When I Say I Want Romance, What I’m Really After Are These Simple Things

I like to be romanced every now and then. This doesn’t mean I expect the guy I’m dating to spend lots of money on me — romance can cost nothing at all and mean everything if it’s thoughtful and genuine. When I say I like romance, what I really mean is that I want these things:

  1. To feel special. I want the guy I’m dating to make me feel special and like I matter to him. It’s pretty simple to do this, too — it just requires putting in a little effort to do things to make me feel safe, cared for and appreciated. Those small actions of love show me that in his eyes, I’m a queen.
  2. To have my partner’s full attention. It’s nice to feel that he’s really listening and paying attention to me when we’re having quality time together. Even though his phone is ringing or the TV’s blaring, I’m the one who’s a priority to him.
  3. To have my partner think of me — and not just when he’s hornyRomantic gestures that come before sex are sometimes a bit of a letdown — it’s like the guy was just hoping to score but knew he had to make a romantic effort to get what he wants. When a guy can be romantic without expecting anything in return, that makes me feel really loved.
  4. To feel my partner is making an effort. I want to know that the guy I’m dating won’t get used to me or lazy in the relationship. I want him to continue making an effort because he knows he could lose me. One of the ways he could do this is by making time to have date nights with me every now and then. That’s not asking for too much, right?
  5. To feel my partner wants to make me happy. When a guy is romantic, it’s not just about what he does but how his actions show that he’s focused on details about me. For instance, he remembers what my favorite meal is and cooks it; or, he sees my reaction when I spot a gorgeous pair of shoes in a shop window and buys them for my birthday because he knows they’ll make me smile much more than a cliched bunch of red roses.
  6. To feel attractive. In a long-term relationship, it’s easy to feel less attractive in my partner’s eyes. I mean, the guy’s seen me without makeup on and when I had stomach flu. It’s a far cry from the beginning of our relationship when I was always looking stunning. So if he can be romantic with me every now and then, it makes me feel he still finds me hot.
  7. To feel he doesn’t take me for granted. I don’t want to feel like the guy’s so comfortable with me that he’s taking me for granted, even if he sees me every day. I want to know that he still values me and appreciates every moment with me, like when he takes me for a walk to see a beautiful sunset because his enjoyment of it is doubled when he shares it with me.
  8. To feel I’m a great girlfriend. Even though I know I really love and support my BF and try to show it, it’s nice to hear from him that he feels the love and values my love. Those words can mean as much as romantic actions in my book.
  9. To feel he’s invested time in me. It’s not about how much a guy can buy me but how much time he can invest in me. That’s the real romance because it shows that he makes me a priority in his life. Quality time can be nothing more than sitting in a room having a heart-to-heart but it can feel really special.
  10. To feel like I’m worth the grand gesturesOkay, the grand gestures can be amazing, I’ll be honest. They can really be such a wonderful surprise and show of love that breaks the monotony of daily life. But it’s more than the gestures. What they symbolize is that the guy I’m with sees me as worthy of that romance. Oh, and the big gestures can be something like kissing me passionately in the rain or writing a heartfelt, honest love letter that moves me in a big way. That’s where the magic is and it has no price tag.
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.