A Guide to Romance
(thoughts and comments by Ron “Modar” Knight)

There is nothing greater in the world than being in love. 
Romance should be the natural expression of that love.  

Why Be Romantic?

There are a myriad of reasons, but it can be reduced down to this statement:
It will make you feel better, your partner feel better and make your relationship do better.

So Exactly What Is Romance?

There are various definitions of the word.  I think the best definition follows.

Romance: the act of lavishing personal attention on someone with acts of chivalry, courtesy and/or love.

Romance does not mean sex (although it can lead to that). Romance is the method to express with attention the feelings of love and affection you have for your partner. This is an important means of communication between partners. This is not necessarily referring to the physical attraction you have. Sex is for that. This is for displaying the respect and honor you have for your partner and their love that they are freely giving you.

Concerning Romance & Relationships

I am constantly hearing how so many marriages and long-term relationships don’t have romance.  It’s not because there is not love there…but the passion seems to be missing or to have died.  There are many reasons this can occur.

For some people, romance is easy when they are dating.  It is “the chase” that fuels them and makes things exciting. After the chase is completed and they are married (or the relationship is formalized), the challenge seems to be gone and the spark that caused the romance dies.  This is the hardest on people who expect the romance to continue only to find that their partner no longer acts romantic.  This does not mean the partner is not interested or is not in love, merely that the driving force of their romance has ended. 

For some people, familiarity leads to being in a rut. Many people automatically mold themselves and their lives into schedules. These types of individuals tend to revert to this method of living once their relationship is formalized and things become familiar. This makes it easier to handle the demands of day-to-day life. However, it can lead to a stagnation of romance.  Again, this does not mean the partner is not interested or that they are not in love, but that they aren’t taking the time to look outside their routine.

For some people, displays of affection can be difficult.  It is just not in their nature to be demonstrative. Whether this is by upbringing, being extremely self-conscious or for other reasons, it is difficult for some people to think in terms of romance. Once again, this does not mean the partner is not interested or is not in love with their partner, but that they just don’t know what to do or how to do it.

So what do you do to re-kindle the romance? The key is to remind them that the chase is still there, to remind them that there is still fun to be found in the relationship, to remind them to take time out of their routine for spontaneity and to remind them that expressions of love and affection are something that both partners can work on together.

If you want to try and bring romance back into your relationship, you have to remember a few things. One, romance is a two-way street. If you want your partner to be romantic, you have to be romantic too. Also you may need to talk with your partner about being romantic. Some partners take hints real well. Others require more direct reminders. Do not be upset if your partner requires more direction. Work with them and help develop the pattern or habit of romance. It will be worth it in the long run.

How To Be Romantic

The biggest emphasis in learning to be romantic is your mindset.  Romance is a conscious effort to think about and care for your partner.  The first step is to make a decision that you want to be a romantic.

The next step is to recognize the fact that you must honor your partner’s individuality. Your partner is his/her own unique person. They are not property to own, or take for granted. They are not slaves to order around. They are not in the relationship to become another you. They are sharing their love and life with you, of their own choice. This is a gift to be cherished and appreciated.

Realize that your partner should be your friend first, your lover second and your spouse third. Work on that mindset. 

Keep track of things. Even if you have to buy a notebook to keep notes in, maintaining a record of information is essential. Make a note of special dates, including birthday, wedding anniversary, etc. Include the dates of any special occurrences in your relationship such as that fun trip to the zoo, the time your partner surprised you at work and took you to lunch, etc. (Your partner will love it when you remember and refer to something they did for you, or a special time you had together.)  Write down things that your partner likes to do such as hobbies, sports, collectibles, etc. Keep track of your partner’s likes and dislikes including favorite color, favorite foods, favorite place to go out and eat, etc. (Take these into consideration when looking for gifts or considering romantic ideas.) When some romantic idea works, write it down.  This will make sure you remember to use that idea again in the future, plus give you a chance to look at it and try and figure ways to improve on the idea.

Be giving.  We’re talking about the person you love, here.  Give to them wholeheartedly. (And note that word, wholeheartedly…it means with all your heart, all your love.) You don’t have to spend a lot of money, or in some cases any money…but you need to make sure your giving is done with real love and caring, not just as an act because you feel it’s what your partner wants.  Be true to yourself and your partner.

