Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone, leaving you to face the inevitable wreckage of bad chocolate, cheap roses and a sweet love hangover. And that’s if you’re really lucky and have a man who actually puts some effort into the event. For a lot of women, you might have to make do with a cheesy card and a discount meal at the local Sizzler.
Men are not, by and large, very good at the whole romance thing. I’m not going to say that we’re all a bunch of ill mannered, barely socialized orangutans, but a quick glance at our bathroom habits could certainly give you that impression.
The problem isn’t that we don’t want to be romantic; it’s that we just don’t have the skills. That means that if you want to have the perfect Valentine’s Day, even if it’s not actually February 14th, you’re going to have to work with us a little bit. So in the spirit of ape training, here are seven ways to help your man give you the day of romance you’re looking for.
1. Tell Him
Probably your easiest solution, if not necessarily the most romantic. Men are pretty straightforward creatures, most of the time, so a straightforward approach is often called for.
So tell your man that you want to feel some romance in your life and make some suggestions about how he would go about making you feel like you’re the most special person in the world.
This will serve the useful purpose of letting him know that you should do so, as well as giving him some guidance on what you’re expecting. With any luck, this should spur him to use his own creativity to come up with something truly romantic.
2. Do It Yourself
Of course, you don’t have to rely on him to give you the romance that you want; you can do it your own damn self. You want a romantic day, make one. Call your favorite restaurant, buy your favorite flowers, get everything the way you want.
Romance doesn’t have to be, and I would argue shouldn’t be, a one sided deal. If you’re not getting what you want, do it yourself. You’ll get exactly what you want and, as a fringe benefit, you’ll be showing him exactly what you want so that maybe, next time, you won’t have to do it yourself.
3. Do Little Things
Romance isn’t just in the big grand gestures, like a perfectly orchestrated Valentine’s Day or the super spectacular anniversary extravaganza, it’s also in the everyday. Or at least, it should be.
So make sure that you do stuff on a daily basis for him, to show him what you think romance is really about. This will help you set the conditions for the big days, so that once or twice a year he isn’t jumped by unspoken expectations. By keeping romance alive all the time, you’ll make sure that the big days stay on his mind.
4. Reward Him
You know how you train, well, anything? You reward them when they do something right. This is the basis for classic conditioning, and it works on rats, dogs and men. So when your man gets the romance right, make sure that he gets rewarded for it in a way that makes him more likely to do it right in the future.
Does this sound too cynical for you? Well, look at it from a different perspective. If your guy gets you flowers or takes you to dinner and you barely acknowledge that he’s trying, why would he make the effort in the future?
It’s all too easy to start looking at that stuff as routine, and if you look at it that way, he’s going to be bummed that you didn’t care for what he did. If you’re not responding to the little things, why would he try the big things?
As for how to reward him, well, I’ll leave that to your imagination, but there is one thing that most men enjoy. Beer. No, wait, there are two things that most men enjoy…..
5. Don’t Let The Romance Die
One of the best ways to make sure that you have romance in your life is to make sure that you keep romance in your life. Most relationships start out with lots of romance and gestures thereof, before slowing down into a relaxed sort of coexistence.
This is not, on the whole, a bad thing. No one likes to feel like they have to keep the pedal to metal all the time. But if you want some romance, sometimes, then you need to make sure that you don’t let the fire die out completely.
Make sure that you keep doing the little things, that you make a point to have a little fun and a little romance in your lives. The best way to make sure that you get those pampered days of romance is to make sure that you never stop getting those pampered days of romance.
6. Figure Out His Romantic Style
You also need to be able to recognize romance when you see it. You may think that romance is a candle lit dinner and fine wine, but his version of romance might be to pick you up at work and go out and grab a beer.
This can be a problem. Romance, ultimately, isn’t about the trappings, but the feelings behind it. Romance is letting the other person know that you care, and that you want them to know that you care. Everything else is window dressing. Learn to recognize romance where you find it.
7. Appreciate His Romance
Or, really, pay attention to all of the above. You need to both help your man give you the romance that you want while also learning to recognize and appreciate the romance that is already there.
Almost all relationships have romance in them, even if it doesn’t always look the way you want or expect. If you want to have those big days of romance, be it Valentine’s Day or just any special Saturday, you need to make romance a priority and work at it. Don’t expect things to just happen the way you want them. Make them happen, and you’ll enjoy them even more than if things just happened to work out your way.