November 21, 2011 8:40 PM   Subscribe

Getting romantic flowers from fiance..

I love flowers, especially Orchids and have mentioned this many times to my fiance. I haven't received any even though he does tons of other stuff to show he cares. One day I would like to get Orchids from him. It is important to me. I love that flower. Curious how others have and if women do mention such things?
posted by pakora1 to Human Relations (39 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You say you've "mentioned" your love of flowers, but have you ever said, straight out, "Honey, I would like for you to buy me some orchids and give them to me"? Many people, men and women, don't understand hinting, and it's not wrong to ask for what you want.
posted by decathecting at 8:45 PM on November 21, 2011 [25 favorites]

"You know what I love? Orchids."*

*Disclaimer: I am not a woman.
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:45 PM on November 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Does he know you love orchids? Have you told him you'd like him to give you flowers every so often? I know that sounds like it's ruining the surprise, and I guess it does the first time around. But if you let him know that's something that's important to you he'll hopefully remember to give them to you more often. So the first time isn't really a nice surprise, but the second and third time will be.
posted by lilac girl at 8:46 PM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Yup. Nobody's a mindreader. Spell it out. Go straight to ask and don't make him guess.
posted by likeso at 8:47 PM on November 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Does he know where to get them? Is he thinking prom corsage while your thinking plant in nice pot? Men seem to appreciate direct information.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:47 PM on November 21, 2011

I love flowers, especially Orchids and have mentioned this many times to my fiance. I haven't received any even though he does tons of other stuff to show he cares.

Have you mentioned how much you enjoy receiving orchids...hint hint...
posted by mleigh at 8:49 PM on November 21, 2011

Just so you know honey, should you ever decide to buy me flowers, I prefer orchids.
posted by hermitosis at 8:57 PM on November 21, 2011 [8 favorites]

If I were him, I might hesitate to buy you orchids because it seems too easy, because it's an idea you came up with and not me, because it's like cheating somehow. I would struggle and strive to find other ways to show you how I feel, ways that I came up with myself, ways that you hadn't already told me might work, because I'd be worried about presenting you with orchids and you thinking, "Great, thanks, way to show imagination."

Be clear that even though you've already mentioned the orchids, you would still like if he got you some. Even many. Repeatedly. Because they mean that much to you.
posted by segfault at 9:10 PM on November 21, 2011 [9 favorites]

Is there a mutual friend who could mention it to him for you?
posted by emumimic at 9:10 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

At some point, if subtler hinting does not work, tell him "this [birthday/valentine's day/Christmas] all I want are orchids."

And if that doesn't work ... face it, your man is not giving you orchids.
posted by jayder at 9:11 PM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Just so you know honey, should you ever decide to buy me flowers, I prefer orchids.

NO. Ugh. If he's buying flowers but not orchids, perhaps, but this doesn't speak to a man who does not buy flowers out of an aversion to the idea. I think that he may need to be informed that you like flowers AND that orchids are the ones to get you. Be direct.

"I love orchids and I'd love to get some from you."

It may take the magic out of it but you'll both be happier for it.
posted by kcm at 9:11 PM on November 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

If you were someone I was dating/engaged to and talked about how much you loved orchids, I for one would be completely intimidated because all I know about orchids is that there are a million of them and they are often kept behind glass at the greenhouse. And so I probably wouldn't get you any flowers because while obviously you like orchids, what do I know about such things? Maybe you don't even care about all the details that are paralyzing me, but I don't know that and don't want to upset you! Unless, that is, you just came out and told me you'd like a pretty arrangement of purple orchids (say) -- because that's actually something I can ask a florist to help me with, and I know it will make you happy.

Nth-ing "tell him!"
posted by teremala at 9:13 PM on November 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

"You know honey, I love both orchids as well as dudes who go hunting for them, decapitate them, and bring them back to me in pretty vases. I really like you and I want you to be that dude."

You might find it worth while, beyond orchids even, to deconstruct why you want him to procure the flowers without you asking him to. To reduce the answer to this question to its fundamental logical absurdity, there really isn't a magical way to communicate to him that you want flowers without communicating to him that you want flowers. Once you do, if he is capable of listening, he may continue you get you flowers without you continuing to ask.

