“I hope he likes them,” she thinks nervously. After giving it some thought,the woman decides to buy the little bouquet of flowers at the corner store. They are not extravagant. They're just nice.
Now she stands timidly outside of his house with flowers in tow. The woman takes a deep breath and rings the doorbell.
He opens the door and looks surprisingly at the clumsily tied bouquet. Slowly a grin spreads over his entire face.
Though this scenario might defy convention,research out of Rutgers University might give women a viable reason to give men flowers. It turns out they actually like it.
According to Rutgers psychology professor Jeannette Haviland-Jones,despite a long standing cultural bias against the practice,it appears the emotional effects of receiving flowers is stronger for men than women.
“It increases overall happiness and life satisfaction,” Haviland-Jones says.
Men are getting flowers now more than ever as traditional roles and behaviors give way to an “anything goes” mentality when it comes to dating and living in general,Haviland-Jones says.
James Reid has been given flowers by his girlfriend on several occasions.
“I don't get so excited about the flowers themselves,but it's very flattering,” says the 27-year-old student from the University of Kentucky. “I suppose it makes me sentimental.”
Giving flowers changes people's behavior so that a situation becomes a social environment when it would not be so otherwise,Haviland-Jones says
“For men in particular,receiving a flower can initiate conversation,encourage social gazing and increase smiling,” she adds. “It also impresses them that a woman will go against the norm.”
Reid agrees part of the appeal of receiving flowers is that it is not often done.
“Even though it isn't,it seems like a woman makes even more of an effort than a man by sending flowers,just because they are breaking convention a little bit,” he says.
Susan Hamilton,an associate professor at the University of Tennessee,says the research done by Rutgers shows flowers enhance social connections between people.
“The study done by [Haviland-Jones] says men and women are on the same playing field,” Hamilton says.
Jessica Holman,a 21-year-old student at UT,says she'd have to be sure the gesture would be well reciprocated before doing it.
“I would only if I knew that he felt strongly for me,if I felt strongly about him,and thought that he would appreciate them,” says Holman,who has actually yet to give them. “I'm sure some guys would be really touched,but you'd have a hard time convincing me the flowers would end up in a vase … under dirty clothes or under the bed,maybe that I could see.”
Haviland-Jones says attitudes toward men getting flowers are likely to change as it begins to feel more like a natural reaction and not a betrayal of role. This is true of other sentimental gifts,she says.
For Reid,the important thing to remember is that someone thought enough to give a gift at all.
“As long as it’s not a vacuum cleaner or something,I think just about any gift is well-received,” Reid says.