Traditionally, men are the ones expected to be the romantic ones. Chocolate, flowers, movie dates, long dinners with wine and dessert… Film and television have provided a very distinct, and often incorrect, example of what romance looks like. Romance comes with expectations, and if those are not met, then a person is labeled incapable of being truly caring or loving.
But what about these men who are required and expected to be romantic? Is it impossible to think that these men would like a little romance in return? While it may not be all wine and chocolate, many men would also like the experience of being adored and cared for by the person they love. Depending on the nature and quality of the relationship, the desired experiences will vary. A good place to start is to consider your man’s love language.
What is a love language?
The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts was a book of strategies developed and written by Gary Chapman. Since its original publication, several versions have been released, including one edited specifically for men. In this book, Chapman describes love languages as the primary forms in which we communicate love: giving gifts, hearing and speaking words of affirmation, engaging in physical touch, doing acts of service, and spending quality time. While most individuals appreciate and place value on affection shown in each of these ways, everyone has one or two primary languages. Showing affection to someone in the ways that mean the most to them can have a profound impact on the health and satisfaction of a relationship.
Translating the Five Love Languages
So how does each of these languages translate into being romantic with your man? Take a look at the examples below for some ideas on how to engage with the man you love in a way that shows him abounding affection.
- Giving gifts: The giving of gifts does not have to be as simple as it sounds. For some, gifts are reserved for birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays. But for some, a true sign of love and affection is being given a gift “just because.” The gift can be a small item meant to say “This made me think of you.” The item can also be something larger, perhaps saying “You are this important in my life.” Being romantic does not have to be hard – do not over complicate or over think it! If your man seems to respond best to the giving and receiving of gifts, give the gift of something that shows him how passionate you are when he is part of your life. Give something that says you are at your best when you are with him.
- Speaking words of affirmation: This language can be difficult to recognize at times, but implementing it is very simple. If you have figured out that your man feels loved most when he is praised, thanked, or shown appreciation, then use this to your advantage. To be romantic, choose a new way of saying thank you. Use the words but couple it with actions. Verbally acknowledge something he has accomplished and tell him how proud you are of him. Add a romantic dinner to the words of praise, and you might find your partner responding in new ways.
- Engaging in physical touch: While most would think romantic physical touch is primarily sexual, take into consideration other ways you could be romantic with your man while still being appropriate in a public setting. Holding his hand, rubbing his neck or shoulders, sitting next to him rather than across from him at dinner, or slipping your arm around his are simple ways of saying how much he means to you.
- Doing acts of service: Sometimes the way to a man’s heart is by doing something he is not looking forward to doing or helping him do something he is usually responsible for doing alone. Mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, fixing dinner, and paying bills do not necessarily sound romantic. But for a man whose primary love language is ‘acts of service’, doing some of these simple tasks can lift a weight from his shoulders and leave more time for the two of you to spend together.
- Spending quality time: Many men, though they enjoy the other forms of affection, love to simply be with their partners. It is not necessary to be doing something productive, useful, or physically intimate. They prefer the presence of their partner above anything else. Try putting the phone down, turning off the television, and going for a walk together. It often does not matter if you are even engaged in the same activity, as long as you are together. Rather than staying late at work, come home on time – reserve that time for him and show him he is your top priority.
Remember, nobody has a single love language. We may prefer one over another, but be sure to vary the ways in which you show your man affection. Combine some of the above suggestions – do something new, different, or unexpected. The more time and energy you invest in your man, the more likely you are to find him responding likewise. Men deserve a little romance sometimes, too!