Alright these are the questions posed to me by Shelle. I am to write the female perspective on this topic. My perspective has drastically changed on this topic. It has changed because I took the time to figure out the male perspective (I know.... I'm ducking) Ok, so here is what I used to think: He doesn't care enough to take the time to be romantic toward me. IF he truly cared he would plan from the sitter to the activity to the fabulous gift of xyz (fill in your dream item here).
The one truly classic, text book "romantic" thing my dear husband does for me is this- every Valentine's Day he gives me the same thing. It costs him no money, only a bit of time and a piece of paper. He has been doing this for over 12 years now. He makes a top 10 list of the reasons he loves me. It is a perfect gift and one I look forward to. I love looking back on these lists because they serve as a history, a passing of time, a tale of what was going on that year in our lives.
Past that, by definition of "classic romance" my husband is indeed a dud! But, this may shock you. I don't care. It does not bother me. Because I (like other things in my life) have bucked the system and I no longer believe in the "classic" definition of romance. Here is why:
My understanding of romance drastically changed after I read this book. I was floored by what I read and I asked my husband and several other men it this information was true ... come to find out the information in this book is indeed accurate - it states this: "men are unromantic clods" the general summary is this: "Actually most men enjoy romance (sometimes in different ways) and want to be romantic- but hesitate because they doubt they can succeed." It goes on to say in this book that a man's idea of romance is far far different from a woman's idea. Where a woman's idea is candlelight, music, dinner, one on one time etc. a man's idea could be fishing.
Women out there hold your tongues, do not close your minds quite yet. Think about it. A man wants you around and wants to do what he likes. How hard is that to consider. Women are the ones who are being clods if we think men are digging the $50 a piece meal (when all our man is doing is adding up how many hours they had to work to pay for it) then truly it is our faults! Men consider spending time with their mates to be a form of romance. It does not matter if it is hunting, fishing, shoveling dirt, playing a video game, or eating at the top of the Stratosphere in Vegas - spending time doing what they enjoy - that is a definition of romance.
I will leave you with one example: October 3rd was my hubby's birthday. I surprised him by bringing all four kids to my parent's house for the evening (a rare thing around here). We spent the evening geo-caching in the rain and the mud. I wore jeans and a sweatshirt, boots a work coat and a stocking hat. This activity requires lots of back road driving around here so we had time to talk and listen to the radio and relax in general. At a few of the stops to find the "geocaches" I had a beer and by the last stop (which was a public lake access) I was dancing on the dock with the radio blaring while he tromped through the woods looking for the treasure. From there we went to a back woods bar and had supper - prime rib and baked potatoes - a very manly meal but drop dead delicious! We then went home and finished celebrating his bday (*wink wink, nudge) and went to bed by 9:30pm. He said it was the best date ever. Why? because we did what he enjoyed and had fun doing it. We only spent $35 for supper, I brought beer from home that I threw in a cooler in the back, and probably about $10 in gas.
Really, if I think about it, I had more fun doing that than I would have at a classy restaurant, in uncomfortable clothing, spending more money than we could afford to all in the name of romance. Who sets what is romantic anyway? Why does it have to be wine and candles? (I hate wine and scented candles make me gag)
After learning what men consider romantic, that part of our relationship has been better. If I want dinner, movie, music, kids gone, hotel, hot "cuddling" under the sheet, etc then I had best plan it. He goes along with it and we have fun. But, if I want him to plan a date, I need to be willing to accept his definition of fun and romance.