I don't want to hear any more talk about romance being "dead," "on life support" (ugh), or "only sleeping." Romance is alive and well, but it IS evolving. Modern romance is less about creating a fantasy and more about really getting the object of your affection. Romantic gestures that hold up today are born of sincere attention to the object of your affection's desires. Whether these gestures are spontaneous or planned for months, they are thoughtful.
The crazy, lovesick poet at the window thing is over. Unless you know for sure that the person with whom you're smitten has a thing for crazy lovesick poets. You see what I mean?
It's not easy stuff to navigate, and you should never be afraid to express your feelings if that's what your heart is telling you. However, considering these 8 practical guidelines for modern wooing could save you from embarrassment, court appearances, etc.
1. Is it appropriate to the situation?
Consider how long you've been dating and how much you really know about each other. Male, female, gay, straight -- everybody likes to be romanced, but only by people that they want to romance them. In general, a romantic gesture isn't going to win some one over who doesn't already like you. Ask yourself: Are you the person they want to hear this from? If you're not sure, is it at least a calculated risk? HowAboutWe: Facebook Etiquette- When Is It Okay To Friend Someone You're Casually Dating?
2. Are you just trying to make a point?
"But romance isn't supposed to be 'appropriate' or 'calculated' -- that's the problem with blah blah blah today..." Shhhhh. Tell it to the judge at your restraining order hearing. Romantic gestures aren't about taking out your anger at a world that has become mundane and afraid of connection. Romantic gestures are supposed to make the object of your affection feel good and part of feeling good is not being creeped out. If it doesn't move them, it's not romantic. End of story. HowAboutWe: 6 Really Unattractive Things That Women Do When They're Drunk
3. Don't put them on the spot
If you've ever full-body-cringed at some misguided train wreck of a public marriage proposal, then you know this golden rule of romantic gestures -- never in front of a crowd. Embarrassing your paramour isn't good for anybody and pressure is creepy. Maybe you do want to "shout it from the mountaintops," but consider whether or not they'd rather you just whisper it in their ear.