Women love romance. Most men just don’t seem to get it.

Now before you get your knickers in a knot at my generalisations, I do know there are some romantic men out there. There just aren’t enough. I don’t think it’s that men don’t want to please their women but, especially in Australia where men want to be seen as Macho to their mates, it is not overly cool to be seen as romantic in front of your mates. Their mates will jibe them because then it makes them look bad in front of their partners if they are not giving the same deal. Moreso, I just think men don’t know how to be romantic or even know what women think is romantic.

Romance for women can be something as simple as cleaning the house or cooking dinner. The idea for Poppy’s Chocolate was born because I was trying to bring more romance into my married life and I was realising that my husband really didn’t know how to be romantic. He was affectionate but that didn’t translate to romance. I had said to him “If you ever want to buy me something nice, buy me a good box of chocolates”. After I had said this to him though, I realised that he wouldn’t have a clue what a good box of chocolates was.

He had bought me a box of Darrel Lea chocolates at Christmas time, which were so disappointingly ordinary, I actually threw a couple out. I had been a Darrel Lea fan all my life, their flagship store in the Sydney CBD was my absolute favourite shop as a kid, but something had happened to either their quality or my taste – or both. Then he bought me a box of Cadbury Roses on my first Mother’s day at 6am from the IGA when he realised a bit too late that he should have actually made some sort of effort for this significant and special day for me. He did this as I was having my first miscarriage and actually needed to go to the hospital.

So, with these experiences in mind, I decided that I needed to actually tell my husband where to get a good box of chocolates and what a good box was. I started researching and I came up with nothing on the Gold Coast. I thought I was making it easy for my husband, an inept romantic, by giving him this tip of how to make me feel loved and special but I was surprised that it wasn’t so easy for him to fulfil. I didn’t, and still don’t, consider any of the chocolate boxes in the supermarket to be good quality or to have had any thought put into buying them.

As I realised that the market in the whole of SE Queensland was lacking in good quality chocolates in 2005, the idea for Poppy’s Chocolate was born. If my husband couldn’t simply buy me good chocolates, we would make them.

When we released our new box of chocolates, A Box of Love, to the market last week, a customer commented on how commercial Valentine’s day is and that we should buy our special loved one a good box of chocolates to make them feel loved any time of the year. I absolutely agree. Here’s the thing though – partners don’t. In general, they don’t. Maybe in the first couple of years of a romance they do but I am talking about the relationships that actually need some reminder of passion that just don’t have it. This is why, despite a lot of people saying Valentine’s day is commercial, women love Valentine’s Day because it is the one day out of 365 days when they can know that they will get some sort of romance if they are in a relationship.

Men, take heed. According to a survey I read the other day, 53% of women said they would end their relationship if they didn’t receive anything on Valentine’s day. It is not a commercial bonanza for florists and chocolate shops. I can honestly say that Valentine’s day for Poppy’s Chocolate is a tiny rise in our sales for about 2 days.

Valentine’s day is more about a public acknowledgment that women love romance. Chocolates and flowers (and maybe jewellery) are the things she loves to receive to have some material acknowledgement that her significant other loves her and those things are made easy to buy. Now, men love to receive gifts too, they just don’t expect it as much and it is not as significant for them. Mostly, they just want to be rewarded for giving the chocolates and flowers, if you know what I mean! Men, women do not see sex as romance. You need romance first. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture – it just has to be a gesture. Yes that means making some sort of effort and not just grabbing something on the way home – and then you might get lucky if you bought her a good box of chocolates!

And to the single men and women out there like me, don’t think that Valentine’s day is meant to make you feel like you are missing out. Love yourself and give you some romance. Treat yourself!