Everything that requires complex varieties of communication becomes much much easier when the communication happens in a way where both parties can see and understand the message. This might seem like an absurdly simple message, but it is one that our culture consistently devalues. We are supposed to like it when sex is silent but each partner still somehow knows exactly what the other wants, spouses arn't supposed to argue about finances because being a team somehow means having homogenous opinions, and friends should somehow just know when they should apologize for that thing they did that really upset you. We are shown and told over and over again from childhood that open communication about an act can somehow sap the romance of it, shatter the tranquility of it, or dilute the meaning of it; but that is all bullshit.

Sex only starts getting awesome when you ask for what you want, important decisions only stop producing bitterness when those involved talk about what they want, and friendships only really get close when friends share their hearts. This is what intimacy really is, rather than what is presented to us on our TVs. Good romance is shared, not imposed, if he is any smart he will jump at the opportunity to share this co-created moment with you rather than strain to think of one to impose on you.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:15 PM on November 21, 2011 [38 favorites]

I was feeling a lot like this and had a pretty honest conversation with my husband about it, and what ended up working (which sounds not romantic at all but actually totally is for us), is that he set reminders on his phone (on a schedule I'm not aware of so it's always a surprise) to "Buy wife flowers on the way home." It wasn't a problem of him not wanting to, it was that it didn't occur to him, maybe it's something like that with your fiance?

Also explain to him what it is about orchids that you like so he has something to go on when he goes to the florist!
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 9:17 PM on November 21, 2011 [7 favorites]

Sweetchrysanthemum, your and your husband's solution sounds totally sweet and romantic to me.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:25 PM on November 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

Sweetchrysathemum, eponysterical! And lovely, in my mind. Yes, if this is that important to you, OP, tell him you would like this.
"I love orchids and I'd love to get some from you." Perfect. Done.
posted by sweetkid at 9:48 PM on November 21, 2011

Watching Adaptation together could be a great way to get this conversation started.
posted by argonauta at 9:52 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm usually the flower-buyer in our household (and I'm a girl), but sometimes I just put "pretty flowers" and a smiley face on the grocery list when he goes to the store because sometimes you just want to be handed some pretty flowers.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:52 PM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

I'm going with tumid dahlia's suggestion with an expansion

"You know what I love? Orchids."
"You know what I love getting for a surprise? Orchids."
"You know what people who get me Orchids for a surprise get? Smooches."

This would work on me so hard.
posted by caliban at 10:16 PM on November 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Until very recently, I've never bought flowers for a girlfriend. They seemed too generic, too easy, too much of a standard gift. "Hi honey, I think you're special and unique and different, so I got you... exactly what every other guy gets for every other girl."

I don't get it. And, therefore, my girlfriends didn't get them. (I did give other gifts, and make things, but NO FLOWERS).

I've recently started seeing someone new, and a few times she's had flowers in her room that she's bought herself, for the colour and the scent and just to have something living. I mentioned my aversion to buying flowers, and we talked about it quite happily, and she said something like "yeah, I guess a dozen rozes and box of chocolates is pretty generic. And I guess a million other girls like poppies and jonquils. But you know, I like poppies and jonquils too. And if you got me poppies and jonquils, I would be happy."

And it twigged for me - who the hell cares if it's a generic gift? It's something that'll make her happy! So I say just lay out your cards - tell him that you want him to buy you orchids, sometimes on special occassions, and sometimes just because he thought of you. Hammer it home, and let him know that it's something you'll definitely appreciate.
posted by twirlypen at 10:38 PM on November 21, 2011 [14 favorites]

Do you want him to bring you flowers, or do you want him to be the kind of guy who brings you flowers, without him needing to ask? Two different questions.

If the former, ask him outright, as mentioned above.

If the latter...that's a longer conversation.
posted by davejay at 10:53 PM on November 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

(er, without you needing to ask, I mean)
posted by davejay at 10:53 PM on November 21, 2011

I am sometimes clueless about hints and agree that if told, "Buy me orchids" I might think it meaningless to do so.