Make doing romantic things a habit. Romance gets easier the more you do it. There are two main reasons for this. One, once a pattern of romance is established, your partner will find romance in the simplest things you do, because they know you love them and are giving to them. You have established that your thoughts and actions are dedicated to them and their love.  Two, you have shaped your mindset so that it is both natural and fun to do romantic things. And once you find it fun to do, you want to do it more. After all, we all like to do things we find to be fun. Each day try to think of romantic things to do for your partner. Write the ideas down and try to do at least one of them every week. (More is fine!) If you discover that you’ve stopped doing romantic stuff…start doing it again.  Repeat as often as necessary until you are regularly doing romantic stuff.

Research romance.  Whether it’s going to the library/bookstore and finding books on romance, or surfing the Internet, there are a myriad of sources with ideas for being romantic. You will discover that there are a very large number of romantics in the world, and they are always delighted to help someone else find the joy that comes with being a romantic. So when you’re struggling for ideas, help is just a book or website away. 

Areas of Romance

Kiss. Go up to your partner and give them a hug and a kiss. Almost any time is a good time, but during “unexpected” times is extra nice. Sure this sounds simple, but so many couples in the rush of life forget to take the time to share kisses. Kisses can and should vary depending on the situation and mood. They can range from soft gentle lingering touches to quick “pecks” to passionate embraces of smothering love. All have their place. Remember that there are other parts of the body to kiss besides the lips. Take your partner’s hand and kiss it. Kiss your partner’s cheek (and perhaps follow it up with a “nibble” on the ear).

Write. Just a small piece of paper with “I love you” on it can be used in so many ways. From notes in their lunches, to sitting on the dashboard of the car, to hidden in their wallet, purse or briefcase, to laying on their pillow, to being on their dinner plate, to taped to their watch, stuck to the handle of the refrigerator to just anywhere. Other simply phrases that are nice to use include: “I’m lovesick for you”, “I’m feeling hot for you”, “You make me amorous” and “Just thinking of you.”  Whatever you decided to write, from simple notes to poetry to full-blown love letters, letting your partner know they are in your thoughts is one of the nicest things you can do for them. 

Talk. Tell your partner that you love them. Tell them often. Tell them something they do that you like. Tell them that you are enchanted by them, fascinated by them, enamored of them, overwhelmed by them, captivated by them. Tell them how much you want them in your life.  This can be in bed at night, while watching TV with them, while driving someplace, while helping them with chores around the house, during a call to them through the day. There is rarely a bad time to tell your partner that you care for them.

Listen. There are several ways this is important. It is important to listen to the things your partner is telling you about their day, their wants and their dreams. Being someone they can share with and let steam off to makes you a close friend as well as being a partner. Don’t let this opportunity escape. It’s also important to listen to music together. Music lets us “escape” the pressures of life and for a moment feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Sharing this with your partner allows you to be part of their escape too, and lets you share an experience that will build the strength of your relationship.

Touch. There is something special about tactile sensation. When the opportunity presents itself, hold your partner’s hand.  Particularly when walking together, whether this is at a park, in a mall or just into the house from the car. Also when you are sitting next to each other, whether on the couch or driving in the car, reach over and place your hand on your partner’s leg. This lets them know that you like to be with them, that you’re thinking of them, that you find them desirable.

Another area where touching can play an important part is massage.  Don’t let a chance to touch your partner and make them feel good get away. It is important that your partner knows you like to touch them for other reasons than sex. If you don’t let them know that, they begin to feel that you think of them only as an object, not a person. Do not let this happen.

Teasing & Horseplay. Fun is an important and serious matter in a relationship. Take the time to play with your partner. Whether this is an actual board game, a sport game, a videogame, a computer game that you share or something else such as watching a movie together, spending “downtime” together is a must. When funny things happen, enjoy the moment and remember to remind your partner about the incident at a later time with a “tease”.  This leads to the two of you having “inside jokes” to share with one another, and helps strengthen your relationship. The thing to remember is to make sure you do not “over-tease” your partner.  It may be that they are sensitive to being teased about something. (And they may not realize it until it happens.) If your partner doesn’t like being teased about something…STOP!   And it’s a good idea to ask your partner every once in a while if they are okay with the teasing. You’re trying to improve your relationship here, not set up resentments. The same thing applies to tickling. Some people like it…some don’t.  If your partner doesn’t, respect that and don’t tickle!!!! Another bit of horseplay that can be fun for you and your partner is a pillow fight. Now be gentle about it…but enjoy it. It’s amazing how much fun it can…no matter your age.

