In this Man’s Guide to Romance series, we will discuss the concept of romance as it relates to us men, and what we need to understand about what women find romantic, versus what some of us think they find romantic. Not surprisingly, these can be vastly different things. This is no easy educational process, because most women find different things romantic. And, to make things more complex, the timing or mood might change their perception of romance. Are you confused yet? If not, then you aren’t paying attention.
Past Lessons: Lesson 1, Lesson 2
In lesson one we covered some basic parts to the romance puzzle, and in lesson two we got a little glimpse into the effects of humor and chivalry. If you are reading this, you are either still in the game or intent on taking my advice. If you aren’t, and something has gone terribly wrong, this was all my wife’s idea.
“You look great for a woman of your advanced age.”
While this may sound just fine to some of us country boys, this is not a compliment. When you tell your loved one that they look good, just leave it at that. When it comes to compliments, simple is best.
Most women like to be complimented. Similar to the lesson on chivalry, you may get some resistance to your complimentary comments. If you tell her she is beautiful, she may reply with some reason why she thinks she is not. Don’t agree with her. Simply tell her that you see what you see, and you see beauty. She will find your unwavering opinion to be romantic, trust me.
Timing is important as well when complimenting a woman. If she has reached the end of her patience with something (or someone), it is probably a bad time to lay it on thick. However, if she has just returned from the beauty parlor (What? Oh, salon, whatever), it is your personal obligation to notice her hair and compliment her on it. My wife used to say that most women cry after a visit to the “salon”. I have never understood this, and am quite certain my barber would look at me funny if I cried after a hair cut. Being a former drill instructor and Army barber, he might even throw me out. But women are different from us men, and it seems as though their hair is pretty important. And take note here, if it is important to her, it is important to you.
Some compliments to get you started:
1. “I have never seen a more beautiful woman. If God struck me blind right now I would be just fine with your image as the last thing I see.”
2. “This is the finest meal I have ever tasted. If I wasn’t so attached to you I would urge you to open your own restaurant.”
3. “Thanks for being my wife for the last (number) years, I am a better man because of you.”
Try not to laugh when you use these, and don’t talk with your mouth full or scratch at yourself when you say them. Romance is as much about presentation and timing as the words that you use. Showing and explaining your sincere appreciation for your wife is paramount to your overall success.
Attention to Detail
I have a lot of friends that talk about sports, hunting, fishing, boats, cars and kids. As men, we are drawn to the things that we like to pay attention to. We are often distracted by shiny objects and food. This does not mean that our wives are not important to us, we just don’t pay enough attention to the details.
Some men are raised to believe that being “sensitive” is a bad thing. While I am not advocating being a weenie, there is a benefit to being sensitive when it comes to our wives. If she has a hobby, a favorite book or movie, you should know what they are. If she likes a specific kind of flower, you should have that catalogued in your brain right along with the proper rig to use when crappie fishing in May. These things are important, and critical to your overall success as a master of romance.
Make a list for yourself of the following facts about your wife:
1. Favorite color
2. Favorite flower
3. Sizes (shirt, shoe, pant, ring etc.)
4. Favorite place to eat
5. What she likes to do when she has free time (what she likes to read, movies, crafts, scrapbooking etc.)
Use these as your guide to help you plan a romantic night out, buy presents for your wife, or just to help you remember the details of what she likes. This may sound silly, but I keep a list of things in my wallet that I refer to from time to time, especially the sizes because getting your wife a large when she wears a medium is romantic disaster. And, if that happens, you then have to invoke the ERMP (Emergency Romance Management Plan), which we will cover later. I add to this list when I pick up on something new that my wife mentions.
So we have covered flowers, food, bodies, sense of humor, chivalry, compliments and attention to detail. Your romantic arsenal is growing. Next time we will discuss the application of these things in the real world, well, the man’s world anyway.