50 Easy Ways to Be a (Much) More Romantic Man

It's the little things that make her swoon.

50 Easy Ways to Be a (Much) More Romantic Man
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To be clear: Despite what rom-coms and the above headline might imply, romance isn’t simple. In fact, there’s no formula, fix, or surefire move that will automatically make you worthy of a Luther Vandross lyric. That’s because romance depends on so many factors—from your relationship status (are you courting or are you comfortable?) to all the other internal stuff that you bring to a relationship, a rendezvous, or any one moment in time. And that’s not even including the factors like self-esteem and trust that influence how we give and receive romantic gestures throughout our lives.

Despite romance’s complexities, that doesn’t mean you can’t improve your amorous arsenal with your partner. After all, isn’t the whole point to dance with your beloved through life in sync, close together, and maybe even a little sweaty, too? So read on, and learn how to raise your romance-level through the roof. And for more amazing tips, know what to avoid with the 40 Relationship Tips That Are Actually Terrible. 

Woman with Dog Romance

1
Hug Like a Dog

Hugs and kisses should have energy, says Dr. Jessica O’Reilly, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast. “Use your dog’s energy and enthusiasm as inspiration,” she says. “When a dog greets you with a wagging tail and affection, it calms your nerves and makes you feel loved.”

Guy on Phone Smiling Romance

2
Text an Emoji for No Reason

Shoot her the old “heart eyes” in the middle of the day.

Man Giving Woman Gift Romance

3
Give This as a “Just Because” Gift

A favorite Instagram post of the two of you, printed and framed.

Man Making Woman Breakfast Romance

4
Commit to One Minute

Take 60 seconds every day to do something that makes your partner feel important, says O’Reilly. That can be anything from making their tea to warming up the car to cleaning a laptop screen. “Small favors pack a huge punch in terms of maintain the connection,” she says. “When you make them feel important, they benefit from a boost in serotonin, which can help you ignite passion in the relationship.” And if you’re still on the market, know the 40 Best Dating Tips for Men Over 40. 

Couple Hugging Romance

5
Thanking for the Little Things Means a Lot

Say thank you for things you take for granted, like grocery shopping or any kind of run-of-the-mill responsibilities, says O’Reilly. It reduces the resentment and increases the harmony, she says.

Woman getting kiss

6
You Can Never Go Wrong With Extra Attention

To the neck.

Woman wearing a towel

7
Warm Wins

Greet your partner exiting the shower with a towel you just took out of the dryer.

Man Giving Woman Flowers Romance

8
Memorize the Law of Floral Relativity

Getting flowers < knowing which flowers to get < Surprising with flowers for no reason at all.

Man Cleaning Home Romance

9
Memorize the Law of Domestic Relativity

Doing chores < doing your partner’s chores < cleaning the toilet/sheets/towels before they need cleaning.

Couple on Phone Romance

10
Memorize the Law of Social Media Relativity

Posting < commenting < keeping it to yourself.

Couple Cooking Together Romance

11
Prepare More Meals Together

Ava Cadell, Ph.D., author of Neuroloveology: The Power of Mindful Love & Sex, recommends a fruit salad as the go-to dish. “I know it sounds simple,” she says, “but once you stand by side, slicing juicy mangos, peaches, oranges, plums, and apricots, it won’t be long until you’ll be feeding each other the succulent fruit.” And also: Know the 17 Worst Things a Man Can Say to a Woman. 

Woman Sleeping

12
Back Off Sometimes

Smothering may work for butter, gravy, and marinara, but not for relationships. Time alone makes for better time together.

Couple Dancing at Home Romance

13
Say These Phrases More Often

“You look…”

“Miss you.”

“Wanna dance?”

Couple Having Argument Romance

14
Say These Phrases Much Less

“Wanna [other verb]?”

“I think.”

“Dilly dilly.”

Couple Doing Yoga on Mountain Romance

15
New Never Gets Old

Date night for long-term couples should use strategies from short-term couples: Trying something new each time. Studies show that novelty is good for romance. It can be as simple as driving across town for dinner to get away from routine spots or more elaborate outings like doing some kind of weekend retreat that focuses on something like cooking or yoga. For more inspiration, check out the 40 Best Date Ideas if You’re Over 40. 

Woman Leading Man in Bed Romance

16
Take Turns Taking Charge

Goes for decision-making, meal-making, love-making.

Man Whispering in Woman's Ear Romance

17
Sugar Needs to Overpower the Salt

Research shows that when communicating with a partner, you need to make five positive comments for every negative one, says Sadie Leder Elder, Ph.D., associate professor at High Point University who studies romantic relationships.

Couple in Bed Romance

18
It’s Better in Real Life Than in an Emoji

A wink is only effective if it comes sparingly and selectively.

Couple Volunteering Romance

19
Volunteer Together

Research shows that those who do something altruistic outside of the relationship have a better connection.

Man Writing Love Note Romance

20
Write More

Love notes are good. I’m-sorry notes are better.

