Our research shows that men want the same things as women do: romance, intimacy, and a meaningful connection. Art by Gica Tam
Culture Spotlight

What men really want on Valentine’s, from staying in to time away from the kids

While every other guy complains about the exaggerated price of flowers and the crazy traffic, a lot of men—surprise, surprise—aren’t totally averse to a little bit of romance on February 14.
Frances Sales | Feb 13 2020

Let’s just get sex out of the way. Guys put in all that romantic effort on Valentine’s Day hoping for a happy ending, right? Well, yes but it’s not as simple as that, as we learned when we asked a few good men what they really want for V-Day. Apparently, men want more than just sex to celebrate their relationship. In fact, our research shows that men want the same things as women do: romance, intimacy, and a meaningful connection.

Here’s the list of what men really want on Valentine’s Day:

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"I want to stay home with her"

Traffic and the crowds put a damper on romantic plans so Super Perez of Pioneer Shotokan Karate Club, describes his “perfect selfish Valentine’s” as time at home.” The karate instructor and doctor says he wants to be served meat and seafood and then a good dessert. “Then snuggle quietly in bed while watching a movie,” he says.

A soon-to-be-married man, Carlos Palma admits that he really does find the fun in doing the usual rituals. “It’s the one time your effort, no matter if it’s small or big, gets really amplified. And it’s the one day of the year you feel the handsomest,” he says. “So as much as I'd like to sound unselfish, in my selfish way doing all the rituals like cooking at home, smelling good, and flowers and all is as much for her as it is for me. But I dislike how much traffic it usually brings so I end up doing what’s comfortable for both of us.”

Torto Canga says he doesn't mind the usual Valentine's rituals.

"I want to be alone with her… without the kids"

For a family man, romantic getaways can be pretty tricky and therefore really rare. So to be whisked away alone with the mother of his kids is a big deal. TJ Sulit of marketing agency Game Changer and founder of JiuJitsu school Origins BJJ, shares that they don’t have a yaya. “We’ve always celebrated Valentine’s with our kids, often just at a fancy resto. Given the chance to be alone, I’d like to have a beach resort weekend getaway, a resort that has a gym.”

Eli Eduardo, a businessman and father of two little girls, says that he just wants his wife to relax, something mothers have a hard time doing. “To be honest, I actually enjoy romcoms and grand romantic gestures! So if it were entirely up to me, an awesome Valentine's Day date would mean taking time off from work to fly somewhere that has minimal people, like El Nido,” he says. There, he says, his wife could relax on the beach, get a massage, and enjoy the grilled seafood, without a care in the world. In the evening, they would take a moonlight stroll, dance under the stars, and see what the free-flowing sangria does to their inhibitions.


"I want to be romantic"

A lot of women want to be adored on Valentine’s Day. Online shopping discounts and deals site Picodi says men are happy to oblige, shelling out more money to make their ladies feel special.

Torto Canga, an advertising practitioner who moonlights as a vintage furniture dealer and a father to an adorable one-year-old boy, insists that he doesn't mind having the usual romantic dinner and giving of flowers. “It's a nice reminder to do something special for your significant other,” he explains.

Edward Bugia, the busy chef of restaurants Mimi and Bros, Bean and Yolk, and Pino Group pf Restaurants, feels the same way. “I'm a hopeless romantic. If I had a free day I'd cook for her.”

TJ Sulit says that romantic getaways are rare for him and his wife.

"I want to see her have fun"

Most guys want to be alone with their girls, and then there are those guys who wouldn’t mind sharing her with her friends as long as she’s having the time of her life. Elijah Mendoza, technology and cybersecurity advocate, says, “If we were to celebrate Valentine’s Day my way I'd take her to a couples’ quiz night. I love seeing her competitive side.” He adds with a laugh, “Plus, we'd get to meet other people!”


"I want to go with her to the spa"

A few men revealed that they actually want to be pampered on Valentine’s Day, too. Rick Santos says that he envies his wife in that regard. “I wish I can look as good as her, too. So if she wants and maybe if I have the time, I wish I can go with her and get a massage and get my hair and beard done so she can be proud to be on the arm of a handsome man instead of tired-looking me!”

“I would probably want us to go to Luminisce for a facial, then go to Manam for dinner,” says Mitor Alipio, founder of property brokerage firm Upside Philippines. “Or maybe we can revisit Vieux Chalet in Antipolo as that's where we had our first anniversary. Simple.”

RJ Ledesma is just happy if he is able to spend quality time with his wife Vanessa on Valentine’s Day.

"I want to focus on our relationship"

“I realize that it’s love in the time of Instagram,” says Francis Beltran, the pseudonym of the boyfriend of an influencer. “But I wish we can do something that’s not always a social media moment. The pressure to perform is just too much.”

RJ Ledesma, self-confessed “man slave” to his wife and kids, says the many demands that fill their schedule make it hard to put their marriage first. He is just happy if he is able to spend quality time with his wife on Valentine’s Day. “We are business partners and we co-manage the business so a lot of our relationship and discussions deals with running and growing the business,” he says. “The other part is as parents, so raising our kids takes another part of our discussion. On top of that, I am a professional host, so much of my weekends are filled with hosting engagements.”

He says he would like them to spend some quality time refilling their “emotional bank account” as husband and wife. “We are actually going on a couple’s religious retreat as our Valentine’s gift to each other,” he shares.