So your wife says to you: “Why can’t you be more romantic?” You realize your palms are getting a little sweaty and your heart is beating a little faster. You know she’s not talking about sex… you’re good to go in that department. She’s talking about that other part of romance… the part that still has you a little stumped. “I’m not that guy…” you think to yourself. That guy in the movies that has the perfect suits, the perfect haircuts, and the perfect lines. There’s something about feeling like just a normal, average guy that already has you feeling below par romantically, and now your wife has called you on it. You’re not romantic enough. What are you going to do about it?
I’m here to help. I’m certainly no romance guru… just ask my wife. But this I do know… A woman needs to feel pursued, loved, and desired. If you really want to make her feel that way, and I think you do, you need to know these five things.
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1. Don’t Equate Romance with Grand Gestures
Sure, some grand gestures can be romantic, but not all romance comes in expensive, complicated forms. If it did, romance would be completely unsustainable. Don’t let the movies convince you that romance only happens in fancy restaurants and hotel rooms between spies and swimsuit models. It happens in kitchens and living rooms between husbands and wives, just as effectively.
One thing my wife has taught me over the years is that the most expensive of romantic gestures is still only valued for the creative and innovative thoughts of love that inspired it. That means that romance should never be out of your price range.Romance should never be out of your price range. Click To Tweet
I remember once taking a pad of post-it notes and writing little love messages to my wife on them before hiding them in various places around the house. Wendy found most of them right away, but it took weeks for all of them to surface. It was a very inexpensive gesture, and a small one at that, but one that showed Wendy how I feel about her in an innovative way. That’s romance.
Wendy has on many more occasions done the same thing for me. She’ll write messages on our bathroom mirror with lipstick, text me at work with a message about how she misses me, or leave a card on my desk telling me how proud she is of me and how much she loves me.
You can do this… it doesn’t have to be a big gesture to make a big impact.
2. Don’t Use Sterotypes to Decide What She’ll Like
Suppose you go shopping for Valentine’s Day for your wife… it’s last minute, so you’re hoping to find something wonderful at Wal*Mart. You walk up and down the aisles, drowning in a sea of pink and red stuffed animals and balloons, hoping to find something that your wife will think is romantic and special. Flowers, stuffed animals, coffee cups, candy, more flowers, more candy, gift sets, lingerie, more stuffed animals… as you walk the aisle, you get the impression that Wal*Mart is trying to tell you what women want. And, after all, they certainly have the data. And there is potentially some truth to the fact that Wal*Mart researchers may have some idea of what women like, but what they’ll never know is what your wife likes.You can't give her romance until you really know her. Click To Tweet
If you wait until her birthday or Valentine’s Day to think about what type of gift your wife will like, you’ve waited too long. The only way you’ll ever have a sense for what gift will truly make her eyes light up is if you spend some time thinking about what makes her unique. Your wife is different than all other women. She may have some similar likes and dislikes with others, but anyone could get her a gift that falls along those lines. You are in a position to offer her romance because you really know her. You know what makes her tick… what inspires her… what makes her special. If you want to show her romance, start there.
3. Don’t Give Up When You Don’t Get the Response You’re Looking For
All of us have had an epic romance fail at some point. For me, it happened early in our marriage when Wendy and I decided to split up in a mall and get Valentine’s gifts for each other. I, being a very young 21 years old, and having not yet a clue about how marriage really worked, picked out some very attractive lingerie—this, I thought, made a great Valentine’s gift. I could only imagine how excited Wendy would be to receive it. I was wrong.
I learned very quickly that buying lingerie for Wendy was somewhat low on her scale of romantic activities. Our Valentine’s Day was a bit less amorous that year than it has been since. Frankly, I didn’t get the response I was looking for, and there was a part of me that was predisposed to give up trying to do “romantic” things. But I had a few things to learn. First, I needed to learn that romance was not the pathway to getting what I wanted. As a matter of fact, generations of women have learned to be skeptical when their husbands are romantic, simply because there is usually some ulterior motive lying underneath the gesture. Romance is not a transaction—it is a gift, else it’s not romance.
Secondly, I learned that just because we make mistakes on the path to romance sometimes doesn’t mean we won’t get there. Marriage has a way of making us grow up and learn new things. Becoming a more romantic husband isn’t something you can do in a day, or a week. It takes time, and it takes willingness to learn from our mistakes.
4. Don’t Get Locked into One or Two Things that Seem to “Work”
In romance, as well as in sex, our mentality as guys often leaves us more concerned with “doing it right” than with experiencing mutual satisfaction. As a result, we can become very preoccupied with trying to find something that “works.” Then, once we get some sort of favorable response, it is completely tempting to abandon all other efforts and focus on that one thing that made us successful. And, were you in a relationship with a robot or a computer, that would be a very wise course of action. But, human beings require variety. Just because she loved the flowers you brought her last week doesn’t mean that flowers are the one key to winning your wife’s affection.
Romance has no “autopilot.” There will always be a navigational element to pursuing your spouse. You will have to search for the things that will impress her heart; they will neither come to you automatically nor be infinitely reusable. Even if you think you know what your wife “likes” or what “works for her,” be open to learning and trying new things.Romance has no “autopilot.” Click To Tweet
5. Don’t Let Romance Become a Task
If you’ve allowed yourself to feel like a failure in the romance department, let me encourage you to try to think differently. To be a failure at romance means that romance is somehow a task that must be accomplished. But romance isn’t a task. It’s a privilege.
Don’t forget what it was like the first time you reached out your hand to hers and she took it. Don’t forget what it was like when you leaned in and she let you kiss her for the first time. Sure, those are things you and I take for granted in our marriages now, but don’t forget that the opportunity to win your wife’s heart is just as amazing now as it was when she first said yes. You don’t have to be romantic… you get to.You don’t have to be romantic… you get to. Click To Tweet
Okay. That’s not everything you need to know about romance… but it’s a start. Go out there and do something that makes her say “Wow!”