My husband recently overheard two of his male colleagues discussing Valentine’s Day.“It’s become so commercialized,” one of them complained. “It’s hardly worth celebrating.”
“Yeah,” the other agreed. “There’s no point in buying your wife flowers or candy for Valentine’s Day. *Everyone* is doing it. You’ll get more brownie points for buying those things on any other day.”
My husband chuckled to himself but didn’t butt in and give the response he wanted to: “I’ve been married for nearly thirty years, and I can tell you it’s *very* important to get those flowers and candy on Valentine’s Day, commercialization or not! That is, if you want to avoid sleeping in the doghouse.”
While I congratulated myself for having such an intelligent husband, I also wondered about the way men view romance as opposed to women. For men, it seems, romance is a means to an end…i.e., sex. I buy you flowers, you give me sex. I take you out to eat, you give me sex. You get the picture. Whereas for women, romance is the end in itself. Trust me, that’s the way it works. So for all you guys out there who are clueless, or would just like a few more clues, here’s a quick lesson in Romance 101.
1) Any time is a good time for romance. It’s important to hit the big notes, i.e., Valentine’s Day, your anniversary, her birthday, Christmas. She will expect something then, big or small. But romance given spontaneously, for no better reason than “just because I love you,” is mighty valuable, too. So the two men above had half of the equation right, they just missed the other half.
2) Any level of romance is good. While women will always appreciate chocolates and flowers, and of course diamonds!…many other things work. Stroke her hair in passing, cup her face with your hands when delivering a kiss. Rub her back, give her a spontaneous hug. Hold the door open for her, help her on with her coat. Tell her she looks lovely, tell her you missed her while you were at work, tell her you’re the luckiest man on earth to have her. These are small things, and they’re free! But will give you lots of credit in the romance bank.
3) Do not equate “I give you romance” with “Then, you give me sex.” The two are sometimes related but definitely not inseparable. You like steak, don’t you? What man doesn’t? Suppose every time your wife fixed steak for you, it was only because she wanted you to clean out the rain gutter? Wouldn’t you start to look on that steak with a jaundiced eye after a while and wonder, ”What does she want from me this time?” Women crave romance, but they don’t want to feel it’s a carrot you’re dangling to get what you want. They want you to romance them because you love them and want them to be happy. Nothing more.
4) Don’t be afraid to hold your wife’s hand in public, to put your arm around her, to tell your friends what a treasure she is and how lucky you are. Romance isn’t just for the home, when you’re alone. Sometimes the most romantic thing in the world is letting everyone else know how special she is!
5) Do you want to really surprise your wife? Next time you get in bed together at the end of a long day, pull her close to you and say, “Let’s just snuggle. I really need to feel you close to me.” Don’t be surprised if you hear a sniffle or two…and then, sometime in the next twenty-four hours, you may get *your* wish granted for the hottest sex ever. Not because she owes it to you after you romanced her…but because she loves you and wants to make you happy.
After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?
Till next time,