So thanks to myspace, I recently reconnected with one of my male friends from high school. He used to be one of my best friends–the closest thing I ever had to having a protective older brother– and I always thought very highly of him… still do. So we recently reconnected and are still in the process of talking about what our lives have been like for the last 15 years and last night we were chatting online about our respective relationships and he made an interesting comment.
He said that his girlfriend told him that he wasn’t “the marrying type” and he was sort of offended by that (despite the fact I think most guys would rejoice to hear that, especially if the girlfriend wasn’t breaking up with them after realizing it). And we talked a little bit about how he used to have romantic notions of finding the right girl to marry and all that… and then made the comment I found most interesting. He said… “Romance is hard to maintain though.”
I can see his point. I think a lot of guys run into this eventually. And I think it’s somewhat problematic in a lot of relationships because (1) women tend to like romance (or I should say it’s a bigger part of the relationship for them) than men; (2) most guys put in a lot of effort to be romantic in the early stages of a relationship and then don’t keep up that effort as the relationship becomes more secure and comfortable; and (3) the dwindling acts of romanticism on the guy’s part can cause the woman to feel like she’s now being taken for granted, or less appreciated than she once was.
So I decided to write a post on keeping romance alive…
Now, I can only speak from personal experience, and I don’t feel that on the spectrum of all the women I know, that I need romance as much as many of them do… but I of course, like every woman, appreciate romance when it comes my way…
But here are some ideas for the guys to throw a little bit of romance back into their relationships. It’s better to do it before your wife or girlfriend mentions that she feels the romance has died in your relationship, so if you haven’t done anything remotely romantic in a while, consider the fact that you happened to read this post as a fate’s gentle reminder…
1. Send flowers.
As cliche as it sounds, every time Christopher surprises me with a bouquet of flowers, it reminds me how lucky I am to have a guy in my life who thinks about me when I’m not there. And variations on this are also great. One night, I was at Christopher’s place, working on my laptop while he was working too during a period where we both had tight deadlines and the only way to spend time together was to actually work in the same location (sadly enough) and he found a picture of a rose on the internet, printed it off, and came over and handed it to me. I still have it on my desk and it makes me smile every time I look at it. My ex used to leave a flower tucked under the windshield wiper of my car when we worked in the same office building with a post it note telling me to drive home safe. All of those are very romantic gestures.
2. Make her dinner.
Even if you can’t cook and you end up serving Chef Boyardee ravioli from a can, she will appreciate it. There is nothing sweeter than arriving at your guy’s house to find a candlelit table and his best plates and silverware out on the table, and an open bottle of wine waiting for you. Taking your wife or girlfriend out to dinner is always really nice, but knowing you put in the effort to make something for her yourself is very romantic.
3. Send her a card.
Buy a blank card at Hallmark for $3 and write something simple inside letting her know you were thinking about her and she means a lot to you. It will be a really nice surprise when she opens her mailbox and sees it among the bills and junk mail.
4. Go for a drive to someplace beautiful.
We live near Palos Verdes, so there are a lot of beautiful views from the hills above the ocean, but you can find them anywhere. Take her for a drive and share the view. It will mean a lot to her that you saw something beautiful and then thought of her.
5. Hold her hand when she’s not expecting it.
I remember sitting in a coffee shop type of diner after Christopher and I finished playing in our racquetball leage and we were talking about something going on at his job and he reached over and held my hand. Despite that there was nothing romantic about that setting at all (except for maybe that Christopher was dripping in sweat after playing racquetball
), it was something I remember vividly, so it must have made an impact.
6. Give her something small and meaningful.
Despite my affection for diamonds
, sometimes the smallest thing can be the most meaningful. My friend’s boyfriend was at the mall and stopped at one of those carts where you can have them take your picture and put it on a mug or t-shirt or whatever. He took a piece of paper, wrote ‘Jason “hearts” Melissa” and had them make it into a keychair. When she wasn’t looking, he clipped it onto her keys later on, and she thought it was the coollest thing. It cost him about $5, but to her, it was one of the best presents he gave her.
7. Make her a mix CD for her car
. Include her favorite songs and some typically romantic songs.
8. Kiss her like you mean it.
Couples kiss all the time and even kissing can become routine. Kiss her when she’s not expecting it and let her know in the way you do it that the kiss means more than just another kiss.
9. Tell her you love her.
When you’re not in a discussion about how you feel about each other, not finishing a phone conversation, and not before you turn over to go to sleep.
10. Write something sweet spontaneously
. Ask her for a pen when you’re at a fast food restaurant and write on the paper napkin that she’s beautiful and hand it to her. Simple, but romantic.
I don’t think romance is hard to maintain (like I told my friend). But I also think romance is easy to fake and women shouldn’t feel like guys who are romantic necessarily love them more than a guy who isn’t. A guy who shows his girlfriend or wife every day in lots of ways how important she is in his life– and never does a “romantic” thing– is a hundred times better than a guy who is full of romantic little notions and never backs it up with anything real. But if you think you’re girlfriend would like a little more romance now and then, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something that will make her smile. Romance should be looked at like a bonus. And an amazing guy is an amazing guy whether he’s romantic or not.