According to a survey on gender differences I came across online recently. “nearly 40 percent of women report that their boyfriends or husbands are ‘not very often’ or ‘never’ romantic, yet 75 percent of men claim that they are romantic consistently.”
Something’s out of whack here. I suspect the problem has something to do with how men and women define romance.
Our culture perpetuates the idea that romance must involve candlelight dinners, roses, tight pants and a lute. But I’m not so sure many guys buy into these clichés. I’m not saying that all women do either but most women do tend to imaging romantic gestures to be, well, romantic, that is, something out of the ordinary, a surprise that makes her feel special, pampered and cherished.
Maybe because he feels self-conscious in tights but, for men, I think romance tends to be about more subtle daily gestures. Case in point: You may not feel like him getting the oil changed in your car for you is romantic, but in his mind it is. It’s something that’s important to him. Therefore, doing this for you is, in his mind, a romantic gesture.
Sure, he may not buy you flowers on Valentine’s Day, but he works hard every day so the two of you can have a good life together. In his mind, that says much more than a bunch of flowers that are “just gonna die anyway.”
I’m not trying to let him off the hook. It’s just that you’ll feel less resentful if you try and understand where he’s coming from instead of sulking that he didn’t remember the anniversary of the first time you held hands.
As far as I’m concerned romance is simply a flowery word for the things you go out of your way to do to make each other feel extra special. As such, your guy likes to be romanced too. He might not put it in quite the same words but trust me, he wants to feel pampered, cherished, appreciated and special, just like you do. He wants to feel like you notice him and are paying attention to his likes and dislikes. That you really “get” him and appreciate him for exactly who he is. He loves it when you do things that remind him of why the two of you are so fantastic for each other. This makes him feel close and connected and, bonus for you, more inclined to do lots more special things for you too. Just as when it comes to romancing you, the little personal gestures that take little time or money are the things that will have more romantic impact.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Feel free to tweak to suit your guy’s particular taste:
- If he’s working late, surprise him at the office with take out from his favourite restaurant.
- Make his favourite meal, the one he knows you don’t really enjoy all that much.
- Wash his car.
- Watch the game with him, even if you don’t like sports. Ask questions. He’ll feels like you’re taking an interest and you’ll enjoy the pride he displays in being able to share his knowledge of the game.
- Leave a note on the bathroom mirror describing one thing you love about him that you’ll be thinking about today, like how kind he is to your family, or how much you love his sexy lower back.
- Surprise him with a book he mentioned in passing or a t-shirt from his favourite band.
- If he comes home after a rough day, sit him down, make him a drink and rub his shoulders. Don’t ask him to talk about it unless he wants to. If he does, sympathize and let him vent.