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Post by eselle28 on Fri May 15, 2015 6:22 pm

This is inspired by the thread about men being romantic, but relates to my personal life. My boyfriend is toward the romantic end of the spectrum. He likes sending flowers, buying a bottle of champagne and driving to the beach, giving jewelry, and a lot of other things along those lines. He also pretty clearly likes being fussed over himself, or at least at least he's responded very well to my showing up at a night shift for a surprise picnic or dropping by his house to leave a card and some cheesecake for him to find when he gets home. The thing is, I'm not really all that romantic myself and a lot of things that are deemed romantic are kind of gendered. I'm pretty sure that sending him flowers at his almost exclusively male workplace would result in teasing (EDIT: he wouldn't be crushed by teasing, but I don't think he'd like the gesture much if it led to some...he's more of his brodude self at work and keeps the squishy romantic side for romantic and family relationships), and buying jewelry doesn't seem like it would be very effective, either. I did get him thoughtful birthday gifts and generally try to be an appreciative partner in the unromantic ways that are intuitive to me, but does anyone else have ideas or stories about gestures that have been well-received?

(Oh, probably worth noting, but my only creative talents involve sewing, so writing poetry would be more likely to make people think of comedy rather than romance.)
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Post by Guest on Fri May 15, 2015 9:25 pm

If you don't mind me asking, why would jewellery not be effective? I assume it's because he doesn't wear much of it?

I only ask because my mum buys my dad a fair amount of jewellery (and vice versa, honestly) in what could be described as romantic gestures. Celtic bracelets, rings, necklaces and the like. And, well, he does wear it.

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Post by PintsizeBro on Fri May 15, 2015 9:34 pm

What is romance, exactly? What makes flowers and chocolates and midnight dances in the moonlight romantic? My closest understanding really is that it's about thoughtfulness and effort. A gesture is romantic if you took the time to do something nice for your partner that they would like without prompting. Or something like that.

As pointed out in the other thread, a midnight dance under the moonlight ceases to be romantic if the person you've prepared it for doesn't like to dance and has to be up at 5am.

My girlfriend got me a bottle of my favorite whiskey and a box of cookies that paired very well with said whiskey as a Valentine's Day present. I was pretty thrilled, it was a great gift, and it was very sweet of her to want to do something nice for me. Especially on Valentine's Day, which nowadays has become all about men making romantic gestures to women.

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Post by Guest on Fri May 15, 2015 10:00 pm

eselle28 wrote:
(Oh, probably worth noting, but my only creative talents involve sewing, so writing poetry would be more likely to make people think of comedy rather than romance.)

Well, I'm the type of fellow who loves funny ladies, so if your poetry is hilarious, I'll be all over that stuff. Razz

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Post by Guest on Fri May 15, 2015 10:35 pm

I think the real secret to romance is paying attention and acting on it. If your SO mentions a movie he's wanted to see but can't find, track down someone selling it on eBay and have it waiting for him with his favorite cookies. If there's a meal he particularly likes and doesn't get a lot, make it for him as a surprise (or order it as takeout). Romance is about showing the person, "I am thinking about you. When you tell me I like something, I want to give that to you."

I love romance. But flowers and chocolate always felt like the opposite of romance, like it was an eyerolling, "Well, I have to give you something. Here's the default gift." But a CD by a group I'd never heard of, chosen because of its similarity to a group I mentioned liking? That was amazing.


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Post by eselle28 on Sat May 16, 2015 12:05 am

Thanks for the thoughts everyone! I'm with the fellow in question now, but I'll respond tomorrow.
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Post by readertorider on Sat May 16, 2015 10:55 am

ElizaJane wrote:I love romance. But flowers and chocolate always felt like the opposite of romance, like it was an eyerolling, "Well, I have to give you something. Here's the default gift." But a CD by a group I'd never heard of, chosen because of its similarity to a group I mentioned liking? That was amazing.

To me there's something special about flowers/chocolates/traditional gifts especially if there's a small unique twist. Being valued in a traditional feminine way is different and exciting in my experience (and for some of my friends). Also for guys in my age/culture range buying flowers for a girl is a) uncool and b) likely not something they know too much about, so there's an extra level of implied care in the gift giving. (Plus it's rather hard to do chocolates/flowers wrong baring allergies--are they edible/alive? do I own some container that will hold water? Whereas an introductory kit for !hobby I mentioned enjoying or <genre> book that really isn't my taste doesn't actually feel that thoughtful.)

