47 Years of Marriage, Still Buys Her Flowers Every Monday

Reader:  Good idea or bad idea?
I ask because I read somewhere (I think from Roissy) that a man should only give his wife 1/2 of what she gives him (or something like that). Do you have an opinion?
Athol:  The Roissy rule is 2 contacts for every 3 she gives you.
I’m in basic disagreement with Roissy in that he sees Alpha and Beta as being at two opposite ends of a scale of what creates or kills attraction in women. I see Alpha and Beta Traits as two separate and important elements of a relationship with a woman, which in no small part is pulled from the Mystery Method. The Mystery Method in twelve words or less is “Show Alpha first, then show Beta, isolate and touch her, suggest sex.”
So anyway… back to Poppy with the flowers…
…it’s a Beta move, which is completely fine as long as he has his Alpha stuff together as well. If she experiences receiving the flowers as a positive, it’s a positive that he gives them.
But there’s also an added element from the total reliability of his actions that have created a ritual of commitment and emotional engagement that steps it up beyond just a routine gift of flowers. He’s really doing the whole Fireproof thing, minus the groveling and religious emesis. Which is to say it’s not very much like the Fireproof thing at all. It’s more like being the Cal Ripken of love.
The man is a rock of love and there’s a genius in the way he checkmates her hamster. There’s no possible way she could ever get away with denying he loves her, or isn’t one of the good guys on the world. Can you imagine her trying to bad mouth him to her girlfriends? Everybody knows he loves her, has always loved her and will always love her. How do you spin that into an Eat Pray Love ending and not look like a worthless, ungrateful, stupid whore doing a good man wrong? The only viable option is to love him.
Ironically, the greatest effect may in fact be on him rather than on her. He’s likely still experiencing feelings of being in love with her by his ritual of expressing romantic love. Feelings follow actions. But maybe that feeling of being in love with her changes what else he does for the better in their relationship.
He looks total old school. He looks like a Marriage 1.0 guy through and through, but the key to surviving marriage in a Marriage 2.0 world is that courtship never ends. So he’s got it down like a boss.
I also have a strong hunch she puts some extra attention to her appearance on Mondays… anyway, for all we know, he doesn’t even think of Monday’s as “flower day”, but as “blow job day.”
Jennifer:  Awwwwwwwwwwwww so romantic! (hmmmm…where’s my flowers lol?)


  1. There's a man who practices at being in love.

  2. I'm surprised by this answer. It sounds nice, but at the same time it has been mentioned on this blog and elsewhere that women fundamentally don't want predictability when it comes to romance. This is so predictable that it would seem to lose its meaning.

    Wouldn't his wife be board to tears with receiving flowers for the 100th time in row on the same day? Yes, its sweet, but its not going to excite her sexually and result in a bj. I'll bet his wife only gave him sex at drip feed levels.

  3. The Outsider says:

    It's the difference between

    a) here are some flowers for you, I hope you like them (and me, pretty please?), and

    b) I'm buying flowers for my woman because that's what *I* do.

    Also, I'm not so sure women don't want predictability as much as they do want unpredictability, if you see the distinction.

  4. Ian Ironwood says:

    @ The Outsider:

    Spot on. It's one of those Hidden Alpha moves (like making a bed, for instance — check out my blog for more on that) that appears Beta on the surface, but is actually an expression of pure rock-solid confidence.

    You can bet that his marriage had just as many ups and downs as any other, but the ritualistic aspect of this makes this profound. Sure, she probably got bored after the first few months. Then she probably got irritated. Then she lapsed into acceptance, and then expectation, and by then it was so solidly part of her life that it took on a symbolic value all its own. A man who has the dedication to do ANYTHING every week for that long understands that a man's Game isn't merely about how he courts and manages a relationship with his woman, but how he trains himself to be the kind of man a woman other than his wife would feel envious of.

    In my own case, for seven years of babyhood between my three kids, I changed (I shit you not) 98% of the diapers. Now that's traditionally an emasculating image, but I'm 21st century dad and all that, and if a dude can gut a deer he should be able to handle baby poop. So whenever she fed them, I changed them beforehand and made sure they were straight afterwards.

