Ever have someone say something was romantic, and you completely, 100% disagree? I have. In fact, a friend and I were talking about that the other day, and it led to a question: what makes something romantic or not?
Here’s what we decided:
It’s Romantic If…
Both People Are Interested
This is the main game-changer. Even traditionally-romantic acts become creepy or awkward if one party is not interested.
In fact, some of the traditional romantic scenes really are a bit creepy anyway. We just ignore it because the recipient (usually but not always a woman) is so in love with the person that she finds it romantic and wonderful.
It Matches the Recipient’s Likes / Dislikes.
What the person likes matters. Which means that “traditional” romantic gestures are not always romantic. For example, I’ve met many women who hate to get cut flowers.
- “What am I supposed to do with those?”
- “Dead flowers are sad.”
- “That’s a waste of money.”
- “It’s like he doesn’t know me at all.”
On the other hand, some women love to get cut flowers. The point is that it depends on what the person likes.
A moonlit walk on the beach isn’t great if you’re afraid of the ocean. Rose petals everywhere sucks if you have OCD or allergies. Expensive jewelry is awkward or meh to someone who prefers a good sporting event or a hand-made card.
TLDR: It’s romantic if it shows that you care enough about the person to pay attention to what he/she likes!
It’s Outside the Giver’s Comfort Zone / Takes Effort
This one doesn’t make the act romantic all by itself (the other 2 have to be true). But it does make the action extra romantic because it shows how much the person cares. You’re not going to make a big effort or do something you don’t really like for just anybody. You have to really care about making the other person happy to do that (as a rule, right?).
And knowing that? Knowing that someone’s willing to go above and beyond for you? *melts* Now, that’s romantic!