Men and Romance: Its Complicated

The definition of the word romance in most dictionaries, including the mother-of-them-all Oxford English Dictionary, includes the statement “a love affair.” In real life, however, the word romance means entirely different things to men and women but there is probably some common ground here. I think that Robert Frost best summarized what we would all agree that romance is when wrote about “an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired”.

Romance: A Man’s View

  1. “Me Tarzan, You Jane.” It may start like this, but things evolve. As the hunter instinct fades, the nurturing phase begins. Instead of giving flowers, he shares his earnings. Instead of listening, he tries to solve any and all problems. These are subtle but practical ways that men use to take the relationships they covet to the next level. He may only buy flowers on Valentine’s Day but he fills the gas tank weekly. Think of it as the Elvis Presley, “taking care of business” concept.
  2. His intentions are innocent. He believes that through a focus on being a protector and provider that he is meeting all of her needs.
  3. For the most part, sex is not a symphony. Men tend to rush to the final movement without regard for the rest of the performance. Admittedly, there is room for improvement, here. One way for women to make ground here is to emphasize that it is clear that he loves the steak, but to save room for dessert.

Romance: What You Might Not Know About Men

A published survey in Psychology Today listed, in order of importance, what men like in romance. Believe it or not, presented here, from first to last, are their top 10 preferences:

Taking walks together
Candle-lit dinners
Holding Hands
Making love
Love letters
Sitting by the fireplace
So, it appears that men may not actually come from Mars after all. And, please note that romance, although not a vocabulary word used by most men, is something deeply felt nevertheless.

Tips For Valentine’s Day

What is all of this leading to?  A succinct, practical, digestable and romantic set of tips for Valentine’s Day:

  1. Give your partner a compliment.
  2. Indulge in your favorite taste treats.
  3. When the lights go out, turn the TV (read: computer, phone, ipad) off.
  4. Go to bed at the same time.
  5. Get the kids out of the bed.
  6. Music moves the soul; listen to your favorite tunes.
  7. Don’t underestimate the power of the kiss.
  8. Mix up the sex. Gourmet, home-cooked and fast food varieties all have a place.
  9. Say, “I love you.”  Women need to hear it and men need to say it. After all, we all agree that fundamental to romance is a love affair.