But, what a girlfriend I had many years ago did in a similar situation was to send herself flowers with a card from ME (she wrote it and signed my name) that were delivered when she knew I would be at her apartment. Then after thanking me profusely and not accepting my denials, she told me, then showed me, how horny she got when she got flowers. It was a great evening. I may be clueless with my big head, but I learned quickly that while sexy times can and do happen all the time, they happen EVERY time she got flowers from me. I learned to send flowers on a pretty regular basis for a broke immediate post college student.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:54 PM on November 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

My comment isn't about flowers but how couples and families show love and appreciation for each other. A counselor told my husband and I about the Five Languages of Love. What we took away from the idea is that we tend to express love the way we want to be shown it, and that differs among people, even those in close relationships. I love little gifts and acts of service; Mr. A loves touch above anything else. So I would get him little gifts and do nice things for him and he appreciated it ("Gee honey, thanks!") but not the way I hoped he would ("OMG! You got me my favourite jam! You are just the bestest ever!") and didn't reciprocate all that often in those ways. Needless to say I wasn't terribly insightful or observant about giving him what he likes, and that's touch, and when he tried to soothe me at the end of a difficult day by hugging and stroking me, I just wanted to be left alone. He felt unloved and unappreciated. So, now we know about our two different languages, we work at meeting them for each other. (We also had our kids do the little quiz, and we all try to express our love for each other in ways that are more individually and specifically meaningful.)

tl;dr: Be really explicit, pakora1, just like tumid dahlia and caliban have said. Sometimes it never occurs to us that how we like to be appreciated is different from how our beloved likes to be appreciated.
posted by angiep at 10:58 PM on November 21, 2011 [6 favorites]

My boyfriend doesn't get the attraction of flowers - to him they're just dull dying things, so he wouldn't buy them. One evening I was hosting a aprty, and one of the guests showed up with a big bunch of tulips for me. I was thrilled, and said "oh thank you so much! I never get flowers" I didn't even realize that he was in the room until I heard his voice from behind me saying "oh shit" The next valentines day he showed up with a huge bouquet of amzing roses! (I still have them dried and hanging on a wall)

so, if just telling him outright feels too overt, maybe you could plan a similar scene - get a girl friend to give you an orchid in front of him, and when she hands it to you, make a big whoop about it "I love orchids! they're my favourite! I wish I could just get armloads of them all the time!!"
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:33 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

How this would work between me and my wife:
"Hey, *some term here*"
"I want orchids"

You're apparently engaged now, so the time for being some cute girl is now over, and the sooner he realizes it, the better. Really, just say, 'get me an orchid, motherfucker.' This is how it's probably going to work from now on, and he should at least get a heads-up on it, right? I'm not saying to be mean; I'm only suggesting that you give him a good dose of what the real day-to-day life is like. Too late to turn back, btw. In for penny and all...
posted by Gilbert at 11:57 PM on November 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

(I want to soften that last remark, in retrospect. My Mrs. loves flowers. so occasionally, for no reason, I bring flowers home, and she is overjoyed by it. It's something I had to learn about her, but it's also something that I'm happy to do, once I figured it out.)
posted by Gilbert at 12:04 AM on November 22, 2011

Another possibility is to buy *him* some flowers at some point. My husband used to buy me roses and bring them to me at work, and I bloody LOVED it. I had never been given flowers before. So I have occasionally been known to buy him some as well. Blah blah Masculinity Hangups, but I think anyone would probably appreciate a single red rose. And it's a great deal of fun to feel like the gentlemanly one upon occasion. This would seem to me to be a way to introduce the idea of buying flowers as a nice thing.

On the other hand, I think it may be less symbolic for me than for you, or at least symbolic of different things. But yeah, I expect you may have to state outright that you would like him to buy you orchids at some point, and probably some information about the particular kind. (I love them myself, and oh my are they varied!) He'd probably be entirely in favor of doing it. But I would never have thought of buying someone flowers if it hadn't been done for me first, and that's not just because I'm The Girl. If it's not something you've ever thought about, you're not likely to start without it being suggested by some outside source.
posted by Because at 12:36 AM on November 22, 2011

I’m a guy who doesn’t know anything about orchids. For example I couldn’t tell you if you mean a living plant in a pot, or a cut flowers in a bouquet. What would help me would be being taken on a stroll through a flower market. You could point out the kind of thing you like and don’t like. I’d get lots of ideas, and probably buy you something nice on the spot.
posted by sleepy boy at 3:15 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Tangential to all this about being clear and direct (with which I agree), consider the possibility that your fiance might not know an orchid if it bit him on the ass. For most of my 40-year lifespan my taxonomy of flowers was something like,
Flowers from the florist -- roses and carnations, always presented with fern leaves and baby's breath, to be purchased for weddings, funerals and high school dances.

Flowers seen in the yard and sometimes cut and brought inside -- crocuses, daffodils, peonies, impatiens, daises, black-eyed susans.

