General Question

Kay's avatar

How can I get my boyfriend to be more romantic?

Asked by Kay (1598 points ) April 13th, 2008

We’ve been dating almost a year now and I feel like I can’t get him to plan a date or do anything special. Any suggestions? What do you do to keep things romantic?

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16 Answers

eadinad's avatar

I don’t think suggestions of what we do to keep things romantic will help you, as you don’t seem to need suggestions. It’s your boyfriend that’s the problem – but I doubt he needs suggestions either. I’m sure he could find those on his own, so it’s probably just not important to him. You have three options.

1. Accept the fact that you two have different priorities and methods of expressing love in the relationship, and decide you’re okay with that.

2. Tell him he needs to be more romantic if you two are going to be compatible. Be specific and direct. If he doesn’t change within a certain time span, leave him.

3. Realize he will probably never change anyway, spare yourself the heartache, and leave now.

You will never be able to “get” him to do anything. You can not force anyone to do or feel anything – in fact, you don’t really want to. It wouldn’t be fulfilling if you were making him do it.

Best of luck.

Kay's avatar

@eadinad: Yeah, I’ve been oscillating between suggestions 2 and 3. I think I’m just trying to delay the inevitable break-up. And I’m well aware of the fact that you can’t force someone to do anything, but I would like to find an effective way to communicate this to him without him feeling like he’s being attacked.
edit: I also think he’s not necessarily unromantic, just clueless.

eadinad's avatar

Okay, in that case, try something like this:

Hey Mr. Kay, can we talk about something? I would really like it if you planned something special and romantic for us to do together. I feel rejected/frustrated/whatever when we don’t spend enough special time together. This is really important to me, and I really need you to make an effort. If you don’t think you can do this, you need to talk to me about it now, because this is something I feel strongly about.

kevbo's avatar

This may run counterintuitive to your thinking, but if you want results, start rewarding him for romantic gestures, no matter how small. You’ll need to build up his ego in this department and get him associating romance with rewards. It doesn’t have to be sexual; you can also work on his ego. Scale back on criticism. All that does for a guy is turn him away.

He needs to hear from a guy’s point of view that this kind of stuff is important to you and to women in general. Set things up so that he will get that point of view. I learned a great deal by reading my favorite book about women.

TheCouncil's avatar

I just want to agree with kevbo on this. I used to hear the you don’t do anything romantic thing but everytime I tried there was virtually no reaction. It would feel like I failed and you can only have so much failure before you stop trying. Make sure that if that conversation does happen and he promises to try that you react accordingly to his efforts. The first things will be small but if the reaction is there the efforts will be bolder. Good luck.

wildflower's avatar

Not sure you should force ‘being romantic’ on him. Some people just aren’t.
However, he may just have a different take on what is romantic and perhaps he’s being romantic – in his opinion – all the time, but it may not be apparent to you.
Either way, what the other’s have said; talk to him about it and if you find it’s an incompatibility, accept it and decide if it’s one you can live with or if it’s a ‘deal-breaker’.

Robby's avatar

@TheCouncil, that is so true! (you can only have so much failure before you stop trying)

As for the question at hand. One’s idea of being romantic might not be another’s. I think it also has a lot to do with having compatibility issues with the other person. Plus, some
people either have what it takes to be romantic or they do not.

cwilbur's avatar

Second what TheCouncil says: if he is romantic in the way you like and you shut him down (because you’re “not in the mood,” for instance), he probably won’t try again.

Babo's avatar

Some guys are just naturally romantic and some aren’t. Maybe he’s not the one for you if romance is what’s important to you.

Kay's avatar

It’s not necessarily “romance” that’s important, but just thinking of little things or putting effort into planning something like an activity or a date. I don’t think that’s unreasonable to expect in any relationship.

scamp's avatar

You could also try positive reinforcement. When he does even a little something for you, make sure you let him know how much it means to you. Brag about him to your friends while he is there so he can hear you. The better you react to the good things he does, the more he will want to do. Change phrases like “we never….” or “I wish you would” to “I love it when you”... or “you are so sexy when you”....

