Jorge's relationship advice is based on experience and observation. Let his trial and error be your success (hopefully).
Are you wondering how to be more romantic in order to better woo your girlfriend or spouse?
This is often a problem for those of us who are not “naturally” romantic. I get it. I’m not inherently a very romantic person at all, but I was in a long-term relationship for quite some time, so I had to learn how to keep things fresh and exciting somehow.
Candlelit dinners and staring into each other’s eyes was not for me. Serenading my partner, or reciting cheesy poetry, or any other kind of performance made me feel super awkward. Even though many of my partners loved that kind of thing, I was not about to half-heartedly do something that I didn’t really want to do.
The traditional, stereotypical stuff just did not work for me, so I had to get creative. Before I start throwing you some ideas, though, let’s pull back and take a look at what “romance” even means.
What Is Romance?
Romance is when you hold hands and stroll down the beach and pretend that everything is fine, even while the entire world is crumbling around you in an explosive apocalypse and all you have is each other’s presence to soothe the deep emptiness inside your soul.
Romance is hard to define. In order to make it simple for myself, though, I look at it this way: Being romantic is simply reminding yourself and your partner that you have a special connection. It’s when you deliberately choose an action, a word, or a thought that brings up all the feelings that you have for each other.
You always have these feelings, of course—but much of the time, they exist in the background. Romance is when you’ve consciously chosen to put your full attention on experiencing the relationship in the moment.
It’s part of maintaining a relationship. It usually involves one-on-one time and developing emotional intimacy with the person. It can take many forms, too, so you don’t have to be romantic in any one way. Truly being romantic means that you are bringing your unique self to the equation.
10 Easy Ways to Be More Romantic in Your Relationship
If you’re looking for small ways to be more romantic, then you’ve landed in the right spot. The truth is that having many small romantic moments together is usually more important than any one grand gesture. Relationships are things that happen day by day, so you can think of being consistently more romantic as developing a habit.
You’re developing the habit of stopping for a moment every once in a while and appreciating your partner. That’s it. If this all seems too abstract, here are some small ways to be more romantic that you can try out right now.
1. Use Food, the Universal Language of Love
At the core of our beings, all humans have animal instincts, and one of the easiest ways to entice someone is with food. Good food = positive association with you.
The next time you happen to see your girlfriend’s favorite snack, pick some up. It’s a thoughtful gesture, because not only did you think of her while you were out, but you also remembered something important about her.
This goes a lot further than simply picking up something that is considered “romantic” by society (like a box of chocolates). It shows that you’ve been paying attention to what she likes.
2. Quietly Solve a Problem
Has your partner been struggling with some small, but annoying and recurring problem?
For instance, maybe the front door to the house is just slightly off-center and she has to struggle a little to open it because it sticks to the frame. You hear her sighing in frustration almost every morning when she goes to work. It doesn’t bother her enough to say anything about it—or to even remember it two seconds later—but it makes her mornings slightly more annoying because she has to put her bag down on the floor while she yanks the doorknob with both hands.
Maybe you can quietly fix it without saying anything. Don’t draw attention to it. Just make sure it gets magically fixed so that the next time she’s around, she’ll be pleasantly surprised. (Don’t worry, chances are high she will know it was you. You get more points if she realizes that without you telling her.)
Note: Obviously, use your judgement here. Be sure that she wants whatever it is to be fixed and that she’s the sort of person who would appreciate an invisible elf maintaining something of hers. If she’s very particular about her stuff, then you may want to try something else.
3. Take a Long Ride to Nowhere
Do you like to go on adventures in your car? There’s nothing more exciting than going on an epic journey with someone you love. You’ll have lots of time to get to know each other, but you’ll also have interesting things to point to and talk about, assuming you go somewhere you haven’t been before.
Just get in the car and go. Being spontaneous is fun, and it gives your partner a chance to trust that you’ll lead her somewhere interesting, which is good practice for deepening the relationship. Even if you stick pretty close to home, you may notice new things you’ve never seen before because you’ll be stepping out of your habitual mind if you don’t have a specific plan.
4. Explore Nature Together
Nature is ancient and full of life. Take a walk in a forest or nature area where you can both be alone with the natural forces. The jungle is where all our basic instincts come back to us.
What am I saying? You already know what I’m saying; don’t make me wink.
5. Share Your Deepest Interest
Do you have a hobby that means a lot to you? Take your partner along for the day and introduce her to it. She’ll more than likely be happy that you’re sharing such an important part of yourself, and it will give you a chance to introduce her to something new.
6. Trust Her With Something Personal
One of the most romantic things you can do is open up about yourself. Sharing a childhood story or talking about your feelings can really bring you closer to each other.
This can take a lot of courage, though. We live in a society that encourages us to cover up our emotions, even to our own selves. A common fear is that opening up about your feelings can overwhelm the other person and turn them off. But remember that talking about your feelings is different from complaining or burdening your partner with negativity. You can open up about positive things, too.
The point is that you’re sharing something with her that you might have otherwise kept to yourself, even if it’s something silly. You don’t have to do this often, if it sounds tedious. In fact, she may find such a thing precious exactly because it’s rare.
7. Read to Her
When was the last time you turned away from all the distractions and sat down to read a book? Why not experience a simple moment like that together?
Most people like to be read to. It doesn’t matter what it is—it can be a non-fiction book on philosophy or it can be a fantasy novel with elves and wizards. Just find something that you both would like to read, but that you never seem to have time to read. Turning it into a romantic couple’s activity will encourage you to keep coming back.
