Men Really Want Romance
In a survey asking men whether they really desire romance, 84% answered yes. The answers held regardless of whether the men were old or young, married or unmarried. As one man puts it, “I wish my wife knew that I need romance, that I need touching and hugs as much as she does.”
Men want romance, just as women do.
Let us see some obstacles that he has to face to show romance.
- It is difficult to change gears
Even working women may not appreciate how tough it is for a man to switch from the fast-paced, highly practical attitude of work to the tenderness of romance. Many women see this everyday when their man comes home from work and want nothing more than to sit on the couch and watch television. Men assure that women should not take this personally- they just need space to relax and refresh for a while. This is their way to decompress after work.
Everyone transitions differently. One man says: “My wife recognises that I need help to change my working mood, so she asks me questions, and I babble for about forty-five minutes. Before I know, I am moving into “home mode” because I have been able to unload my work issues in a safe environment. Plus I build greater rapport with my wife at the same time.” Almost every man interviewed by a counsellor said that he needs to decompress somehow before he can think about being a romantic, loving husband. And if his wife can understand and give him that time, he will be happier and more available the rest of the evening. As one man says, “I wish I could make my wife understand that sometimes when I don’t talk to her or act like a loving husband; it has nothing to do with how I feel about her. I just sometimes need to be left alone with my own thoughts. Men are just different-which accounts for the reason men believe women are feeling a lack of romance from them.
The gender gap in definitions of romance
When fifty men on a retreat were interviewed this is how they define romance.
Definition of romance by men
1) Playing together is very romantic.
Men want to go out and do things together and view that as incredibly romantic. Playing with their wives makes them feel close, loving, and intimate. It offers an escape from the ordinary, a time to focus on each other- all things women also want from romance.
Here is a great insight from one married man: “Most married men don’t want to abandon their wife to do guy things. They want to do “guy things” with their wife. They want her to be their playmate. It is no different from when they were dating. For a guy, a big part of the thrill was doing fun things together.
The woman who is having fun with her husband is incredibly attractive. If you see a woman out playing golf with her husband, I guarantee that all the other guys are jealous. Getting out and having fun together falls off in marriage because of various responsibilities, but men still want to play with their wives.”
So ladies, just a fun day of hiking together or a chance to relax and walk around a quaint little village nearby can be incredibly romantic to your men. So ladies do recognize this and sit down and plan to go out and do fun things together during weekends and boost his romantic ideas.
- Romance without sex may not feel complete
Men consider sex as a part of romance. It doesn’t always have to be connected, and it doesn’t have to happen at the same time, but it is in the back of his mind.
To make a big generalisation, women can often experience emotional closeness and feel that an evening is romantically complete without sex while men often cannot.
Consider these comments from some men who were interviewed:
- “It is hard for men to separate romance without sex. It is all part of it. If men are romantic, they want sex. If there were no moral or social constraints, romance would always lead to sex.”
- “I love setting up a romantic evening, but it is a lot of work for me. And I don’t think my wife realises that when I am being romantic, I have got a very specific endpoint in mind, so sometimes there is intense disappointment after all that work!.”
- “The guy is thinking, if romance is about feeling emotionally connected, and sex is my way of being emotionally connected, and we are already being romantic, then why not now? If we are going to have sex sometime in the next month, wouldn’t now be a good time?”
Another man brought up the unfortunate dynamic where a husband uses romance to get sex or a wife uses sex to get romance. But he provided an alternative view: if a wife only “gives” sex to get something she wants that is so hurtful to a guy. Sex should not be made a payout after a guy works to earn his wife’s favor. A guy wants romance not to somehow manipulate sex, but to re-experience the spark of dating, to reconnect after days of draining work at the office, to feel love and intimacy, to know his is wanted and enjoyed, and to utterly escape the crushing nonstop pressure of life. And sex can be a wonderful part of all that. Romance is all about escaping- escaping with the person you love and discovering to one’s monumental delight that she too wants to escape- with me!
Clearly, just as we want our husbands to love us in the way we need to be loved, our men want the same and sex is a huge part of making them feel loved.
…with Rose Hansey