His Lips Unzipped: “Where did the romance go?”
By Martin Brown
I’ve got a nice boyfriend but I’m thinking of killing him. We’ve been seeing each other for nearly a year and somewhere along the way the romance just went out the window.
How did that happen? Flowers and dining out has become mac and cheese dinners and Law and Order reruns. I like the closeness and the snuggling but I still want to be romanced. Any ideas.
—Tired of nights at home in Tyler, TX
Jackie Mason, an old “borscht belt” comedian, jokes that men are phony bastards because they “wine and dine their dates when what they really want is to go home with them. I like to wait at a woman’s house. That when she gets home, I’m already there.”
That lines gets a big laugh because both men and women in the audience know there’s a lot of truth to it. Now some guys are by their nature even more slothful than others but as a general rule it’s all about getting back to the house. The wine was great, the movie was fun, but that’s not the yada yada part to the average male brain.
The next day while playing a game of pick-up basketball with a pal the buddy is not trying to get a rundown on whether the date decided ordered the New York strip steak or the coq au vin, he wants to know if his pal got to first base, second, or slid into home.
Where did the romance go? Well when most guys know they can get you to go horizontal they cut back on the romance. It’s much the same as the maneuver pilots perform minutes after take-off, they throttle back on the engines. In a man’s mind there is take-off speed and cruise speed. Your guy, from what you have written, has been locked-in on cruise control for quite sometime.
Now that you’ve been given the bad news, lets talk about what you can do to, shall we say, to create a mid-course correction because clearly you don’t like the direction this relationship is heading. So here are some quick tips:
You hold the keys to the kingdom. Use them!
Do I mean by that sex, indeed I do. Is sex a weapon that you should use? Well, weapon is such an ugly word. Ever see a mule hit on the snout? There are all sorts of ways to win an argument. Next time he feels like “cuddling” after a night of mac and cheese, with a boob tube chaser, explain to him that what really puts you in the mood is a candlelight dinner at a nice restaurant. He might grunt and grumble but he’ll quickly catching on that the path to your heart doesn’t pass through the Kraft family kitchen.
Men dance to the rhythm you set.
They may think they’re steering the boat but both you and nature know better. The smart woman wants to give him some latitude but keep him on a reasonably short chain. Make him comfortable, but not too comfortable. Men will get just as slothful as you permit. I’m not suggesting romance boot camp but you have to set the tone because for the most part, he’s not going to.
Ultimately most men want to please the woman that they love.
While men are pretty lazy about all things involving romance this doesn’t mean that we don’t want to be your knight in shinning armour. Some direction from you as to “It would be so nice if we…” is always helpful. It might take a few applications but eventually it will stick. A man in love wants to please his mate, if you get all giggly about something sweet that he does, chances are he’s going to keep doing it.
Finally, don’t typecast him or he’ll sink down to your lowest expectations.
When a woman makes the terrible mistake of announcing to family and friends the man in her life is a flop when it comes to romance, she is giving him a pass to continue his bad behavior Bad tactic. By doing this you’re setting him up not to rise to what you would like him to be, but to settle down into the very least that he can be. Don’t go there, unless of course you have insatiable appetite for macaroni and cheese.
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(c)2008 His Lips Unzipped, By Martin Brown. Marin is co-author, along with his wife, Josie, of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Finding Mr. Right [September 2009].