Anyway, do you think your boyfriend would enjoy "atmospheric" type romance? Walking somewhere under the full moon when stars are visible? Visiting waterfalls? Park + trees + flowers + animals + people? Watching a sunset? Chasing fireflies? (A large portion of my (not so large) dating experience has involved walking around, talking, and looking at pretty things Smile)

How about longish handwritten cards/letters? Especially for birthdays/special occasions? You don't have to sit there while he reads it, but tangible reminders of affection are nice.

I really like random gifts of food. Also if you want to go down a jewelryish path watches (+/- bands) and sunglasses seem to be two traditional male equivalents.

Are there 'childish' activities that you think you would both like? Kite flying, s'mores, cycling, snowball fighting, fairgrounds, drive in movies, hot air balloon show etc.? Maybe I'm confused but I tend to associate romance and fun for fun's sake.
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Post by Gman on Sat May 16, 2015 12:47 pm

PintsizeBro wrote:...a midnight dance under the moonlight...

Wow, I'm swooning just from reading that Lovestruck . If a woman I'm in a happy relationship with would do that - I'd probably ask her to marry me right then and there Laughing Razz
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Post by Caffeinated on Sat May 16, 2015 1:13 pm

readertorider wrote:To me there's something special about flowers/chocolates/traditional gifts especially if there's a small unique twist. Being valued in a traditional feminine way is different and exciting in my experience (and for some of my friends). Also for guys in my age/culture range buying flowers for a girl is a) uncool and b) likely not something they know too much about, so there's an extra level of implied care in the gift giving. (Plus it's rather hard to do chocolates/flowers wrong baring allergies--are they edible/alive? do I own some container that will hold water? Whereas an introductory kit for !hobby I mentioned enjoying or <genre> book that really isn't my taste doesn't actually feel that thoughtful.)

I'm with you on this one. Also, I know what to do with flowers or chocolate, while some of the other things mentioned can feel like too much, or hard to process or deal with.

One of the more popular romantic gestures in my household is if either of us is going to the kitchen to get ourself a drink, we offer the other one a drink too, or in certain cases just bring the person's drink of choice. It's a little gesture that says "I'm thinking about you".
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Post by Andrew Corvero on Sat May 16, 2015 2:24 pm

Romance is about showing the person, "I am thinking about you. When you tell me I like something, I want to give that to you."

I think you nailed it.

Romance, deep down, is a way to say to your SO "I care about you and about what you like" just not with words by with events, gifts, etc.

During my three year long on-off "informal" relationship the girl I was in a relationship with said she thoroughly hated romance, especially "coffee advert romance" as she called it. Flowers and chocolate made her roll her eyes, pet nicknames disgusted her, she hated holding hands or showing affection in public. She actually loved to make fun of romance. She also disliked showing affection in "conventional" ways: she loved to give people insulting nicknames to show affection.

For example her father was "the Old One" (or sometimes even "Cthulhu"), her mother was "General Yessir", her sister "Barbie on stilts", her best friend "Albachiara" (it's the title of an Italian song about a sweet and innocent but very naive young woman) and I was a myriad of different nicknames ("Captain Anxiety" "Big Red Hot Lips" and "Beardy", among many others). I responded in kind, though: she was "Razor Tongue" "Shorty" and "Elvira, Dark Mistress of the Night". Razz

She also had a really dark sense of humor (which I share).

However once she told me that she really wanted to go on a Ferris wheel as a child but her parents thought it was too dangerous, and she never really had the chance to do it and she was pissed "because I never got the chance to sneak on the wheel, lean out the window and give them a heart attack".

So when I read an online article that said that they built a Ferris wheel in a town not too far from where we lived I booked two tickets and the next time I took that girl for a ride I said "There's a surprise for you, and it's not a kidnapping" (to which she answered "Damn you, I was really counting on the ransom money").

I brought her to the Ferris wheel and said "Now you can give ME a heart attack". She turned around, kissed me and said: "You magnificent bastard! You made romance cool again."

See, that's probably not what people think when they think about romance, but she thought it was pretty romantic. Laughing

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Post by PintsizeBro on Sat May 16, 2015 2:36 pm

Andrew, that story is so fucking heartwarming I can't believe it.

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Post by Andrew Corvero on Sat May 16, 2015 2:46 pm

PintsizeBro wrote:Andrew, that story is so fucking heartwarming I can't believe it.

I really miss her now. Sad

Back on topic, I guess that everybody loves romance, but the nature of romance changes with the nature of the people in the relationship. To be romantic you have to listen carefully to what your SO says and care about what they like and want. No person is the same so what is romantic for person X could be awful for person Y.

There's no pre-programmed cliche for romance. You just have to know each other. Romance is in the eye of the beholder.

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