Whether it’s been a few months or a few years, keeping romance alive without resorting to clichés isn't always easy. Our five-step guide for the romantically challenged is here to help learn how to be romantic.
If finding true love is a tricky business, keeping romance alive is even harder. On the romantic relationship front, most people fall into one of two camps. There are those who feel obligated to attempt some kind of meaningful gesture while secretly believing that “romance” is an illusion created by an industry obsessed with card and candy sales. Then there are those who would love to spice up their romance, but have no idea where to begin.
The good news? You don’t need to be loaded or Casanova to revive the notion of romance—you just need to think outside of the proverbial heart-shaped chocolate box.
1. How to be romantic: Make time for romance.
So many of us are bogged down with busy schedules that romance often falls to the bottom of the priority list. By romance, we’re not talking a six course meal, lit by a thousand hand-painted candles, accompanied by soft music emanating from an antique Elizabethan harp, with a dozen white doves floating over head—just take the time to show that you care. As Valerie Gibson, a relationships expert currently working on her third book, points out, if you truly love someone it shouldn’t be a chore to demonstrate it.
“Romance is about expressing affection for your partner,” says Gibson. “You can do it in so many little nice ways that don’t cost a lot. A real meaningful hug, for example, and not just a peck on the cheek as you fly out the door.”
2. How to be romantic: Keep it simple
Simple as in uncomplicated—not boring. Some of the best-laid plans end up completely muddled when there are too many elements to control. To avoid disaster, keep your romantic plans both manageable and unique.
For his first wedding anniversary, Greg Harris, 32, desperately wanted to lavish his wife with extreme romantic gestures. “It was a little crazy,” he recalls. “I had a horse-drawn carriage ride, musicians to serenade us, reservations at the fanciest restaurant in town and lots of champagne for toasting.”
Unfortunately, between the carriage ride and musicians, the Harrises missed their reservation and spent the rest of the evening hungrily searching for a new place to eat. “My wife wasn’t thrilled with the night,” Harris says. “Neither was I—although we can laugh about it now.”
For more tips on how to be romantic, read on to the next page...