6 years into our relationship, I decided to buy my boyfriend flowers for Valentine’s Day because why not?

Over the years, I’ve learnt that there are different ways of showing love.

| Jane Zhang | Sponsored | February 04, 2021, 06:30 PM

Like it or not, Valentine's Day is right around the corner.

Although the holiday gets a bad rep from both people in relationships ("It's so cheesy!") and those who aren't (cue the eye rolls or unwanted feelings of loneliness), I have to admit, for me, it's a good reminder of the importance of putting in the effort to actively show love.

And this Valentine's Day, in honour of that, I plan to do something I realise I've never actually done before: I'm going to buy flowers for my boyfriend of six years.

Now, before you assume that I'm a horrible girlfriend who doesn't get her boyfriend gifts, let me explain.

The fight

When my boyfriend and I were in our first two years of dating, he'd sometimes buy me a flower here or there. It wasn't very often, because we both preferred buying the other person food or chocolate instead (I mean, flowers don't exactly make for a tasty snack).

I wasn't a big fan of flowers, because, well, I just didn't see the point of them. They felt so cheesy, and what use did they serve? All they did was wilt and eventually die, I thought to myself.

But, I recognised that it was a sweet gesture when my boyfriend did buy them for me, so I appreciated it.

However, I admit that I didn’t take particularly good care of them. As a uni student staying in hall, I wasn't the most organised person. And by that, I mean that my room constantly looked like monsoon had barrelled through it.

Basically, the opposite of this:

See this NUS student’s neat, aesthetic dorm room? Now imagine the opposite of that, and you’d be close to mine. Photo via NUS Residential Life blog.

Early one evening, my boyfriend and I had an argument during ultimate frisbee training. After training, he stormed off without waiting for me, and headed up to my room to grab his laptop and books to bring back to his room, in order to study separately.

His existing anger with me escalated even more, however, when he spotted a flower that he had bought for me strewn on the table, wilted and mostly-dead.

Later that evening, after we both cooled down, talked through our disagreement, and reconciled, I acknowledged that I was wrong to not have appreciated his thoughtful gift, and that I should have taken better care of it.

But, I also added, I had to be honest; I felt it might be better for him (and us both) to save money and not buy me more flowers in the future, since they weren't that meaningful to me, personally.

Instead, I joked, he could always treat me to more meals and snacks.

Love languages

In the four years since then, my boyfriend and I have both stayed away from flowers when it comes to gift-giving, opting instead for more gifts that we both find more “useful”, such as taking turns treating the other person to a meal or buying them something they have been eyeing.

The mahjong set I bought him, upon his request, for Christmas. (P.S: The answer to the question is clearly me.)

For me, this lack of flowers hasn't been a problem in our relationship in the least.

You see, according to the Five Love Languages quiz that we took together, my main love language — the way that I prefer to give and receive love — is words of affirmation.

Meanwhile, receiving gifts is very low on the list of five for me.

For my boyfriend, though, receiving gifts is actually one of his top love languages.

Something we have tried to develop in our relationship over the years is to think more consciously about how the other person prefers to give and receive love, and cater our behaviour to that.

This means that we have both had to be intentional about thinking about small gestures that we can do for the other person.

For my boyfriend, I have seen him put in a more conscious effort to use his words to boost my confidence and make me feel loved, even when it may be mildly frustrating to him as to why I need to hear it again and again.

For me, I try to remind myself to buy him things that I know he loves, like a Cadbury Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut chocolate bar or a couple of bottles of Bundaberg root beer, every so often when I'm passing by a grocery store on the way home.

I don't like flowers... but what about him?

Recently, I was thinking about the fast-approaching Valentine's Day, and all that the holiday typically entails — balloons, chocolates, ...flowers.

While I had no doubt that I would not be receiving flowers this year — like every year since the incident — (not that I mind in the least), it suddenly occurred to me that I had never bought flowers for my boyfriend before.

In fact, I didn't even know how he felt about them. I knew he'd bought them for me before, but was that because he actually liked them, or because he thought I'd like them?

So, I asked him. Here's how our conversation went:

"How do you feel about flowers?"

"I think they're nice and pretty, so I would like them."

He added, "I think they're good decorations for the house... until they die of course. Then they're good decorations outside the house."

He then went on to make a joke — something about reuniting the dead flowers with their alive friends through composting — that made me roll my eyes.

"So, what do you even like about flowers?", I asked him, a bit incredulously.

"How they look! They're nice. It's a nice gesture, you know?"

I was starting to feel a little guilty. "How do you feel about me not buying you flowers all these years?"

"I think I've been socially-conditioned, as a man, to not expect them, so it's been fine. I wasn't expecting it, so it was okay."

"But now that you've brought it up as an option... I would like it," he added earnestly.

So it looks like this Valentine's Day, in addition to whatever meal we end up deciding to eat, what snacks we buy for each other, and what words of affirmation we lavish upon one another, I plan to buy my boyfriend some nice flowers.

Bouquets for any flower lovers in your life

Given it’s my first time buying my boyfriend flowers, I have no clue what he’ll like.

So far, all I’m going off of is that his favourite colour is red, which I guess that helps narrow down some options.

So, I’m lucky that Floristique, a local florist and flower delivery service, has a wide range of options available on its online store.

I’ve got my eyes on a couple bouquet options from Floristique’s Valentine’s Day 2021 collection that I think he might like.

Like this really beautiful bouquet of red roses surrounded by baby’s breath:

Jill V bouquet. Photo via Floristique.

If I’m looking for a bit more variation in the roses, there’s this bouquet of both red and pink roses:

Adeline V bouquet. Photo via Floristique.

And for an option with a bit more pop of colour, I can consider this arrangement that includes multi-coloured baby’s breath:

Valentine V bouquet. Photo via Floristique.

If you, like me, have any loved ones who are fond of flowers or receiving gifts — be they a partner, a friend, or a family member — you might be considering buying them a flower or bouquet too.

Floristique sells beautiful and fresh bouquets, bags, and baskets of flowers suitable for every occasion, including holidays (like Valentine’s Day), birthdays, well wishes, and new arrivals.

Customers can also request for additional gifts to be sent together with the bouquets, such as fruit baskets, chocolates, soft toys, and cakes.

There’s also same-day free delivery available islandwide as long as you place your order before 2pm.

You can find out more on their website here.

I’ll get back to browsing the options now. To be honest, I think I’ll probably need a couple more days of casually dropping leading questions to decide which one my boyfriend will like the most.

Hopefully, at the risk of sounding quite cheesy, whatever flowers I end up choosing will brighten both his day and our house.

This sponsored article brought to you by Floristique made the author look forward to Valentine’s Day.

Top photo from author and via Floristique.