Inquiry: This is not your typical relationship problem, it is friends of mine that are having difficulties in their marriage. A rough patch one might say. Nothing to drastic, but if a little spark isn’t added I am afraid they may split further and would hate to see that happen. They are a great couple. I would like to send flowers secretly to one of them with a card saying it is from the other spouse in hopes it will open communication and bring a spark back. Have you done this before and is it proper? Signed, A Loving Friend of a Once Happy Couple.
Dear, A Loving Friend of a Once Happy Couple
First off, you know the couple far better than we do and know best how it would be perceived. In general, without knowing the couple, if you have always had a close relationship with this couple and feel the need to send flowers, I would suggest you send either a flower arrangement to them as a couple with a card expressing your love only. Maybe add a gift certificate to the flowers for a dinner out for two give them an opportunity to reconnect and talk. If there are children involved offer your services to sit while they go out and dine. If they are a couple that is typically fun loving, you could possibly send separate flowers to each of them from one another. It will surly put a smile on their face when they receive them, however, when having the card filled out, do not make apologies for one or the other. That is not your place and you may not really know the extent of the problem. Rather, on the card sign it, from spouses name via your name. However, my first suggestion is a flower arrangement for the couple; leave the rest to them. You don’t want to do anything that may harm your relationship with them by overstepping if you value it.
This can be a two-fold question in today’s society, “Is it okay to send a male office staff flowers for Secretaries/Administrative Professional Day?” Nowadays, bosses are both of the male and female gender so in order to respond to this question, it has to be looked at from both angles.
Female Boss: If you are a female boss of a male office staff you can send flowers however you may want to consider any conflicts it could bring to your male employee if they have a spouse or significant other that may feel off by this gesture. It will depend on how long you have had this employee, how well you know them, and can even be variant upon your own marital status. You do not want to give the wrong message. By attaching a card with a clear message of your appreciation for the employees’ hard work will help take any possibly awkwardness out of the situation. When in doubt send a gift basket or a plant.
As much as it would be nice to say that the views have come around to gifting of flowers is universal, there are still some of the old idealism that only women should receive flowers, and that it is okay for women to be acknowledged by flowers by either a male or a female. Flowers have been pegged as feminine due to their beauty and alluring fragrance. This is a bit disheartening because men have reported that they enjoy receiving flowers even when they may not openly express it in front of co-workers. However, use your best discretion on how well you know the employee personally.
Here are some gift suggestions that will work well under either circumstance:
One would automatically think that there is nothing wrong with sending sympathy flowers to anyone when a family member passes away, however, in some situations it can cause conflict in homes, making the already sensitive issue even more so.
Here are some flower etiquette questions to ask yourself before sending flowers that will help to eliminate any awkward situations.
Is your ex in a new relationship and do you get along with your ex’s new partner?
Depending on your current relationship with your ex and their new partner will determine where the sympathy flowers should be sent. If you are in good standings with your ex but not so much the new partner you can send sympathy flowers to either the home or funeral home as long as you include the new partner’s name on the gift card. If your ex is not in a new relationship, and you are in good standings, you can send sympathy flowers anywhere. If you and your ex are in ill standings, have the sympathy flowers delivered to the funeral home with the card attached not singling out anyone person, but rather “to the family of”.
Where you close to the family member that passed away? If you were close to the family member of the ex that passed away and remained that way after the split with your ex then it is appropriate to send funeral flowers to the funeral home or sympathy flowers to the home with the card addressed to the family. If you were not close to the family member but remain in good standings with the ex, you can send sympathy flowers to the home, just make sure if your ex is in a new relationship to address the new partner as well in the card.
Lastly, ask yourself if your new partner feel offended? More than likely they won’t be, but if your new partner has always been uncomfortable with your relationship with your ex, they may. If that is the case and they have strong feelings against you sending flowers to an ex at a time of loss, you probably shouldn’t send them if you value your new relationship. However, it may make an uncomfortable partner feel more comfortable by including their name on the card when sending sympathy flowers, as well as addressing the card to the family of, rather than just the ex.