The Birds of Paradise that grew outside my aunt's apartment in San Diego, where we visited her when I was in 5th grade.

Other colorful growths I can't identify.
I was in my late thirties before I consciously registered what orchids looked like, but I liked them after I started to actually see them. I bought one for my mom, who received it as the nice but strange thing that it was to her, too. She really likes it now, but there was a learning curve for both of us because neither of us quite knew what to make of orchids at first.

If your fiance is like this, is there someplace you could take him to see some orchids, learn a little about them and enjoy them together? There are places in my city that are nice for this sort of outing.
posted by jon1270 at 3:27 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Whoo, perfect timing!

You: "Hey, did you see this article about a new night-blooming orchid?"
Fiance: "No, that's pretty cool."
You: "I really love orchids. Did you know that [fact about orchids] and [fact about orchids]?"
Fiance: "No, I've never really pondered orchids."
You: "Well, I love them. In fact, I think some orchids would look great on my dining room table. They'd be extra pretty if they came from my fiance." [Insert kissy time]
Fiance: [Kissy time]
You: "Really, please buy me some orchids. I'd like that." [Fade out with kissy time]
posted by motsque at 3:58 AM on November 22, 2011 [4 favorites]

Very, very important follow-up point: if you do get orchids, and they're anything less than perfect, do not point that out. The only acceptable response is something along the lines of, "Oh, sweetheart! They're wonderful! Thank you so much for these!" Otherwise, that may be the first and last time you receive orchids.
posted by pecanpies at 6:21 AM on November 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

"Buy me some orchids"
posted by MangyCarface at 6:32 AM on November 22, 2011

When my girlfriend and I started dating, she made it very clear that she loves getting flowers. And by "very clear" I mean she said "I love getting flowers." So, she gets flowers. Unless she's really, really good at faking looking like she loves getting the flowers even though she's specifically requested them, she loves getting the flowers.

If she wanted something specific, like orchids, she would do well to say "I would like some orchids" because as a dude who can't tell flowers apart, I would otherwise have no idea to tell the lady at the flower store -- who picks and arranges the flowers that I give my girlfriend -- that I would like some orchids.

(Seriously, as I type this, I'm still not entirely sure what an orchid actually is.)
posted by griphus at 6:41 AM on November 22, 2011

Buy yourself some orchids. That way you get some orchids and if your fiancé asks why you've bought orchids you tell him it's because you love them.
posted by MuffinMan at 6:54 AM on November 22, 2011

I agree with everyone above who feels that subtlety will get you nowhere in this case. My boyfriend sends me flowers every holiday because I have said things such as, "I WONDER IF ANYONE WILL SEND ME FLOWERS?! HMMMM?! I SURE WOULD LOVE SOME LILIES. SOON. WHITE LONG-STEMMED ONES." Now he does it unprompted, which is great. Btw, I used to get red roses (which I don't really like) so I had to be more specific.

Btw I have a hard time understanding the viewpoint that suggesting flowers as a gift for one's self is gauche or that doing so renders the gesture less meaningful-- if you love flowers and your partner isn't giving you any, why not speak up? Who cares what he thinks about flowers? It doesn't hurt him to give you some. He should just do so when asked. Also, please don't resort to sneak-tactics. It's not worth the effort.
posted by devymetal at 7:48 AM on November 22, 2011

He may not have ever bought flowers for anyone and may be intimidated by the process and the choices involved ... he may feel "dumb" for not being able to walk in and self-assuredly order some flowers.

Maybe you should "train" him by stopping by a flower shop and let him watch you ordering flowers for someone else. Maybe it will ease his mind to see that they have picture books of available arrangements and that the staff is helpful.

And then as you're leaving you can say, "see, it's easy to order ME flowers."
posted by jayder at 9:45 AM on November 22, 2011

thanks for the great advice. it was also funny to read, especially Gilbert's comment. so i made my fiance read this (he is also online here) and to update you

He thinks Orchids are difficult flowers to manage and thought my kind is more Alstromeria. i nearly died laughing because that is sooo him to be all meticulous about such things.

Thanks all!
posted by pakora1 at 12:51 PM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

@pakora1, my Mrs. is also an orchid fan, so after writing that comment, I went to the local florist and dropped a little change on a nice, pretty plant. We'll see how that pans out, but she was certainly surprised, and I hope we can keep the little guy alive (yes, they are somewhat difficult to manage).
posted by Gilbert at 7:36 PM on November 25, 2011

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