What His Flowers Really Mean

As Valentine's Day approaches, find out what your guy is trying to say with that beautiful bouquet.

man at door with flowers behind his back
(Image credit: Robert Daly Collection/OJO Images)

As Valentine's Day approaches, men all over the world will scramble to pick up beautiful bouquets of flowers for the women in their lives — or the women they hope to have in their lives. But, what's the big deal with flowers?

Why Men Give Flowers1. They represent beauty. Perhaps he is saying, "Here's something beautiful for a beautiful person," or he's making a visual commentary on a beautiful relationship.

2. They represent sexuality. It seems a bit weird, but flowers are basically plant reproductive organs. Is there some subconscious reason that we give reproductive organs to someone we love ... and would maybe some day reproduce with?

3. Our mothers told us to. A "well-trained" guy knows the cultural significance of flowers in romance.

What His Flowers Really MeanChances are good he has no clue what the bouquet he's getting you actually means, but if he's done his research into the type of flowers he's handing over, let this serve as your translation manual.

Red Roses

Represents: true love

Says: "I love you."

Also Says: "I'm not very creative and didn't put much, if any, thought into this buying decision."

Striped Carnations

Represents: refusal

Says: "I can't be with you, but I'm going through the trouble of locating and buying striped carnations to say that."


Represents: purity, lofty thoughts

Says: "I'm not going to put out."

Burgundy Roses

Represents: unconscious beauty

Says: "I can't see your beauty. Because it's underneath the surface. Beauty is only skin deep. You have inner beauty? Er, I like watching you sleep."


Represents: innocence, loyal love, and faith

Says: "These are delicate with a hint of spontaneity, just like you."


Represents: shame and bashfulness

Says: "I cheated on you."


Represents: suspicion

Says: "I bet you're cheating on me, but we can agree that these flowers smell damn good."

Yellow Tulips

Represents: hopeless love

Says: "Please, please, please, please be with me. Please."

Bird's-Foot Trefoil

Represents: revenge

Says: "You'll pay for these flowers."


Represents: refined beauty

Says: "I am either pretentious or trying really hard to be."

Yellow Poppies

Represents: wealth and success

Says: "I love you for your money."

Pink Carnations

Represents: a mother's love

Says: "No, I don't have Oedipus Complex, but, yes, these flowers should have gone to Mom."


Represents: lust

Says: "I only want you for sex, so can I actually hold onto these? My Thai chicken recipe calls for ground coriander."

Yellow Roses

Represents: joy, friendship, apology, jealousy, dying love, infidelity, and heartbreak

Says: "I have no idea what I'm trying to say."

How Often Men Should Give FlowersGuys shouldn't give flowers too often or too infrequently. Don't bust out a bouquet only when you're in a fight, and don't give them every week. Keep it spontaneous, make every flower occasion special — unless you're giving someone coriander because that's just not vase-worthy.

Ladies, what is your favorite flower to get and why? Do you agree that roses are played out or is there a place for them? Can you see right through it when a guy gives you flowers because he's done something stupid, or does it help the situation?