Is it that men are intrinsically unromantic or is it that men view romance in a very non-romantic way? In the very definition of romance you will find the words unrealistic, idealistic, and impractical appear. So is it fair that women expect the more concrete of the species to perform scenes of whimsical fantasy? Generalizations frustrate me and one of the most persist generalizations are that men are not romantic. That man is to be trained by his mate on how to be romantic. I continue to see this recurrent theme throughout the web, books, and in magazines. Titles like: “How men screw up romance”, “How to make your guy more romantic”, “Men Suck at Romance.” As if men are unfeeling, unexpressive shells with a penis. Thanks to another widely accepted overgeneralization about men, a man shows affection solely to attain sexual intercourse. Although romance often leads to sex, I do not believe that it’s the primary objective, even for men. In my opinion the motivating force to demonstrate the medieval ideal of chivalry is to express one’s love or emotional desire to connect with another person; another words a deeper level of intimacy. It’s not that intimacy replaces romance but that romance and intimacy coexists. I argue that men crave and seek intimacy just as much as women in their relationships. I don’t believe that most men are negligent in attempting emotional closeness with the woman in their life but that many women have a different perspective on what it means to be romantic.
I’m not quite sure how riding a horse on the beach or a large bouquet of roses increases intimacy but for some women this is exactly what it means to be romantic. Modern women’s ideals of what is romantic are more about commercial illustrations than emotional connectedness. Many women associate visions sold to them by Hallmark, 1-800 Flowers, and DeBeers with romance. Like these companies are in business to promote intimacy with your mate, rather than selling their products. True romance is not something you can buy, romance is something you express. I have to hand it to men; I think that most men grasp this concept better than women do. For men, romance is more often expressed through non material or non theatrical deeds. Simple nods to love that can communicate more to how he feels about you than any FTD delivery. I believe that most men don’t mind or even enjoy being romantic; however, they doubt their capability. Expressing love through actions or words makes one vulnerable and exposed, the last thing someone needs is to feel as though you are being measured or worse, don’t measure up. And yet, that’s exactly what most women do when the man in their life tries to be romantic. Comparing diamond sizes, gushing about the flowers a girl received at work, or belittling a compliment he just gave you are all subtle and not so subtle acts of sabotage. If you would like to receive flowers because you enjoy flowers ask him, but then realize that this is no longer an act of romance…it is now an act of service. Which for some may be a adequate substitute. I prefer the romance from my man straight up, neat. I enjoy the gifts of intimacy that he gives because they are from the heart, genuine, and not forced. Of course, I enjoy the excitement, mystery, or adventures that are associated with love. I appreciate quiet dinners at cozy restaurants, treasure reminder notes with an effortless “I Love You” at the bottom, and adore little tokens wrapped in a bow but they are not an expectation or a scripted requirement that blinds me from seeing the dozens of other ways a man can be romantic. Maybe if women expanded their current concepts of romance to include more authentic deeds than more women would appreciate the men in their lives for the romantics the really are. In truth a man giving his undivided attention, sharing his thoughts, feelings and experiences, doing the unexpected are all attempts to be romantic. All though these may not be recognized by women as romantic overtures, does not mean that they aren’t. I think that a man’s ability to express his love to a woman should not be limited by women to only include the idealistic female interpretation. Emotional closeness and intimacy is a shared experience that should appreciate the different perspectives of those involved; not be dictated by only one. If flowers, horseback rides on the beach, or poems are your genuine version of romance, than that’s ok, communicate it. However; don’t let your version of romance prevent you from accepting all the other ways that your sweet Westley is trying to say, “As you wish”.