He will want to hear more compliments like this, so odds are he may do a little more of what you want him to do. When you talk to him about the type of romance you want, tell him in a way that will not put him on the defensive. Tell him things you would like to do with him, and don’t point out the things that he hasn’t done for you. If he hears a lot of negativity from you, he will retreat, and neither of you will be happy. Smile and wink at him more. Flirt with him like you did when you first met. That might help to put a little spark back into his oven. Good luck!!

chaosrob's avatar

So, in summary, “Please take me someplace nice a few times before I dump you.”

forestGeek's avatar

Make sure you are bringing romance to the relationship. If you definitely are, and he does nothing, question whether or not he is the right person for you. You cannot expect him to change into what you want. If you do break things off, make sure he knows why you did and be very honest, it might help him realize he’s needs to learn be more romantic. Just don’t try to change him, he has to change on his own.

lotus21's avatar

My boyfriend and i are having a similar problem….we were best friends before and now we are together and i guess it feels like we hang out really well and have so much fun doing that, that we never really do super romantic things together….we definitely have our adorable moments but sometimes i feel like its just lacking that extra romantic stuff…someone can say they love you a million times but knowing the person is truly and purely in love with you and only you in the most important thing to me personally and doing things that are romantic without having to be asked emphasizes that part of the romantic relationship….im up in the air….I need some advice obviously as well….i surprise him all the time….leave him love letters, take sexy pictures, have an extremely amazing sex life, and constantly tell him how i feel about him and how thankful i am that i have him in my life….he does express his emotions to me but usually its after i do something for him….so i dont know if its something he is just doing in response or if he ever feels the urge to do something special for me that will make me feel how in love with me he is and appreciates that i am his…i dont know…im rambling and probably sound crazy but you can not change anyone and im not trying to….im starting to think im expecting too much….but is romance really that dead?

firemans_girl2009's avatar

@lotus21… You’re not rambling, I have the exact relationship with my BF. Its like beating my head against a brick wall trying to get anything out of him. I do the stroking his ego thing and complimenting every little thing he does that should be complimented. I’m sure I miss things, but I’m only human. You can bet that he gets compliments from me every day though. I send him texts, I leave notes in his wallet, give him a massage, rub his feet and there are occasions when I can tell he’s trying, but for the most part if it wasn’t up to me, we could go all day without a kiss or a touch or an I love you. And it isn’t that he doesn’t love me, I can tell on the occasions when he is trying that he does love me… he just doesn’t think about it. That’s the frustrating part because I can’t seem to get him off my mind.

methodgirl's avatar

Hi guys! I had the exact same sitch with my current bf:

411:

Him and I have been best friends since High School. He always used to like me, but I never saw him in a romantic way. He had relationships in the past and I was married with someone else for 7 years. After I seperated from my ex, he found his opening and took a chance to pursue me. Resistant at first as I found it “too soon” to get involved after a horrible break up. Besides that he REALLY was not my type of guy and I just could not see him as BF material.

He did not stop, and throughout the whole “courting” process, I found it easier and easier to like him and eventually fall for him. The beginning of our romantic relationship was absolutely blissful. After a year or so things started to deteriorate. He just lost his luster of being a loving, caring guy. I guess he was never really romantic to begin with, but the way he treated me in the beginning was much more caring and loving. Even intimacy started to lessen. Eventually I could not take it and started complaining and nagging to him on how much he’s changed and how he never does anything special for me anymore. Everything’s become a routine, we don’t even go to watch movies anymore. Every weekend is spent in the bedroom watching TV or watching him surf on the internet.

We took a breather from each other for about a month in September last year….a whole month of reflection, evaluating the relationship and what not. It was clear to both of us that we love each other…not just as partners but as the best friends we had been for 11 years before that. We had a huge falling out and it was pretty much a nasty breakup.

I realized I had become too emotionally dependent on him. During that month apart, i kept trying to win him back. I could not let go. The more I tried, the further he seemed to drift away. A week before we got back together I had decided I’ve had enough of trying. Obviously if he does not want to talk to me and keeps ignoring me, then I guess he is not THE ONE for me. As hard as it was to get to that point after roller coasting with my emotions….I had reached the point where I said: I am done with this guy and I am officially going to start to move on.

