In the 1600's, a language of flowers developed in Constantinople and in the poetry of Persia. Charles II introduced the Persian poetry to Europe, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu brought the flower language from Turkey to England in 1716. It spread to France and became a handbook of 800 floral messages known as the Book Le Language des Fleurs. Lovers exchanged messages as they gave each other selected flowers or bouquets. A full red rose meant beauty. Red and white mean unity. Crocus said "abuse not", while a white rosebud warns that one is too young for love. Yellow roses were for jealousy, yellow iris for passion, filbert for reconciliation and ivy for marriage.
Source: Valentine's Day Love Traditions, johnshepler.com
I'm not cynical about marriage or romance. I enjoyed being married. And although being single was fun for a while, there was always the risk of dating someone who'd owned a lunch box with my picture on it.