Man High Fiving Woman Romance

21
Cheer!

Treat good news from your partner the way you would a sporting event. A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found better relationship satisfaction when a person was very enthusiastic about good news from their partner. And for more amazing tips, learn How 50 Famous Men Wooed The Women of Their Dreams.

Couple Playing Ping Pong Romance

22
Play

Ping pong.

Couple Drinking Coffee Romance

23
Untether When You’re Together.

A Baylor University study found lower relationship satisfaction when couples perceived their partners choosing their phones over them.

Couple With Giant Stuffed Bear Romance

24
Don’t Try Too Hard

Cliché that doesn’t come off like one: Wine, pizza, and a movie. Cliché that does: 4-foot tall stuffed animals.

Couple Sharing Dessert Romance

25
Share

Dessert. The remote. Laps.

Couple Looking at Phone Romance

26
Do Not Share

Toothbrushes. Offices. Sub-tweets about your relationship.

Couple in Car Romance

27
Schedule Some Stealth Convo Time

If logistically possible, carpool every so often. It’s a chance to catch up and slow down in an otherwise hectic schedule.

Couple Hiking Romance

28
Get Away

Hike a little more. Hustle a little less.

Couple Holding Each Other Romance

29
Accordion the Way You Touch Each Other

Vary from so-so-so-so light to love-love-you tight.

Couple Having Romantic Dinner

30
Shop for Smells

Candles can bring different scents into your home, but you can make the smells even more personal by taking a trip to a spice or herb market and picking out ones you both like, Cadell says. Combine them to make a customized bowl of scents for the bedroom.

Happy Couple Romance

31
Summons Your Inner Detective

Notice something that never gets noticed.

Couple Making Up Romance

32
Give In

You don’t need to win every disagreement. The willingness to sacrifice is a big component of increasing connectedness in a relationship, Elder says.

Couple Undressing Each Other Romance

33
Practice Patience

Undress yourselves slowly and silently, Cadell suggests. Watch. Listen. Wait.

Man Surprising Woman Romance

34
Good Ears Will Never Let You Down

Tune in for birthday-present hints starting at 180 days out, not 180 minutes.

Man Sending Flirty Texts Romance

35
Text for More Than Logistics

Wordplay is foreplay.

Couple Cuddling in Bed Romance

36
After-play Is As Important

One recent study showed that both relationship and sexual satisfaction increased when as much time was spent being close with each other after sex as it was beforehand.

Couple Clinking Glasses Romance

37
Customize Every Toast

When you clink glasses, say something short, say something specific, say something sneaky. “For helping our daughter with her history project” trumps “Cheers.”

Couple Talking Over Coffee Romance

38
Volley, Volley, Volley

Ask more than you answer.

Woman Covering Man's Eyes in Bed Romance

39
Add This to Your Shopping List

One of Cadell’s favorite ways to sweeten sex is a game using honey, your body, and blindfold.

Woman Shaving Partner Romance

40
Use Your Bathroom Better

Shave her legs. Shave his face. Hot water, lather, steam, skin, and sharp objects make a cocktail of trust and sensuality.

Couple Making Eye Contact in Bed Romance

40
Keep Your Eyes Open During Sex

 

Especially at the most vulnerable moment, Cadell says. “Even sexier than seeing is to truly feel like you are being seen,” she says.

Couple Swimming in Ocean Romance

41
Get Away to Get Together

Vacations, even for one night, can start the simmering. Vacations, if they involve bathing suits and bodies of water, raise the temp to boiling.

Man Biting His Tongue in Argument Romance

42
Read the Most Important Sentence in This Whole Piece

The most underrated use of your own tongue: Biting it.

Man Surprising Woman with Balloons Romance

43
Surprise More

Remembering a wedding anniversary is a given. Remembering a stealthier anniversary—a first date, a first sight—is golden.

Confident Couple Romance

44
Forgive Mistakes More Easily

People with high self-esteem report having higher levels of connectedness, Elder says. Part of that comes from feelings of unconditional love—the kind that parents give children, she says. That doesn’t mean you can’t have conflict, but forgiveness shows relationships are less fragile.

Girl Smiling at Phone Romance

45
Share Content

Send an appropriate-to-your-partner story link with the subject line “reminded me of you.”

Couple Walking Dog Romance

46
Walk the Dog Together

And not as a chore. It’s a time to bond, a time to chat, and a time to—literally and metaphorically—show that you’re willing to be the one to clean up the crap.

Couple Stretching by Bed Romance

47
Commit to 15 Minutes

One night a week, help each other stretch before bed.

Double Date Romance

48
Be Kind

To your partner’s other circles—friends, family, co-workers—even if you mix together like OJ and toothpaste.

Man Giving Woman Kiss on Cheek Romance

49
Compliment

Accomplishments as much as—if not more than—appearances.

Couple Holding Hands on Couch Romance

50
Hold Hands

When nobody is watching. When everybody is watching.

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