Why Did We Ever Stop Doing These 16 Romantic Things? It’s Time To Bring Them Back

Remember the days when a guy actually made an effort on a first date and made you feel special? Me neither. In a perfect world, we’d be able to bring these old-school romantic gestures back immediately because they made dating so much better:

  1. Talking on the phone for hours Forget texting — there’s nothing more romantic than lying on your bed while talking to a guy on the phone for hours all through the night. It’s so intimate and fun and makes you feel like a teenager again (only this time, you don’t have to whisper so your mom doesn’t hear you).
  2. Sending love letters through friends The anticipation of waiting for a little love note to reach you was so delicious. Letters were such a declaration of love and lasted forever — who doesn’t have a few lying in a box somewhere? We need to write love letters again ASAP. They’re so much juicier than sending a sexy love quote text/meme that’s been used a hundred times on the internet.
  3. Watching movies outdoors Sitting under the moon and stars, holding hands while watching a movie in the park or at an old school drive-in was so much fun. Come on, it’s so much more romantic and memorable than Netflix!
  4. Making/receiving mixtapes Giving a woman a mixtape was the most romantic thing a guy could do back in the day. It was so exciting to listen to it and think how much effort he put into creating this unique blend of music just for you. How many hours would you spend trying to read between the lyrics of the songs to figure out exactly what he was saying to you?
  5. Bringing flowers to a date Why don’t guys do this anymore? A guy should be romantic and bring flowers to a date — and not just any old flowers, either. He should find out what your favorite bloom is and then surprise you with it.
  6. Kissing your hand It’s common to kiss on the lips or cheek, but the hand is where the romance is at. This is a sign of respect and chivalry that should be revived. It’s so… regal and fairytale-esque. What’s not to love about that?
  7. Picking you up at the front door It’s romantic for a guy to pick a woman up for a date, but forget him buzzing at the gate or parking outside and waiting for you. He should be a gentleman and walk up to your door. The sight of him looking all nervous and sexy when he sees you is thrilling.
  8. Asking you to be his girlfriend A guy should be romantic and ask you out properly so that you both know your relationship is official — and it should be done in person, no exceptions! It’s an important question and milestone that shouldn’t be treated like talking about the weather, as it so often is these days.
  9. Going for a walk in the park Before fitness dates where people go for a jog together or early-morning coffee dates before work, people would simply go for a walk to enjoy nice weather and give them time to talk without distraction. The key was not to have an activity in mind but just to enjoy each other’s company.
  10. Actually calling to ask you out on a date It’s easy to text a person so much without even hearing their voice, but that’s sad. Emojis and texts will never be able to create the same connection as chatting on the phone when you can hear someone’s voice and tone. When a guy asked a woman out, he called her like a gentleman would. Wouldn’t that be nice?
  11. Dressing well for a date There was a time when men and women would clean up for dates, saving their best clothes for those days. What happened to making a great first impression? These days, people are too comfortable with being lazy and it’s a shame. That’s not to say you should have to dress to the nines, but it’s fun to get a little fancy, isn’t it?
  12. Adding a card to your gift Sure, receiving a gift for Valentine’s Day or your birthday is great in itself, but too often there’s no card attached. The card is the most important part of the gift, the part you open first and there should be something really sweet written in there to make you smile. It’s the sign of a guy who’s gone beyond what’s expected of him.
  13. Dedicating a song on the radio This was so cool! You’d be listening to your favorite radio station when suddenly you’d hear a song dedicated to you and you’d just know it was from your crush! There might even have been a secret message just for you to make you feel special. Sure, maybe you don’t really listen to the radio much anymore, but you should (and so should he).
  14. Giving you his jacket These days, a guy has to see you shivering before he clicks that he should offer you his jacket, but this wasn’t always the case. Back in the day, when a man gave a woman his jacket, it wasn’t just about the weather — it was a sign to the world they were dating.
  15. Giving you a teddy bear as a surprise gift There was something so cute about a guy giving you a teddybear just out of the blue or because he knew you’d like it. Bonus points if he won it at a claw machine. That was the best!
  16. Asking before doing something physical It’s so sweet if a guy can be a bit old school when he wants to be physical. For instance, asking first before holding your hand or reaching over for a kiss is chivalrous and sexy all rolled into one, and it hits all the right spots.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.