    At first she was just delighted. Then it was a point of pride. Then she started to see how other women reacted to it, and got a little nervous. Then she started to fret that other women were judging her because of what "she was making me do". I cleared everything up at my elder son's first birthday party, where I addressed all of our friends and family about the teasing and other crap that everyone was giving both of us about it.

    "I change all the diapers because she lactates, and that's the least I can do. When our boy is weaned, she'll stop being in Food Production (my wife can't cook . . . at all) but I'll continue to change the diapers. Because That's What I Do." End of story. Maybe not a true "power alpha" moment, but it got the message across . . . and made the ladies swoon with my heady combination of Alpha and Beta, in a very public and personal forum.

    So the dude in the story, he gets it. He's bringing her flowers not because she "deserves" them, not because she's earned them, he's doing it because That's What He Does. It's a declaration of manhood, of staking out some territory away from the safe masculine zones of sports and beer and video games (a risk — alpha), and it's apply dedication and determination to it (again, alpha), in addition to actively subtextually invoking the sexuality implicit in his marriage (alpha) in a publicaly perceived, socially acceptable way.

    One of the most masculine dudes I know, Skip, is a real alpha rat bastard when it comes to a lot of things (he's in fine dining — comes with the territory) and his favorite expression in the face of a disagreement is "Sorry, I'm Just That Way," and he walks away. This dude, he's Just That Way, and everyone understands exactly what that means. Including his wife.

    BTW, nice hat.

  5. Stargate Girl says:

    If I was presented with flowers once a week as a quiet way of showing love, I would never get tired of them. I love flowers, and can count on 1 hand how many times I have received them. Flowers always bring a smile. I love the way they brighten a room and perfume the air. I myself am partial to roses. Don't care what color, but I love the ones that really have a strong scent. So hard to find.

    My Mom was a rose lover. I always got her a bunch of roses when we visited her. It made her happy and smiley. I bring roses when I visit her grave now. I like to think she is still smiling and enjoying them in heaven.

  6. Ha! I was thinking exactly what you were writing at the end of this post. I wonder what happens every Monday for this dude, the old dog!?

    My take, if he is doing it because he wants to, not because he is sucking up or she is saying "you should buy me flowers more often" I think it is a good move. Alpha to take the lead on it on your own, but a nice Beta balance cause you are giving flowers and showing your love.

    In terms of the predictability of it, classical conditioning would indicate that a huge red flag would go off in her if he didn't buy them one Monday. "Did I do something wrong?" He can easily correct a behaviour he does not like by simply not buying the flowers one week. (Called negative reinforcement – taking away something positive that is expected)

    Personally I would find that a bit manipulative for my liking, but it would certainly be available to him if he wanted.

  7. I still get my wife flowers, but never when I'm "in trouble" and never on Valentine's day.

    If you get flower only as an apology, your wife may come to see them only as a token of regret. Get flowers when things are GOOD.

    Valentine's day 5 years ago and I was in the throes of NiceGuyness. My wife hated me. I was going out of town the day after Valentine's day. I got her a heart box of candy, and a DVD of a romantic movie. She groused at me. (WTF??!?, I didn't understand alpha and beta then.) I had flowers delivered to work. She called me and YELLED at me. Really nasty behavior. I took it at first and was totally confused. She complained to her girlfriends and they yelled at her. (unknown to me) That pissed her off more. I finally left for my trip early. She kept calling me on the road and yelling at me. I finally said, " I will call you when I am back in town and we will decide where this will go from there. I don't want to hear from you until then." I stopped taking her calls.

    I still didn't understand alpha and beta, but I knew that there was nothing magic about flowers in and of themselves. I now understand that her attraction for me was at an all time low. I wasn't doing things to make her attracted to me. For any of that to mean anything, she had to be attracted to me.

    Valentine's day gifts are still pretty minimalist at our house. Our marriage still isn't out of the woods, but that rage is completely absent from our relationship now.

