Men, let’s be honest: Romance isn’t our strongest suit. And since Valentine’s Day is over, we figure we have a few months before we have to start coming up with something romantic again.
But there are ways we can continually romance the woman God blessed us while still being manly and without it breaking the bank. Here are four principles and their applications to help you be intentional about romancing your beloved’s heart all year.
1. Don’t depend on your terrible memory.
We all forget things. Ever notice there are times when you think of that perfect Christmas/birthday/anniversary gift and go to the store only to forget what you went for? Then you rummage through the shelves of overly priced soap and perfume and end up buying the same thing you bought last year. Somehow, soap and bubble bath have become the female equivalent to the Father’s Day tie. Yes, it’s appreciated, but it’s also unoriginal.
The next time you come up with that great, original gift idea, write it down. Text it to yourself. Email it to yourself. Write it on your forearm with a permanent marker. If you are online and see something you want to buy your wife or girlfriend, use Dropbox so you can find that gift later.
2. Give yourself reminders.
We men are task-oriented. We are focused on the task in front of us to the detriment of everything else. And in today’s always-busy world, we need apps on our computers and phones to remind us of meetings, appointments and activities. If we have no problem relying on reminders for these important things, why do we have an aversion to giving ourselves reminders to be romantic?
Take a few minutes and set up a reminder to text your wife at 1:03 Monday afternoon to say you love her. Or find and download a free app that will allow you to type a message to send at a future date and time you designate. You could write a series of messages during the commercials of a college basketball game or while you are doing other manly things.
3. Plan the date.
How many times have you gone out with your wife and asked, “What do you want to eat?” From time to time, whether the kids are with you or not, plan the date. Act like it is your first date. If you want to go the extra mile, create a playlist of romantic music on Spotify and play it throughout your night out together.
I’m not saying to make reservations somewhere requiring a coat and tie, but look up all the restaurants in your town and pick a place your haven’t been in a long time, if ever. Bonus points for picking out somewhere for dessert after dinner.
4. Write a letter.
The written word is powerful. Not only does it give you the time to craft the words you are using, it has a sense of permance because your wife can keep the letter and read it anytime she wants.
Most men are not known for their ability to communicate feelings. It may seem like something small and completely out of character for you. That’s OK. Romance is sometimes like a good golf swing; you know you are doing it right when it feels completely unnatural.
This principle is difficult, so let’s start slow. Write on a piece of paper, “I love you.” After you change your shirt from sweating through it, take the paper and fold it so that it fits into an envelope. Then stuff it in the envelope. Do you need to take a break now? It’s OK.
Now take the envelope and write your wife’s name on it. Stick that puppy to the fridge the next time you head out to work.
Next time make the note a little longer. Just like with a new exercise regime, it will get easier with time and practice.