Courtesy. This is very important. Romance also deals with courtesy and chivalry. Being courteous shows that you respect your partner. Remember to be polite with your partner. Remember to say “Thank you” and “Please”. Show them that you appreciate the gift of their company in your life. Another area where this can play a part is doors.  Open the door (of the car or to a building) and hold it open for your partner. This may seem like really nothing big or important, but it is a subtle way of saying, “Let me do something for you.” That goes a long way in developing a loving relationship. Also offer to carry things for your partner. While they may or may not accept the offer, having the offer made to them will please them greatly. Again because it is showing that you are thinking of them. 

Compliment.  This does not mean idle platitudes. They should be honest sincere thoughts you give your partner about themselves and their actions. Each day try to find something to compliment your partner on. It doesn’t have to be anything major, just something from “You smell nice” to “Your have beautiful eyes” to “The love note you left me made me feel good”. Just take the time to let them know that you appreciate them and what they do.

Things To Know About Romance

Think about things you’d like to have done for you. Chances are your partner would like something similar done for them.

Romance does not have to be expensive. It is the time and attention that makes romance attractive to us, not the amount of money spent. Some nice but inexpensive gifts include:

    Flowers:     Most florist shops and many convenience stores now carry nice but inexpensive
flowers (from single roses to bundles of mixed flowers). Everyone loves to get 
                        flowers, and it’s a pleasant way to say, “You were on my mind.”

     Cards:       Perhaps the cheapest gift you can purchase, cards are available at all kinds of
                     stores. And most carry ones that are blank inside. If you can’t find one that says 
                        what you want, find a card that is blank inside and write “I love you” or “Thinking 
                        of you”, I guarantee that will get all the message you need across to your partner,
                        even if you aren’t a poet.  And today with e-mail, there are always electronic cards
                        available. Simply do a search for “electronic greeting cards” and you’ll find a wide
                        variety of sites to avail yourself of. 

     Candy:      Whether it’s simply buying your partner’s favorite candy bar or a small bag of candy
                        from the store, your partner will be delighted that you were thinking of them. Of 
                        course one of the greatest assistance to romance are Hershey Kisses. They make
                        wonderful reminders of the physical kisses that we give our partners. And kissing is
                        one of the most fun and romantic things you can do with your partner almost
                        anywhere, even in public. 

Balloons:   Just a small helium balloon with a picture or the words “I love you” on it can make your partner’s day. It’s one of those small little things that just lets them know that you took time out your routine to think of them. Nothing makes us feel better than to know we are cared about, and thought of.  An additional treat can be a card or candy attached to the balloon string. 

Other:        There are many small acts of kindness that we can do that our partners will take to heart as sweet romantic gestures. This can include a phone call in the middle of the day just to say “I love you.” or holding the door open for them.  It can be as simple as cutting hearts out of the newspaper and leaving them around the house for them to find.  Or making little home-made coupons with all sorts of things on them, ranging from offers of helping with chores, to dinner out to “naughty suggestions”.  It can be as easy as copying a poem from somewhere and adding the note below it saying, “This made me think of you.”  It can be more elaborate, such as creating a treasure hunt with clues.  Let the clues lead them around the house from place to place. Put a Hershey Kiss with each clue and let the final treasure be a note saying the prize is a “full-blown no-holds barred kiss from you”, then REALLY kiss them into ecstasy.  Both of you will appreciate that.  But no matter what you give, or how often you give, do it with sincerity and true love and respect. Have fun with your partner. Always strive to remember what they are giving to you, and how much you love them. 

Remember to take things done for you in the spirit in which they are intended.  Okay, maybe the surprise gift you received wasn’t exactly something you’ve been dying for…be appreciative of the giving, even if you’re not of the gift. The fact that someone was trying his/her best to think of you should count for a lot. 

Don’t fault your partner if they have to write things down to remember them.  Consider that they care enough to want to write stuff down so they don’t forget. That should mean a lot to you. 

While it is important to remember the significant dates in your relationship (anniversary, birthday, Valentine’s Day) and you should give gifts at these times…it’s fun to create your own holidays or special days such as “Because I Love You Day” or “Surprise Your Partner Day”.

Some Romantic Ideas

Upon seeing your partner for the first time after work, tell them how much you missed them, and how much they mean to you….BEFORE you start asking what’s for dinner or what has to be done tonight. Let them know they are the most important thing in your life by giving them attention first, and everything else attention after that.

