Sometimes when I talk about romance, I can hear the groans and see the eye rolls before the words are even out of my mouth. A lot of people think that romance is an impossible target or requires us to put on an inauthentic show. But as a professional counselor, I'm here to tell you it's really not that bad and definitely not impossible; it just requires intentionality.
Romance is not defined by candles and roses. Those things sometimes hit the spot, but romance is more about having good character and choosing intentional vulnerability. It means thinking about your love-interest's desires and then doing what works for them, though it may be a bit uncomfortable (vulnerable) for you. Here are a few things I've heard people say that work for them (and often better than candles and roses):
When a partner keeps a steady job or contributes equally.
When someone I'm attracted to is actually NICE to me.
When a partner touches me in a gentle, consented way.
When I watch my partner work with their hands.
When my partner listens to me carefully.
When I wear cute underwear that I look good in.
That's right! Sometimes feeling romantic comes from the inside as well! Taking good care of yourself and encouraging your partner to do the same is a great way for you both to set the stage for romance.
Start thinking now, as Valentine's is approaching, about ways you could show up and care romantically for the one you love.
Unsplash: Tom Ramain