What Do Men Think Romance Really Means?

Photo: Getty
What Do Men Think Romance Really Means?

I’m going to start this off with a very important disclaimer: I am just one man out of billions.

Just because I'm explaining what romance means to me, that doesn’t mean the same definition will apply to every man. What I like could be something that another guy hates.

It’s impossible to speak in terms of what "all" men want in relationships, so I’ll speak for myself and you can do with it what you will.

Disclaimer over.

So, what does romance mean to men?

Well, personally, I’ll tell you that I’m a sucker for good romantic love story. As long as a TV series has a good budding relationship, I’ll watch it to the end.

Now I’m not saying I’ll go out of my way to find something like that — I mean none of Nicholas Sparks’ romantic novels interest me. Like anything else, I only watch or read what catches my eye. Why waste time on something you don’t like?

So while you might think that because I watch or read a lot of romance-related material I have a skewed sense of what romance is, and you’d probably be right — but you’d also be kind of wrong.

RELATED: 27 Men Describe The #1 Thing A Woman Did That Made Them Fall Deeply In Love

I’ve been in relationships before and I know they’re not all sunshine and roses like Hollywood rom-coms would like us all to believe. But just because something is shown on a screen, that doesn’t mean all of it is entirely fake.

There’s some truth that goes into a production, but as most of us know, relationships rarely play out like a script. They’re unpredictable and confusing at times, and the experience is different for everyone every time.

In fact, romance is something I believe should be different for everyone. It should be unique and thrilling for every person that experiences it.

But to help give you a better idea of what men want in relationships, this is what being romantic means to me as a man:

1. Romance is about wooing the person you love.

So this is probably where the biggest influence from Hollywood comes in. No woman is going to go out with a man they don’t like. Now while it’s true that after spending a lot of time together, she could just naturally fall for the guy, let’s work off the assumption that the guy has to make the girl fall for him.

In a way, this process is somewhat similar to when animals look for a mate. For some of them, they have to go through a whole elaborate dance to even interest the female. (Before you get any ideas guys, don’t start breaking out the moves in front of the girl you like on the sidewalk. That’s just weird.)

But if you’re trying to get a girl to fall for you, my advice would be to just show that you’re interested. That doesn’t mean get all touchy-feely with her — it simply means that you listen when she speaks, and you remember the things she says she likes. It’s all about the little things.

And if you do get in a relationship, remember that there’s no finish line — it’s not “you got the girl so now you can relax.” You have to keep the romance alive. Basically, keep wooing her. Continue taking an interest in the things she likes, do the things she wants to do. Keep showing how much you love her.

2. Romance is about being vulnerable — you have to show your emotions.

When boys are raised to be men, a lot of times there’s an ideology taught that we have to keep our emotions inside and to just always act like everything’s okay.

But when you want to have some romance, that requires more than a nice bouquet of flowers — it takes giving a part of yourself to make it truly worthwhile.

What makes love so crazy is that it embodies all of our emotions. We’re happy when we see the person we like and we get jealous when they’re with someone else. Emotions make up love, so it’s only natural that it takes putting in some in the pursuit of romance. Without it, what you feel now will just come off as shallow.

It’s something all men need to keep in mind, and it follows a basic principle: to get, you have to give. Women are naturally more emotional than men, and that shows in a relationship. Baring your emotions isn't a bad thing either — being vulnerable shows that she’s invested and that she cares. It’s something most guys could stand to do more of.

RELATED: 7 Of The Most Unexpectedly Romantic Things You Can Do For A Man

3. Romance is doing the best you can.

Romance isn’t easy. If it was, no one would be single. And while I certainly can’t speak for women, I’ve seen plenty of men go into a panic, thinking they screwed up with the girl they like. And because they’re raised to bottle emotions, they just end up confusing themselves about what to do.

The thing is, all we can really do is our best. No relationship is perfect and it never will be.

As a man, I feel like sometimes we try a too hard in our relationships — we try to impress her and convince her that we have no flaws, but really that’s just ridiculous. No one would believe that you’re flawless, so why try to convince them? Besides, you know the girl didn’t fall for you because you seemed perfect, so why try to be that way now?

Love and romance take effort, but you can’t overdo it. Just as you can put in too little effort, putting in too much can have the opposite effect as well. Just do what you can, the best you can. That alone should be enough.

4. Romance is loving with all your heart.

Yeah, I know, this last one sounds cheesy, but hear me out. No one wants a person to take a relationship half-heartedly. However, a lot of times when a man is in the pursuit of romance, he doesn’t take it seriously enough (at least that’s how it looks).

If you’re going to go after a girl, you should show that you’re committed.

I’m going to be honest here, I’m not really sure what that would look like. I don’t know because, as I said in the beginning, every guy is different. The way I approach a potential relationship is probably completely different than another man.

But one thing is consistently true: love with all your heart and be sure it shows to your partner.

If she’s the one for you, she’ll hear it loud and clear.

RELATED: 19 Deeply Meaningful Ways Women Make Men Feel Loved

Jesse Oakley is a writer who writes about love, relationship, self-care and spirituality/astrology.