No one does romance like Hollywood. Even predictable plots with unrealistic but feel-good endings keep us sighing, swooning, laughing…and wanting more. And what woman hasn’t dragged her significant other to the latest romance flick in hopes he will learn how to be more romantic himself?
It’s a built-in magnet of sorts, this yearning for love and its mesmerizing, hypnotizing, invigorating accomplice we call romance.
There is, of course, a very practical, evolutionary justification for courtship and finding true love.
But we want more than just the perpetuation of our species. We want the feelings, the allure, the intrigue, the mystery, and the emotional and intellectual connection that bind for life.
And that, my Cupids, requires more than a quiverful of arrows.
Do you consider yourself a romantic?
Some people are naturals, while others need a little “inspirational coaching.”
I often hear women say, “I want a man who’s romantic.”
And I also hear men ask, often out of frustration, “How can I be more romantic?”
So what are the women really saying and the men really asking? Isn’t romance something that’s personal and unique for each individual?
There are tons of books on how to be romantic, and the pearl of wisdom in all of them is pretty simple:
Being romantic is about being thoughtful, making an effort, and giving your partner undivided attention.
It is, in a nutshell, about intention.
We often envision a candle-lit dinner with soft music, effortless conversation, and laughter as the epitome of romance.
But surely the idea box is bigger than that!
It makes sense to be thinking about how to be more romantic now because Valentine’s Day is literally upon us.
And we all know the ponderings and expectations that come with it, especially for those in budding relationships. It can be a make-or-break event. (No pressure here!)
Yet, given social distancing and fears of COVID, Valentine’s Day is more of a challenge this year.
Time to think outside the box of chocolates.
What you need to remember is that being romantic is about going out of your way for your date to make her (and him) feel special.
It’s about bringing the truth and vulnerability of yourself to the table and using them as vehicles to reach your intended’s heart.
So maybe romance doesn’t come easily for you. Maybe you have spent your life swearing it off with an eye roll as “a girl thing.”
But, if you’re a guy hoping to win the heart of one of those emotional, romance-driven females, it’s time to make the effort.
And, surprise, you may actually discover that the pursuit is fun…and ultimately rewarding.
Here are some ideas for how to be more romantic to get you thinking. (Keep in mind where you are in your relationship and what gestures are appropriate for that stage.)
- Learn about your date’s favorite foods, beverages, and music.
Surprise her with her favorite dish or meal. (You can make it yourself or have it delivered.
- Gift her with a small token of your affection. It doesn’t need to be expensive.This is where thinking ahead is warranted. Flowers die within a week, and chocolates may not even make it that long.Consider something that lasts, like a special piece of jewelry (not talking “the ring” here) that shows you pay attention to her style. That way she’ll think of you whenever she wears it.
- Write a heartfelt card, poem, or song.Make a video and sent it to her — or if your relationship is known to her friends, post it on social media.
- Arrange for a concert or musicians to serenade her on Zoom.
- Create a dance party with your favorite music. Show off your moves by dancing together in person or even by Skype or Zoom.The point is to create a completely original and fun evening.
- Buy her a piece of art that symbolizes love and reflects her tastes. If you’re creative, up the ante and make the piece yourself.
- “Netflix and chill” with a romantic movie of her choosing — complete with popcorn and a warm, cozy setting.
- Cook your favorite dishes together. Nothing’s more romantic than making a meal together. You can even offer to do the dishes, (So many bonus points for doing the clean-up!)
- Make a chocolate fondue with fruit, marshmallows, and cubes of pound cake to dip. Sit on pillows by a glowing fireplace. Get out an 80’s board game to go along with the trendy fondue and just have fun.
- Take her to your favorite winery for a wine tasting. Cozy up by the fire pit if they have one and enjoy a sophisticated afternoon.If you’re going back to the same place afterward, finish the great day with a related movie like “Sideways” or “Under the Tuscan Sun.” And open the bottle of wine you bought at the winery.
- What’s more romantic than a horse-drawn carriage ride around town and snuggling under blankets together?
- Go ice skating at an outside skating rink and get hot chocolate afterward.
- Plan a virtual trip for the two of you. Show her where you’d like to take her after the COVID crisis is over.If the two of you are marriage-minded people, you’re probably already talking about travel and places you’d like to experience together.If your relationship is ready to take its next leap, give her an open-ended plane ticket (that matches yours).
I hope you’ve been inspired by one or more of these ideas for how to be more romantic.
Now it’s your turn to think about what would make a romantic Valentine’s Day for you and your date or partner.
Remember, you don’t have to do anything too fancy or spend a lot of money. Creativity and effort go a long way! With some imagination and input from your partner, the two of you will have an experience you both can enjoy!
I hope this will be a Valentine’s Day the two of you will remember fondly for many years to come.
Happy Valentine’s Day!