Experts Reveal The 5 Romantic Behaviors That Are Not Given Nearly Enough Credit

Romance isn't always about the grand gesture.

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Contempt is not the only emotion familiarity might breed in a long-term relationship. If a marriage lasts long enough — and surely, longevity is the goal — then the couple will almost certainly experience the panoply of human feelings toward and regarding one another.

Love, of course. Anger, yes. Disappointment, impatience, sadness, boredom, amusement, fear, distress, joy — you're going to feel it all. That's a good thing. You know what they say about variety. All those many emotions wreaking their inevitable havoc serve to keep things spicy, don't they?


And couples who truly love one another, who make the relationship last through all of it, seem instinctively to understand that to counterbalance the wild ride of emotion they need to cultivate one important aspect of their relationship: romance.

Now, we're not talking about the grand romantic gestures you see in the movies. Richard Gere isn't showing up in a stretch limo and climbing up your fire escape with a dozen street-vendor roses clutched in his teeth any time soon. 

No, we're talking about the everyday behavior that consistently shows your partner through tenderness and kindness that they matter today, tomorrow, and always. What does that mean, exactly?


To answer that question, we reached out to a panel of YourTango Experts and asked them to reveal the romantic behaviors that help happy couples stay together forever.

RELATED: 15 Simple Gestures That Truly Reveal He Loves You

RELATED: 5 Sweet Gestures That Make Your Partner Feel Exceptionally Loved


Here, experts reveal the five romantic behaviors that are not given nearly enough credit:

1. Listening, doing small favors, touching in a loving way

Happy and healthy relationships require maintenance, just like anything else, and that is usually done through some sort of show of love and affection. Oftentimes when people think of ways to show love to their partners they go for extravagant displays of affection, grand gestures, and expensive gifts. And all that is sweet and wonderful and gets praise and admiration from all around including social media. 

Unfortunately, the little gestures and behaviors we do either subconsciously or consciously that really keep the flame going get no credit. Let’s take a look.

Active listening. When you actively engage in listening to whatever your partner is saying, it shows them that you care about them and the things that are important to them. A deeper bond is built on the feeling of being heard and understood.

Small random gestures that show your partner that they are on your mind. Grabbing your partner’s favorite chocolate while getting gas, or bringing a glass of water to your partner while getting one for yourself. Even sending a cute text from work telling them you are thinking about them. 


Non-sexual touch. Physical affection releases oxytocin making everyone involved feel all warm and fuzzy, some research also suggests that it lowers stress and anxiety. Holding hands, cuddling, back rubs and just hugs can convey love, comfort, and security.

There are many more little things here and there that could be done to show love and affection thus keeping your partner happy in a relationship. The best place to start is to take the five love languages quiz with your partner to learn what makes them feel happy and loved.

Ella Scaduto, matchmaker, relationship coach

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2. Meal planning and cooking together

Some say food is the way to a man’s heart, but it can be the way to a woman’s heart as well. Eating is an emotional experience that is naturally related to safety, love, and belonging. This makes the experience of sharing food intensely bonding.


Over time a couple creates food experiences together such that food, or even the mention or smell of it, automatically evokes feel-good memories in your relationship. Your first dinner, what you ate on that wonderful trip, the foods you had on a magical summer evening — those foods will bring your partner right back to the original experience.

Beyond this, sharing the daily work of nourishing your family is a strongly appreciated contribution in every household. It demonstrates your value to the household and goes a long way toward keeping your partner happy and the romance strong. Regardless of which partner has primary responsibility, look for a way to contribute or surprise.

We have to eat so you might as well use that as a springboard to show your thoughtful, caring, and romantic sides.

Lisa Newman, MAPP, is a positive psychology practitioner, health coach, and certified intuitive eating counselor. 


RELATED: 9 Sweet, Old-Fashioned Courtship Ideas To Make Him Swoon

3. Flowers and an intimate massage

When I was young my mother and father never impressed me as being romantic. Looking back now my father did one thing that everyone noticed but as kids, we did not necessarily appreciate it. On the other hand, my mother always noticed and talked to her friends about it.

My Dad seasonally would always make sure there were beautiful flowering plants all around our house. You good not pass the house or approach our doorway without seeing fuchsias hanging from the awnings, roses, geraniums, tulips, and petunias blossoming in the flower beds. As kids, we had to do the weeding and grass cutting (which did not feel the least bit romantic to me), but my father always took personal care of the flowers. That was his form of romance. 

A fun caveat, as an adult going to the local wholesale florist became a passion of mine. I would purchase the most exotic beautiful appealing flowers I could find and take them to make flower arrangements for our house and bedroom. What woman does not love flowers?


Whether on our feet or sitting most of the day there are always areas in our bodies that need extra attention. I have never had my beloved turn down a foot, shoulder or head massage. Conversely, I can’t think of a time I have either.

A few minutes of selfless physical touch may be one of the most potent ways to create longevity in a romantic relationship. To know our partners are always aware of how comfortable we feel in our bodies is truly delicious beyond words. The extra focus on physical intimacy is an easy 5-star behavior we can all do for our partners.

Larry Michel, founder of the Institute of Genetic Energetics

RELATED: 34 Small Gestures That Mean He's Into You


4. Getting down and dirty together — literally 

Couples often don't recognize the pure romance of committing to the other person and participating in the not-so-fun daily grind of relationship maintenance. Whether it is household chores or a deep difficult discussion.

Are you romantic enough to get down to the nitty-gritty, on your hands and knees, to scrub out those moldy corners hidden behind almost empty, but don’t throw it out, conditioner bottles? Romance is not always pretty — nor does it always smell good like a home-cooked meal prepared with love. Sometimes, the romance is far less pleasant but much more binding.

Then there is the romance of staying present when the relationship gets intense. Whether it is processing past trauma, or confronting a problem or disagreement in the relationship, nothing says romance to me more than being present and participating in making the love life work when there seems no end to the struggle.


Either way, deep romance can be found in uncomfortable moments.

- Will Curtis, writer, and Associate Editor for YourTango

5. Living life as a poem

Consultant and former diplomat Ruth Schimel liked the question so much that she shared a poem she wrote about the topic from years past: 

The Ungifts

Here are the ungifts that leave voids:

Not telling someone what they mean to you

Not listening to what someone means

Not meaning what you say


Not making meaning by how you do something

None cost anything but attention.

But attention demands.

There’s no escape into thoughts …

There’s a danger of feelings that float up …

There’s vulnerability …

There’s commitment …

Where love lies.

Ruth Schimel, Ph.D., career & life management consultant, author

RELATED: 15 Easy Ways To Be Way More Romantic With Your Girlfriend Or Wife

Carter Gaddis is the senior editor for Experts and Wellness with YourTango.