Ask your partner out on a date. This is especially important for couples that have been together for a long while. Then treat it as a date. Court your partner!

Kiss like you mean it!!!!!

Get the Sunday Funny Paper and on one or more of the strips, take “white-out” and cover the word balloons of the characters, replacing the writing with your own loving sayings, then give it to your partner to read.

Ask for a lock of their hair to carry in your wallet, purse, etc.

Arrange a surprise picnic with your loved one.  Perhaps even a moonlit night picnic.

Take your favorite love-note from your partner, frame it and hang it on the wall.

Compliment your partner in front of his/her parents, in-laws, and/or siblings.

Some time when you’re at home alone with your partner, put on some soft slow music and dance slowly and close together. You will be surprised how good this makes both of you feel, and because you’re not out in public, you don’t have to be embarrassed if you do not dance well.  Your partner won’t mind, and there’s no one else to worry about.

When you go to the movies, hold hands throughout the movie, feed each other popcorn, share a soda with two straws…and if the movie is bad, move to the back and kiss throughout the movie.

On a morning when you wake up first, kiss your partner awake.

Sneak up on your partner and steal a kiss.

Don’t be afraid of having PDA (Public Displays of Affection) with your partner. It makes them feel good to know that you want the whole world to know that you love them.

Some night when you and your partner are out on the town, excuse yourself and call home. Leave a romantic message for your partner on the answering machine. They will love the surprise when they get home.

If you have to get up and/or leave for work before your partner, on occasion leave a love-note, flower or small gift for them to find.

One night, have a romantic meal at home where you feed each other.

Take walks with your partner where you only talk about how nice the scenery is and how nice your partner is…no other topics allowed.

Be sure to greet your partner warmly and affectionately each day.

Some days set your alarm for 15 to 30 minutes early and spend the time snuggling with your partner.

When you’re driving together, at stoplights and stop signs, lean over and kiss them.

Blow bubbles together.  It’s magic.

Hug…a lot!

Remember to think about your partner…and how you interact with your partner. Treat your partner with respect and dignity. We are ladies and gentlemen not “knock them over the head and drag them back to the cave” savages. Pay attention to your partner’s fears and phobias. Do not belittle your partner because they don’t like insects or snakes or have a fear of water or any other fear. This shows you love your partner, and showing your love is always romantic.

Kiss your partner an extra time before you/they leave for work.

Tell your partner they are fun to be with.

Always wish your partner a good night when you’re going to sleep.

Go out for ice cream and share a banana split or other treat.

When your partner has a headache, rub his/her temples and face.

Run your fingers through your partner’s hair.

Always snuggle…and especially after sex.

Tell your partner that they are your friend and your lover. They may know, but it’s nice to hear.

The next time your partner is at the store, prepare a love-note. When they get home, help carry in the bags and slip the note inside for them to find when they unpack.

Celebrate your partner’s successes, new job, promotion, completing a big project, etc.

Take an afternoon nap snuggled together.

If your partner listens to a certain radio station, call and have a song dedicated to him/her.

Take off your glasses when you kiss.

Build a snowman together and/or have a snowball fight (but be gentle with each other).

When eating out, whether it’s fast food or at an expensive restaurant, toast your partner and your relationship.

Go for a carriage ride with your partner.

In the mornings ask your partner how they slept. If they had a “rough night” or had bad dreams, hold them and tell them that you are there for them. Ask if they want to share details of a bad dream, in case they want to talk…but don’t insist on it. They may prefer not to dwell on it. The fact that you are concerned about them shows that you love them.

Take a train ride together, and hold hands.

Spend a “no electricity” evening together with just candles, oil lamps and flashlights to light the house. Read to each other or snuggle.

Go to the beach and build a sandcastle together.

Have a private campfire together where you sit together and tell each other how much they mean to you.

Spend some time with your partner when they are working on their hobby…be a friend and let them explain it to you.

Share a piece of red string licorice candy, each start at and end and kiss when you meet.

Wink at each other.

Blow kisses to each other.

Put mistletoe in the house at times other than Christmas…then use it.

Shower together, wash each other’s hair and dry each other off.

Drive to the country some evening and go parking.

Buy your partner a good luck charm and give it to them, letting them know it’s for when they feel down, so they can look at it and know they are loved.

Throw coins into fountains together.

Spend one evening at home where you just keep going over to your partner and kissing them.

