If pop culture has told us anything about romance, it’s that it involves grand gestures, candlelight, and plenty of roses. And sure, those could work from time to time, but without the feelings behind them, they’re just empty actions and objects. So how does one become more romantic? You can try love messages or cards full of classic quotes about love, but that’s not always a sure thing.
Of course, romance is in the eye of the beholder no matter what stage of love you’re in, but there are some general strategies that can help you become a more considerate and romantic partner. The good news is that just like J.Lo sang, these tips don’t cost a thing. The (maybe) bad news is that you can’t just buy your way to romance — you have to put the work in. Here’s how to be more romantic.
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Express Your Love Using Words
Even if you’re not someone who is comfortable talking about their feelings, do let your partner know that you love them — even if you don’t use those three little words verbatim. According to Markus Steffen, Sue Klavans Simring and Gene Busnar, who wrote Making Marriage Work for Dummies, here are a few ways you can express your feelings of love beyond simply saying “I love you”:
- Tell your partner about your hopes, dreams, and secret thoughts. “There are some things that you can only communicate through words,” they write. “And few things make your partner feel closer to you than letting her in on your most private thoughts and visions.”
- Tell your partner often how much you love being in a relationship with them. Then, talk about their qualities that you enjoy most. Maybe it’s their sense of humor, or the way they greet you at the door when you come home from work? People in serious relationships often spend a lot of time complaining about one another’s faults and shortcomings. “If you want to stir up the romantic fires in your relationship, try letting her know what she does that pleases you most,” they write.
Give Your Partner Your Undivided Attention
If you’re scrolling through Instagram when you’re having a conversation with your partner, it sends the message that whatever you’re looking at is more important than they are. To be more romantic, do the opposite of that, and give them your undivided attention. “Whenever you can, take the time to give your partner 100 percent of your attention when they want to talk to you,” Dr. Barton Goldsmith writes at Psychology Today. “Put down the remote control or whatever you’re reading, face your partner and say, ‘What would you like to talk about?’ It will make your partner feel loved and important to you.”
Play and Laugh Together
Being in a serious relationship doesn’t mean you and your partner have to be serious with each other all the time. In fact, being playful and making each other laugh is an important part of being romantic. “When the routines of day-to-day life begin to take over, you may forget that playing together is as important as working together,” Steffen, Klavans Simring and Busnar write. “Few things help you appreciate the good things in life — and in your marriage — than adding a touch of child-like playfulness.” So go head: be silly and make each other laugh.
Make a Point of Making Time for Each Other
Scheduled romance doesn’t exactly sound romantic, but sometimes it’s the best way to ensure that you’re making time for that aspect of your relationship with your partner. “Make time to make-time,” Goldsmith writes. “Plan a romantic rendezvous during the week. You can get a room at a local hotel or plan to have the house all to yourselves. Just the anticipation of being together in this way will add spark to your romantic life.”