My new favorite iPhone app is TuneIn Radio. With a touch of my finger, I can connect to my hometown radio station, 200 miles away, and listen to the station I grew up listening to while I get ready in the morning. This morning, the radio DJ had a segment about free romantic gestures. He wanted to know from female listeners what they thought were the most romantic things men could do, without spending money, and shared a few responses. It got me thinking about other people’s responses and my own. Among them were men remembering their significant other’s middle name, not flirting with other women, and cooking breakfast for a girlfriend. I have to say that while the simple things all add up and truly make a difference, some of these responses had me feeling sorry for the women of today and got me angry at men. Remembering my middle name, while admittedly being romantic in say, the proposal context, seems like a basic requirement for dating someone. “Hello, this is what’s her name, my girlfriend.” I’d hope my boyfriend would remember my middle name, even though I don’t use it that often.
Ten times worse is a man not flirting with other women. Well, I would hope that a man is with you because he wants to be and isn’t so bored in your company that he has to chat up other women.
The breakfast cooking was the only winner in my opinion in the list provided.
Here are a list of some of my top romantic gestures. Some of them are old fashioned, some are simple, but all are the little details that tell her you care.
- Open sesame! Open the door, baby. It’s the age old measure of a true gentleman. The last man who opened a door for me at a Crate & Barrel literally left me speechless. Luckily I came to my senses in time to thank him.
- Remember significant other’s significant others A simple acknowledgment of a mother, sibling, friend, or pet goes a long way. Remembering a birthday of a friend, tossing a ball around with the dog, having a long chat with grandma, or playing up to the six year old cousins makes us know that you care about the people/furry friends that are important to us.
- Compliments At the risk of sounding vain, I put this one in because who doesn’t like to be told they look nice, made a good dinner, or had a perfect choice for the Friday night movie once in a while? A man at a bar (WAY too old for me and wearing a Red Sox shirt) told me he liked my earrings last night. It didn’t lead to anything, obviously, but it put a smile on my face. It doesn’t all have to be about looks though. Every so often, it’s just nice to hear a compliment to keep things positive. (This gesture goes both ways too. Men need to receive a compliment too.)
- Mind your Ps and Qs Manners matter. A thank you lets us know our actions are appreciated and that you respect us. Plus, manners make you seem civilized and sophisticated, and who’s not turned on by a Jane Austen-y gentleman?
- Chicken soup is for lovers Take care of us when we are sick. There is no other time when I feel less beautiful, put-together, in-control, and more miserable than when I am sick. Bring us some chicken soup (even if it comes in a can), buy some tissues from CVS (the nice soft lotion ones I like for extra points), and coddle us just a smidgen. If you can stand the sight of me with a red nose and watery eyes you’re a keeper. Also, caring for us on the sickbed shows your kind and nurturing side; life isn’t always peachy and it’s nice to know you’ll be there even in the rough patches.
- Order’s up Know our food likes and dislikes. Details let us know you both know our quirks and pay attention to us. Also, we know we can trust you to order for us when we have to run to the ladies room, inconveniently and inevitably at the exact moment the waitress comes over to the table. Three simple must haves for memorization: our complicated drink of choice, one odd food preference, and one dislike. For instance: gin and soda with Sapphire gin, two limes, extra ice, mustard on my french fries, and please for God’s sake no cucumbers on my salad!
- Lend a hand, forearm, elbow, and shoulder Put your arm around us when we’re sitting next to each other at a table, or in other appropriate settings. There is something proprietary about the gesture that makes us feel safe and secure and lets other people know that we’re a couple (read: creepy guy protection and slutty girl deterrent)
- Mail call Write us a letter. Love letters are romantic, old fashioned, and a lovely alternative to bills and catalogs that have survived the digital conversion of written communication.
These are just a few of my favorites. What do you think are the most romantic gestures?