Cut out dozens of little hearts and slip them between the pages of your partner’s magazines or books.

Have a night of dinner and a movie in bed.

Find something you and your partner can collect together. (For example, turtle figurines.) Then each time you purchase one, it is for both of you…showing that you are sharing a love.

Find a time to talk about romance. Ask your partner what they find romantic.  Keep notes.

When your partner does something special for you, write them a thank-you note.

And finally…don’t be afraid to “over-do it”. You cannot express your love to your partner too much.


For many people this is one of the most unfulfilled parts of their lives. They have various scenarios that they would love to have happen in their lives. Many may be sexually related, but surprisingly many are not. They can range from wanting to have a romantic picnic with your love to wanting to have the perfect dinner party with your partner “dressed to the nines” to wanting to experiment with different sexual activities. But no matter what area your fantasies fall into, the important thing to remember is that it takes two things.  Respect for your partner and good communication.

If you have a fantasy that you would like to have played out, talk with your partner. Explain that you have the fantasy and that you’d like to discuss it with them. Then talk about your fantasy. Explain why it appeals to you, and be willing to go into details on it. If your partner is going to help you play out the fantasy, it will work best if they know as much as possible about it. And if the fantasy involves sexual play, determine beforehand a word or signal to stop the game. Then if someone gets nervous or something happens, you have a safe way to stop the game.

Do not be disappointed if your partner does not share in a particular fantasy of yours.

There could be many reasons they do not like a particular scenario depending on their life experiences.  The real fun with fantasies is developing new ones with your partner.

And remember, your relationship is a two-way street. If you get to have a fantasy played out, try and work on helping complete a fantasy for your partner, so each of you get one.

How To Suggest To Your Partner They Need To Be More Romantic

This is perhaps the most difficult thing to give advice about, and yet it is the most sought after counseling there is. The reason this is such a difficult area to advise in is that everyone is different, every situation is different. Here are some thoughts and suggestions.

Try talking with your partner. Yes - it can be difficult, even embarrassing, to try and bring the subject up, but you’re wanting to “spice up” your relationship. Isn’t it worth a few moments of open candor, no matter how difficult, to develop that relationship farther? Simply make sure you find a time when you and your partner are in a non-distracting environment (no TV, no other people around, etc) and that you both have the time to discuss things (not having to run off to work, make a meeting, etc). Then simply say, “I want to put more romance into our lives and I have some ideas I’d like to get your opinion on.”  Then say that you’d like to see each of you doing small romantic things for each other. Give some suggestions <see previous list for some ideas> and see what your partner says.

However, if directly bringing up the subject is too difficult, try one of these suggestions.

Get an article (such as this one) or a book on romance.  Read it over, find a section that you like, then approach your partner and say, “I’ve been reading this article/book and would like your opinion on something.” Read the passage that you like, then ask your partner their opinion.

This should open up a dialog for you and your partner to discuss romance. Ask them to read the whole article/book and give you their opinion.

Try a romantic hint.  Leave love notes for your partner.  When they comment on it, say, “I thought you’d like it.  I know I’d like it if you did that for me.  Are there other things that you’d like for me to do for you?”  When they answer, respond by telling them the things you’d like.

As a last resort, try a romantic two-by-four. If your spouse does not take hints at all (and there are some people who don’t), get an article/book on romance that you like, put a note on it that says, “Please read this.” And leave it for them (say on their pillow).  Small markers highlighting selected passages can also assist. If you are concerned about hurting their feelings, leave a note inside the book that says, “I love you…I just want each of us to feel more romantic toward each other.”

In Conclusion

If you are reading this because a loved one gave it to you, it is probably a hint that they want you to be more romantic, that they want to be more romantic with you. Don’t be upset with them for giving you this to read….be happy. They love you and care for you enough that they want to improve their relationship with you. This should make you feel good.  Now “the ball is in your court”. Do you love them enough to respond positively to their desire for attention, love and romance? Surely you do…they are your partner. Think about all the good things the two of you have done together and how wonderful the good times are. Well, showing a little romance can help ensure there are more and more of those good times.  Go back and find one or two of the ideas that you like, and start being romantic today.

If you are reading this because you want to be more romantic or want to introduce more romance into your relationship, then consider sharing this article with your partner. Let them read this and then the two of you discuss the subject.

Romance is a mindset.  Adjust to it.

2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012   Ron "Modar" Knight        
e-mail: modar@everestkc.net

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