Red roses are a red flag

Roses are synonymous with love, Valentine’s Day, and all things romantic. But more often than not, receiving a big bouquet of them from your significant other means trouble for your relationship.

The surprise bouquet holds a prime spot on almost every list of red flags that your man is cheating. It’s a cynical notion, yes, but let’s be honest about infidelity. It’s happening.

According to the Associated Press and the “Journal of Marital and Family Therapy,” 22 percent of married men have cheated at least once during their marriage. And 57 percent of men admit to having strayed in any relationship they’ve had.

So what do flowers have to do with all this? Well, that’s a tell-tale sign. And I’m not talking about the occasional bunch of daisies for your birthday or an anniversary. It’s those surprise bouquets, presented “just because,” that you have to worry about.

Dating site eHarmony, which boasts that 438 people get married each day thanks to their services, explained it on their advice page. Flowers mean your partner is compensating for something bad, hence the gift of extra compliments and “I love you’s.”

And while they were careful not to insinuate that any nice gesture meant infidelity, the site did warn “if suspicious behavior is immediately followed by a syrupy sweet gesture, that’s a red flag.” Or as Liz Lemon would say, that’s a “deal breaker.”

Connor Bruno of Flowerboy Project in Venice, California was a bit more optimistic on the issue, telling ENTITY that he thinks a woman receiving flowers from her man “should just hope for the best.” He didn’t believe she should feel suspicious, noting, “I think that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

But Joy Behar advised women not to fall for the “apology flowers” during a discussion of romance on “The View.” She warned, “When a guy shows up with flowers, he’s cheating on you, just FYI.” And while her fellow co-hosts teased her for her cynicism, she’s certainly not the only one who feels that way.

A survey commissioned by Greggs bakery of 1,500 men and 1,500 women in long-term relationships found that that was exactly how women felt. Three-quarters of the women surveyed admitted that they would be suspicious if their man turned up with a bouquet out of the blue, DailyMail.com reported.

READ MORE: ‘The View’ Says It’s Not Cheating to Go to a Strip Club (VIDEO)

You should be particularly worried if your partner is normally frugal or has been acting suspiciously ahead of the unexpected gift. Chances are your Romeo’s sudden interest in romantic gestures is just a way for him to try and assuage his guilt.

In fact, Amy Banks, author of “Wired to Connect: The Surprising Link Between Brain Science and Strong Healthy Relationships,” advised that if your “boyfriend is not thoughtful in these ways and there is other evidence of his being more distant and then suddenly there are flowers,” perhaps a conversation is in order.

And though Lisa Fontes, Ph.D., author of “Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship,” warned of jumping to conclusions, she revealed that the seemingly romantic gesture can be deceiving, citing an abusive man who sent flower arrangements to his girlfriend’s office nearly every week.

READ MORE: Anna Faris Reveals Chris Pratt Cheating Rumors Made Her Feel “Insecure”

It may have seemed romantic, but in actuality, he revealed that the “gifts” were motivated by two things: “To let everyone else know that she had a boyfriend, and to make her coworkers tell her, ‘What a nice boyfriend you have! You should never leave him.’” She explained that the flowers were a cruel way of manipulating her, “through acts that looked like love.”

And if that isn’t enough to dispel the romantic myth surrounding roses, check out how they’re used as bait for cheaters on radio shows such as KIIS-FM’s “Ryan’s Roses.” A female listener calls into the station with suspicions that her boyfriend or husband is cheating on her, and while she stays on the line, someone from Ryan Seacrest’s staff calls the chump under a false identity.

The caller pretends to own a flower shop, offering a no-strings-attached promotion for 12 long-stemmed red roses, and all the guy has to do is give the recipient’s information and what he’d like for the card to say.

It’s the perfect setup for a catastrophic confrontation on live radio… hence the segment’s entertainment value. And of course, the common thread between the broken relationships left in the show’s wake would be none other than a bouquet of roses.

So, not to get all ’80s hair band on you, but as Poison once sang, “Every rose has its thorn.” Better watch out you don’t get pricked.