  8. Beta doesn't make panties wet. It sets the foundation for us to respond to your alpha moves. Beta is consistency, alpha is the thunderous surprise.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Great comment on the Mystery Method. I now think I finally get it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    *swoon* Perfect response!

  11. Anonymous says:

    When I used to buy my wife flowers, she would be cold with me that week. This correlation led me to websites like this to try and understand this. Psychology is fascinating.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I get my wife flowers from time to time. Maybe once every 4-6 weeks. She seems happier and to my observation appreciates it more this way as opposed to a set schedule. Pretty much I bring them home and set them in a vase for her. It's something I like to do as a gift to her without any expectations from her. If she thought I was going it for sex it wouldn't go over nearly as well.
    Of course with all that said, I usually will hold off buying them if I think she isn't pulling her weight with household chores that week… I mean why reward bad behavior right? I've never said anything about that and not sure if she's noticed the pattern or not.

  13. Maybe he met the "very best candidate":

  14. The Outsider says:

    Dalrock has some interesting discussion about what happens when chivalry in general shifts from something men do because they're men to something women expect because they're women. It's not pretty.


    If you find a woman who relishes being a woman, hold onto her with both hands. And for God's sake, be a man!

  15. I am a woman who doesn't like flowers, and I've been thinking about how I would react if my man brought home flowers for me every week. [As opposed to bringing them because he likes flowers.]

    At first, I'd be pleased for the gift, but that would wear off. I'd then tell him he didn't have to give me flowers, it's a waste of money, I don't care for flowers anyway. At this point, Beta Man would stop, possibly with a complaint that I don't appreciate him.

    [Loser Man would not only never give me flowers again, he'd throw a hissy-cow because I clearly didn't love him because of my cold rejection of the token of his love. Been There, Done That, getting the divorce.]

    The Alpha Man would keep giving me flowers, "because that's what I do, I give my wife flowers." I'd give up complaining, come to accept it as part of his being, maybe mention my favorite flowers … and miss them terribly if he missed a week. If he skipped, I'd worry about what was wrong, and what I could do to fix things. And I'd be so happy when the flowers started again …

  16. Kathy Farrelly says:

    "This dude, he's Just That Way, and everyone understands exactly what that means. Including his wife."

    That's just like my husband… He has never been a chocolates and flowers kind of guy.. It's just not him.. He cannot be something he is not..And I wouldn't want him to be either…

    There are other far better perks in my book anyway..

    He will often cook something especially for me.He's a good cook, too.

    And, truth be told, I prefer the thrill and spontaneity of, for instance, him sneaking up behind me while I am at the kitchen sink (and in a vulnerable position) ;)

    Flowers be damned .. :D

    And anyway, they wilt after a while.. Lol.

  17. Anonymous says:

    My brother-in-law has given my sister flowers once in 15 years. She was overjoyed that he remembered their anniversary. He confessed to me that he actually had forgotten it was on that day; some girl at his office had given them to him.

  18. Anonymous says:

    That's very sad to me. He knows a small, simple thing that would make her so happy, yet he doesn't do it.

  19. Anonymous says:

    "If you find a woman who relishes being a woman, hold onto her with both hands. And for God's sake, be a man!"

    It's somewhat sadly ironic to discover that you quite enjoy being a woman, but men (incl. husband) feel so strongly about everyone being the same that they don't appreciate it.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I'm new to the blog, so you may have already addressed this. I am female, married to flawlessly good guy, who loves me, and is very beta. I love him too but am often silently disappointed in his beta-ness. I am so attracted to his occasional Alpha moments. What can I do to bring out his Alpha and encourage it to stay? Help.

  21. Anonymous says:

    It's a shame that your sister has wasted so much of her life with that man.

  22. Anonymous says:

    To Anon at 11:32: go have him read "No More Mr. Nice Guy!" by Robert Glover and then Athol's book and those should really get him on the right track. I speak this from personal experience: these books together are transformational for the Nice Guy beta.


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