Can Guys Watch Hallmark Movies and Keep Their Man Card?

A couple laughs while watching TV
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Love is in the air, and Hallmark movies are on the air this Valentine’s Day. Is it possible to sit down and — gasp! — actually enjoy a romance movie with your wife?

All I did was ask if guys can watch Hallmark movies and still keep their man card. Valentine’s Day is coming soon, and the Hallmark Channel is showing its “Love Ever After” marathon, so as a public service to husbands everywhere, it seems natural to ask. And my job is to create thought-provoking content that connects with people. Where better to connect than Facebook? So, I posted the question: “Can you watch Hallmark movies without losing your man card?” Judging from the number of people who shared their thoughts about the content, I apparently provoked a few people. (Thought. Provoking. Content. All the pieces are there. Maybe not in the right order, but, still … success, right?)

During my extensive online research (all two hours), I learned two very important things about Hallmark movies: First, political discourse pales in comparison to discussion about Hallmark movies. Second, everybody knows that Hallmark movies end with a kiss, but watch them anyway. But you probably already knew that. Besides, what you really want to know is how people answered the question, “Can guys watch Hallmark movies without losing their man card?”

Real comments from Facebook

My best friend (who has never once steered me wrong … nor I him. Mostly.) replied, “Plain and simple … just don’t watch them.” No surprise there because we always watched manly stuff like “Airwolf” and “Star Trek.”

Sarah, another good friend, agreed: “To my knowledge, there is no excuse for watching a Hallmark movie.” Thank you, Sarah.

Rick seemed to be on the same page: “I checked with the Man School. The only way to keep your man card is to watch two war movies and two Clint Eastwood movies. This offsets any accidental absorption of estrogen. And you get to keep your man card.” So far, so good … until he added, “I like romance movies too.”

And that’s when things got serious. Andy replied to let me know where he stood on the issue: “Only a real man can watch Hallmark movies with his lady as I am doing now.”

Christy pressed the argument: “There’s nothing more manly than loving your wife by doing something she likes.”

A high school buddy, Mike, took it a step further: “Luckily, my wife is not a fan of Hallmark movies. But I have been known to watch some Gilmore Girls with her once in a while.” Gilmore Girls?!! Say it ain’t so!

Maybe he’s on to something. Rob, my next-door neighbor, saw my Facebook question and stopped me (in real life) to share his advice: “Happy wife … happy life.” Can’t argue with that!

Here’s one final comment: David, another high school friend, took a stand: “Just watch them without apology. A real man can. Ain’t nothing wimpy or wrong with enjoying a clean, wholesome movie. The world needs to know that real men can have feelings, cry, laugh and enjoy a good movie.”

The discussion was changing. Early returns showed that yes, a guy can watch a Hallmark movie and keep his man card. But I wanted to know for sure. It was time to turn to an expert.

An expert opinion on Hallmark Movies

Dr. Greg Smalley is Vice President of Marriage at Focus on the Family. He would know if it’s possible to watch Hallmark movies and keep your man card. So, I asked him. He waited a few seconds before answering and, at first, didn’t make eye contact. “You can’t tell anybody this,” he said, “but I watch Hallmark movies.” He even explained why: “If this is important to my wife, Erin, it should be important to me.”

Then, he talked about why Hallmark movies are so popular with women — and why guys should pay attention — even when the story feels cheesy. Women, he shared, want to connect. To feel pursued, valued and beautiful. Hallmark movies show that “there is a woman worth being pursued and no matter how long it takes, she matters enough for him to win her over and get to the final kiss.” The formula, Dr. Smalley said, never changes because it taps into our deepest longing. We want stories to end happily. We want our story — as a couple — to end happily. And Hallmark movies fuel that dream. “It will end the way you want it to end.” And, Dr. Smalley added this for guys: “When you watch Hallmark movies, you’ll learn how to win your wife’s heart again and again.”

OK. Case closed. This Valentine’s Day, I’ll pay attention to the Hallmark movies my wife is watching. I’ll even watch them with her. And enjoy the time we spend together. But I might also sneak in a war movie. Or maybe a Clint Eastwood movie. Y’know …  just to keep my man card active.

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