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The knot in your throat. Like your tie is too tight and you’re struggling to breathe.

This is what you should be feeling when you truly romance a woman.  Yeah I get it, women like confident men who are fearless, and edgy. But what you assholes are forgetting (and what women are giving up on) is that once in a while they want to see that side of you that only they can bring out- the cheesy, unconditional, “only for you” side.  And sometimes unleashing that inner Romeo takes confidence, fearlessness, and edge. 

It should go without saying, but I will clarify that “romancing” and “sleeping with” are two totally separate goals, and should be treated as such.  I may cover the later in a future post, if I ever truly figure it out myself. 

When is the right time to be romantic?  This is ridiculous. Listen. You can’t just be romantic on her birthday and Valentines Day. Try something a little less obvious, like Tuesday.  Maybe you’ve both been hard at work, and your home life has you running in all directions.  Maybe have something prepared when she gets home from a busy day at the office.  And it doesn’t always have to be dinner, and sex should never be expected at the end- however, if you learn to be romantic, you’ll be surprised where things will lead.  Also, don’t get discouraged.  If she’s tired when she gets home and you’re feeling like she doesn’t appreciate your efforts, just let her unwind and relax.  Sometimes a romantic evening together starts with a little alone time.  Trust me, she’ll much more appreciate all you’ve done once she has had time to herself. 

Every woman is different and shouldn’t be treated as though she was formed from a cookie cutter, so it’s up to you to decide what “romancing” means in your own relationship.  But just to get you started, here’s a few things that I’ve done in past relationships that have set me apart from the other guys in her life. 

1)  Flowers at work.  Yes, flowers are often overplayed in the relationship arena, but sending a nice bouquet of stargazer lillies to her place of employment has never EVER failed me.  Here’s the catch- have them delivered on a random day without notice. This means not on her birthday, an anniversary, or a major holiday.  Maybe choose a time when you know she’s been stressed out about a major deadline. And please choose an appropriate flower for the occasion.  Red roses are okay for Valentines day, but the random delivery should be something playful and vibrant.  I’ve always found lillies to be perfect for this scenario.  They come in a variety of colors and designs, and they can be quite potent smelling- exciting the sense of smell to compliment the beauty will ensure you’re on her mind even when she’s not directly looking at the gift.  It will also draw more attention from her co-workers, and their constant questions will make her feel important, appreciated, and loved. 

2) Candles. Speaking of overplayed romantic evenings, candle light dinners have gotten a bad rap lately for being uninventive and portrayed in nearly every romantic movie ever.  Though, I find the problem isn’t with candles as much as their application.  It’s true, using long stemmed candles to light a poorly orchestrated dinner is out, but using a series of tealight candles to project a new and exciting environment can set the mood perfectly.  Allow me to explain.  I normally would only use this one at night, when she comes home after dusk from running errands or whatever it is women do at that hour.  Simply, set the mood. I like to line the hallways with tiny candles- have them on bookshelves, on counter tops, and coffee tables.  Flip wine glasses upside down and use them as pedistols to give your candles height and depth. Put on some of her favorite music, softly, and patiently wait for her with a bottle of her favorite wine. When she gets home, give her some time to unwind and be willing to discuss the day.  Try to keep stressful situations out of conversation, this should be a time to set all that aside and to concentrait on each other.  Geez, this sounds even too cheesy for me now that I’m writing it, but seriously, you can’t miss. 

3) The Heinz Ketchup Bottle.  Maybe one of the most romantic gifts I’ve done, and certainly the one with the most flair.  As I’m sure you’re aware, Heinz ketchup is said to have 57 varieties, in fact, it’s a huge marketing slogan for them- but I digress.  Take a glass Heinz ketchup bottle, empty it, and carefully rinse it out being sure to keep the label in tact on the bottle.  Next, cut 57 tiny squares out of red construction paper, roughly one inch by one inch.  On each square, write one reason why you love her.  Fold each square up and stick it in the bottle.  The idea is that each day she can remove a piece of paper from the bottle and unfold it.  Much like heinz’s 57 varieties, she’ll have 57 reasons to smile every day.  Don’t give me that look. Just do it, she’ll love it, I promise.

If you take nothing more from this, be sure to do something that takes thought, and a little bit of effort.  Be inventive with your ideas, and through your actions let her know that she’s not just another woman, but that she’s someone special to you.  Trust me, as all hints of romanticism fall by the way side, these small gestures are going to have a huge impact.