How To Be More Romantic For The Person You Love (Even When You're Not The 'Romance Type')

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How To Be More Romantic For The Person You Love (Even When You're Not The 'Romance Type')
Love

It’s no secret that I’m an incurable romantic, but I genuinely believe anyone can be romantic if they put forth the effort.

In fact, I’ll go a step further and say that if one’s partner has expressed a need for romance and one fails to make an effort to give it to them, one is selfish and needs to stop making proclamations of love and affection to said person. Because anyone can Google how to be romantic. 

I was in a long-term relationship once where I pointed out this fact a multitude of times. My partner kept saying he just wasn’t romantic, ignoring entirely my own need for it. But he was also ignoring the easy research that is Google, which can provide a variety of suggestions on how to give someone a little romance. 

Some might say I shouldn’t have been asking for what he couldn’t give, but the reality is that he could give it and simply wouldn’t, which is much more telling.

But beyond that, we should all ask for what we need. If what we need isn’t in our particular partner’s wheelhouse, maybe they need to expand outside of their comfort zone in the same way we often do for them when their needs differ from our own. It should be a mutual giving of what the other partner needs because they need it, not because we do.

That’s the balance of a healthy relationship — communicating needs and trying our best to meet them because we love and respect each other enough to at least try. 

RELATED: When She Asks You To Be 'More Romantic,' This Is What She Really Means

When someone we love would like a little dash of romance in their lives, it’s incredibly simple to provide. It doesn’t have to be a hot air balloon with champagne. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant international getaway. It really doesn’t have to be the oft-used and spectacularly boring grocery store red roses.

The Internet offers us an incredible array of ideas on how to be romantic, and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive.

Actually, the most important component of a romantic gesture is thoughtfulness. Taking someone for hot air balloon ride who is petrified of heights isn’t a romantic gesture; it’s relationship suicide. The best romantic gesture involves knowing the other person well enough to customize the gesture to their preferences and interests.

I had a former partner who stopped on the side of the road to pick me sunflowers. It was a romantic gesture because of the spontaneous nature of the gesture and because sunflowers are my favorite, a fact he knew well. 

Time, effort, and attention are also important factors when it comes to romance. Simply gifting someone our undivided attention can be a gesture of romance. Other classic gestures like cooking a meal, writing a poem, or singing a song are all considered romantic gestures because of the time and effort involved. 

Although in the seventh grade, a boy sang me Don’t Take the Girl during class in a high, cracking voice to my great embarrassment. It might have been more romantic had he been able to sing, if I had liked country music, and if we weren’t sitting in a classroom of my peers at the time. Points were given for trying, but points were subtracted for song selection, timing, and delivery. I look back now and see how sweet it was, but at the time, the grand romantic gesture was lost on me. 

RELATED: 7 Easy Ways To Bring The Butterflies & Romance Back Into Your Relationship

I think romance is the simplest of things, although I realize it may require great effort for someone who doesn’t personally see a need for it. Romantic gifts — to me — look like snow globes, lockets, and any reminder of a shared experience (think a souvenir from a trip, not porn).

Romantic gestures could include flowers for no reason, a favorite candy or snack, or a surprise getaway to a bed and breakfast. It could be a long hand-held walk together or cuddling up on the couch and watching movies you both love. It could be a handwritten letter, a kiss on the forehead, or bringing soup when the one you love is sick. 

Romance is highly individualized — or should be. It’s about what would make the person we love happy.

And it’s not just for women. There are many men who love romance and many women who love being romantic, too. I’ve sent flowers, surprised someone I loved with thoughtful gifts for no reason and been both the big and little spoon. This isn’t me telling men to be more romantic; it’s me saying that if our partners need romance, it’s a simple thing to Google it and get some ideas. 

We all have different, sometimes quirky, needs in relationships. There are people who love to cuddle and people who don’t want to be as much as touched while sleeping. There are people who need silence when they’re reading or watching television and people who talk all the way through their favorite films. There are people who love a night in and ones who love a night out.

If we can communicate about them, we’re more likely to get those needs met, but we do need partners who see the need of meeting our needs.

Our needs aren’t about expectations — realistic or otherwise. They’re about how we experience love. Call it our love language or just personal preference, but we all need different things to feel loved and valued. 

Being romantic with our partners means getting to know them at a deeper level than their favorite color and preferred sexual position. It’s knowing who they are at their heart and paying attention to what they like and don’t. It’s knowing their greatest dreams and deepest fears and being aware of the things that make them light all the way up at a soul level. 

Sometimes it’s easy: like the way that I light all the way up around puppies. A romantic date for someone like me might be petting puppies at a pet store. Sometimes it’s more difficult: someone wants a sense of romance but can’t put into words what it is they want. Maybe that’s the time to get creative (or let Google do it for you). 

It’s about seeing that the person we care about needs a thing and doing our best to meet their needs because we want them to be happy. It’s knowing that, in a healthy relationship, they’ll do the same for us. 

Romance doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t need to be expensive or over-the-top. It can be the simplest of things. It just needs to communicate that we were paying attention, that we care, and that we think they’re worth the time and effort.

Maybe everyone doesn’t feel a need for romance, but that’s not the point. Some people do. If we care about them, it doesn’t hurt to give them a little taste of romance. After all, romance isn’t dead. If you don’t believe me, Google it. 

RELATED: Why Romance Is Just A State Of Mind

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Crystal Jackson is a former family therapist who now spends her days writing. Her work includes blog posts, poetry, short stories, children's books, and literary fiction. You can connect with Crystal on FacebookInstagram or Medium at CrystalJackson.writer.