8. Cook Her Something
Just as most people like to be read to, most people like when others cook for them. Buying her a snack is a small way to be romantic, but going all out and making her something from scratch is even more impressive.
You can ask her what her favorite homemade dish is, or you can look through a recipe book and surprise her with what you think she would like based on her tastes. If she likes to cook, maybe it’s also something you can do together.
9. Bring Up Some Fond Memories
Lots of people like to reminisce about their happiest times, and this can bring up good feelings in the present. What are some of your greatest times together? When did you have the most fun?
Relive that in the present together. Look at some old pictures from when you first met. If you want to make a nice physical gift out of it, you can even put together a collage of your fondest memories as a couple. There are printing services that will put it on a mug or a T-shirt for you. It can be a nice daily reminder—a small way to be romantic that your girlfriend can appreciate even when you’re not around.
10. Talk About the Future
After you revisit what brought you together in the first place, it can also be nice to talk about what your journey might look like going forward. Get creative and try to imagine your shared future. Not only is it something romantic to do together, but it also helps you visualize where you’re going, which can strengthen the relationship.
Common Issues When Being Romantic
Before we wrap up, let’s also discuss a few things that people wrestle with in our society, even if they may not voice it out loud. You might have some resistance to being romantic, due to social programming or for some other reason.
Being Romantic vs Being Creepy: What's the Difference?
Some guys are worried that it might be creepy or weird to be romantic.
Sometimes it’s hard to know the line between showing interest and coming on too strong. Perhaps women have rejected your romantic gestures in the past for this very reason, and you don’t want to repeat this mistake. Is it possible for romantic gestures to push a woman away or creep her out?
Yes, but you can totally avoid this by following a simple rule.
How to Avoid Being Creepy
Don’t act romantic if she doesn’t like you already. The problem isn’t in being too romantic, it’s in being romantic too early and towards the wrong person.
This is where a certain level of social awareness is important. If a woman likes you and you’re in a relationship with her, it’s normal to offer romantic gestures, and she will likely appreciate it. It’s not creepy at all, as long as you don’t have a hidden agenda behind it. Don’t give her gifts or do her favors because you expect anything in return.
On the other hand, if you are not in a relationship with this person (or you have not at least established that there’s a mutual attraction between you), then be careful! You’re in a grey area where it is easy to come off as creepy.
Why Should You Only Be Romantic With a Girl Who Already Likes You?
If you try doing overtly romantic things with someone who does not yet like you, it can seem to them that you’re attempting to buy their affection with favors. And that easily comes off as if you’re trying to manipulate them into liking you. Worse, the women you do attract by offering gifts and favors are likely to only be interested in what you can do for them.
You can’t get someone to like you through romantic gestures. Don’t even try it. Forget everything you’ve seen in every romantic comedy movie ever. Forget every side-quest in every RPG that has a dating sim element. There’s nothing wrong with taking someone out and getting to know them, but avoid showering them with presents and unearned affection until the relationship is deeper.
Save the romantic gestures for someone who already likes you. That is who deserves them anyway! Don’t waste your energy on someone who hasn’t already proven that they like you for you.
Does Being Romantic Make You Less Manly?
Another thing I want to address is how sometimes people think that being romantic makes you less manly. This assumption doesn’t only come from guys, either. Even some women run around with the conflicting agenda of wanting their man to be more romantic, but also secretly believing that a guy is less manly if he’s too romantic. (I find this is more common among Americans or people from English-speaking countries, though.)
The (BIG) Difference Between Being Romantic and Being Needy
Lots of people confuse being romantic with being needy or placating. Some people say, “I’m not going to act like that, I’m not a simp!” because their only concept of being romantic is acting like some kind of doormat.
Fair enough, it is true that there are some guys who act romantic even when they don’t really want to. It’s a means to an end for them, because they want approval from a woman (or man). They may do things solely to please her or because they’re afraid of losing her, even if going through with the “romantic” activity is torturous for them.
In that case, then yes, maybe a guy like that needs to grow a spine and learn to say “no.” Needy behavior isn’t very attractive, so trying to be romantic just to please your partner’s demands won’t get you far in the long run anyway.
You Can Be Romantic and Have Boundaries
The problem isn’t with romance itself; it’s with the idea of allowing yourself to go along with something you’d rather not do. Having boundaries in a relationship is important, even when it comes to romantic stuff.
“Romance” doesn’t have to look a certain way. You don’t have to do things you’re not comfortable with and you don’t have to chase your girlfriend around with flowers if that’s just not your style.
If you think something is unmanly, then don’t do it! Get creative and find a way that fits your relationship. Not every girl likes stereotypical romance, either.
Is Romance Important?
Maybe you think that romance isn’t even that important, so why bother?
Indeed, maybe it isn’t a big deal in your relationship to skip the romance. Maybe your partner really isn’t that into it, or maybe you’re part of a culture where being too romantic just makes people roll their eyes.
You Don’t Have to Call It “Romance”
Maybe you’re just caught up on the word “romance” and it brings lame images of flowers and chocolate to your mind. That’s perfectly fine. Don’t call it “romance,” then.
What is important, though, is that you take the time to develop emotional intimacy with your partner. Toss aside the distractions for just a moment and pay attention to each other. Regardless of what form it takes, this is what will help you grow closer to each other.
Why Do You Want to Become More Romantic?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Jorge Vamos