer hours and acquire extra delivery vehicles and drivers. In order to meet the heavy consumer demand for Valentine's Day roses, imports have played a much bigger role in recent years.
In short, roses in February are every bit as special as you would expect.
How to Make Today's Roses Last Like There's No Tomorrow
Rose Care Tips
If your roses arrived in plastic water tubes, remove them before arranging. Remove any leaves that will be underwater, taking care not to cut through or scrape the green bark. While holding each stem under water, recut stems by removing 1-2 inches with a sharp knife. Immediately after cutting, place roses in a clean, deep vase of water containing any flower food provided by your florist. Check the water supply daily and make sure to keep it full, clean, and fresh. If the water becomes cloudy, replace it entirely. Keep your roses in a cool place, out of direct sun and drafts.
Valentine's Day Facts
More than 100 million roses are sold at Valentine's Day. Of cut flower purchases, Valentine's Day ranks #1, making it the number one holiday for many florists.
Of Valentine's floral purchases, 64% are made by men and 36% by women. What are they buying?
- 78% Cut flowers
- 15% Flowering houseplants
- 5% Outdoor bedding and garden plants
- 2% Green plants
Of cut flowers purchased, about half are roses, a third or more mixed flowers, and the rest other single fresh flower types. Of roses purchased, 60% to 70% are red, with shades of pink, peach, and salmon the second most popular color category. For whom are they buying?
- 84% wife/significant other
- 4% friend
- 5% mother
- 3% daughter
- 5% other
- 24% mother
- 19% husband/significant other
- 13% daughter
- 14% self
- 12% friend
- 6% parents
- 2% grandmother
- 1% sister
- 9% other
Source: Society of American Florists.
Statistics are based on consumer purchases of fresh floral products at all outlets.
Survey results are from a nationwide survey of 481 men and 534 women conducted by Bruskin/Goldring Research.