Tip #22: Women, see going out and doing things together as romantic
Ladies, when you envision romance, what comes to mind? I’m guessing candlelight dinners… maybe a horse-drawn carriage ride… a picnic on the beach at sunset… Since we were little girls, those sort of picturesque dates have seemed wonderfully romantic to us. We care about romance. But unfortunately, somewhere along the way, we come to assume that our man doesn’t care about romance at all!
But through interviewing and surveying thousands of men in my For Women Only research, I discovered something that really surprised me and helped my own marriage: most men (84%!) care about romance just as much as their wives do! The issue is that although many guys enjoy the traditional candlelight-and-flower dinner dates too, romance often simply looks different to a guy.
And no, that doesn’t just mean ending the date in the bedroom–though you won’t find many guys who would turn it down! Believe it or not, a sizeable minority of men (four in ten) said that they defined romance as getting out and doing things with their wife. Playing golf together, going for a hike, driving and exploring the countryside outside the city –even going out and wandering the aisles of a DIY store together and dreaming about that new flooring or restoring those kitchen cabinets can be romantic to him, because you’re doing it together.
For men, going out and playing together makes them feel close and intimate. Think back to your dating days. A big part of the thrill – of building your relationship — was doing fun things with each other! Believe it or not, even in the way the male brain is wired, doing something with another person actually stimulates the sense of feeling close to them! So although the female mind may not fully understand how this works, in a guy’s mind, a fun day hiking or playing a match of tennis is often his version of a candlelight dinner.
If we look back to our dating years, ladies, we can see how those “go out and play” activities were in fact actually romantic. So if you want to rekindle the romance in your life, suggest doing some of those again. And be very attuned to those I-want-romance-too signals that your man may have been sending you – like that idea of going out for the Sunday drive — that you’ve been missing up to now. What a shame that so many of us simply haven’t been seeing those signals for what they are!
Sure, “honey, do you want to come fly fishing with me?” may not quite fit the sepia-toned fantasy of a carriage ride in the park, but realize that in a very, very fundamental way, it is a sign that he is longing to be with you.
And that is romantic.
Join us next Monday for the next in our Marriage Monday series, and learn how risking it all in love may be the most secure thing you can do.
Drawn from Chapter 8 of For Women Only, by Shaunti Feldhahn.
Shaunti Feldhahn is the best-selling author of eye-opening, research-based books about men, women and relationships, including For Women Only, For Men Only, The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages and her newest, The Good News About Marriage (now through June 30, buy a copy of Good News from your favorite retailer, and receive an additional copy FREE from Multnomah Books – up to 100 copies!). A Harvard-trained social researcher and speaker, her ﬁndings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show, Focus on the Family, and the New York Times. Shaunti speaks regularly at churches, conferences, and corporate events. (Inquire about Shaunti speaking, or visit www.shaunti.com for more.)
The post originally ran at the Christian Post for Marriage Mondays.
Each Monday, join us here in the Book Corner as I share my top findings on the little, eye-opening things that make a big difference in creating great marriages and relationships. Today’s post is one of a series on the surprising truths that men and women tend not to know about each other–and which change everything once we do.