Surprisingly…the moment I stopped all contact with him, he was the one who started getting back in touch. Out of spite…I did what he did to me just so he could feel what hurt I went through. I ignored him, did not reply to his texts, did not see him. Finally, he came and asked to speak to me. With anger and pain in my eyes I asked him:

What is there for us to talk about? You wanted this thing to be over….now you got it! He said: That is not what I wanted, all I needed was some space. Well now you can have all the space in the world, I replied. He started pursuing me again, trying to prove himself to me.

A few weeks later we came we were stronger than we had ever been. What I probably also failed to mention is that I got excellent help from reading Sherry Argov’s “Why Men Love Bitches”. I applied some of the principles and it has been working wonders.

The reason why I rambled on about how my relationship began is this girls: The moment you emotionally detach yourself from your man and do your own thing as an independent woman….the more they will want you and will fight for you!

Please remember that men live for the chase. Motivating him is one thing, but over-thanking, being overly caring and loving, overly attentive…sends him the wrong message. He will start to feel that you are a mother, rather than a lover. And as such he will become comfortable with how things are. It is not that he is not romantic…he just does not feel like there is a need to be…WHY? Because either way you are there being nice, tending to his every need and being an agreeable “wifey”.

That is the biggest lesson I learned from what happened to me. I always babied him, bought him everything he wanted, cooked for him, paid for his laundry, took him on trips and vacation…almost feeling like a sugar momma just in hopes to gain some kind of recognition from my efforts.

I have since stopped doing ALL of that!

The best technique is to create time for him to miss you. Be highly unpredictable. The more unpredictable you are, the better. Because he will never know what to expect…and by not knowing what to expect…he will always want to figure out HOW TO FIGURE YOU OUT!

I started simple:

1) instead of always spending the weekend with him (which is what I used to do before…like an SOP since its the only time we get to see eachother), as much as it pains me to NOT see him…I started doing things for myself…when he asked me if I would meet him for lunch on Saturday, for the very first time I said: Sorry I booked an appointment to get my nails done. That is the one thing he would have never expected me to say…and as a result it immediately made him think: Why would she go get her nails done, when she knows this is the only time we get to spend with each other???

2) I kept doing this weekend after weekend or sometimes when he asked during the week to see me I did it too… Oh Im sorry i already have lunch plans with a friend. The same goes for calls and text messages….if he is used to you replying 2 seconds after he sends you a text…try not to reply till 3 hours later or dont reply at all till the next day. Him not knowing your every move, keeps you mysterious and unpredictable.

3) if there is something you don’t like about him…DO NOT NAG or say it bothers you under any circumstance. I know everyone says being honest is the best policy, but with men…it’s still just NAGGING. So rather than talking about it, just be indifferent. Be nice but not too nice….make him “feel” something is bothering you without being a bitch or feisty…just kind of “emotionally absent” I guess…until he finally asks. And when he DOES ask…just say…“I don’t really feel like getting into that right now” And just by you saying that…a guy who never WANTS to talk…will suddenly want to talk just because it will bother him knowing something is wrong and he does not know what!

4) Result: For the first time ever he finally said: Do you have plans this Saturday, I would really like to take you out on a date and buy you a present! WOOOHOOO SHOCK!!!!

We spent one of the best non-vacation weekends just last Saturday….he bought me 2 presents and we ate out and had the most amazing lovemaking that day. From a guy who never took me on a single date, to one of the best dates I ever had!

Project get him to be more romantic: SUCCESSFUL

Like I said, it is really tough to refrain from being overly loving…as us girls tend to just love to wear our hearts on our sleeve and feel like being part of a romantic movie. But it just does not happen that way

In addition:

Since I have started doing things on my own…I have also gained a new found self-respect knowing that I do not need to depend on him to get things done and to be happy. Also I am starting to get used to not NEEDING him to be around all the time. It makes the time we are together seem even more special.

On a side note….he has also started talking about our future together…like vigorously with passion. We are now planning for a baby…which was something he was not prepared for for a long time. We also talk about our future business plans and he even talked about where he wants to get married! We are not yet engaged…but just him talking about that stuff to me is just as romantic as all those gestures.

Ultimate suggestion:

Read “Why Men Love Bitches” by Sherry Argov… you can’t go wrong with that purchase! A real eye opener!

Good luck ladies! I hope you get satisfying results!

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