Dissecting Romantic Gestures

February 5, 2011 — 4 Comments







Dissecting Romance

In one sense, it’s not terribly romantic to dissect romance, but I’ve started doing just that. I want to help others learn how to create meaningful romantic gestures for their heartmate. And yes, I believe this is a skill that can be learned.


As I outline my thinking, I’d love your input. (I give my first talk on the subject in two weeks at a men’s breakfast, so I really need to get my thinking in writing!) This is my framework so far:

When constructing a Rated G Romantic gesture, I think I’ve decided that it basically comes down to what I am calling lenses & layers.

“Lenses” help focus the possibilities. They are about really “knowing” him or her. These lenses include your heartmate’s:

  • love language(s) – e.g. Words of Affirmation
  • tendency to be an introvert or extrovert
  • predisposition to be a risk taker
  • phobias – e.g. My Mrs. is phobic of “hanging rides.” A gondola ride would be no fun.
  • lifestyle choices – e.g. There’s no point taking a vegetarian to a steak house.
  • stature.
  • preferences – e.g. roses vs. orchids, rap vs. jazz, etc.

All romantic gestures must also me authentic, “martyr free”, within a budget and safe.

“Layers,” on the other hand, are general concepts that can be used to tweak any romantic idea that has made it through the lenses. They have the potential to take an ordinary romantic gesture and make it lavish. Layers that come to mind include:

  • illusion or surprise – more precisely, the unexpected.
  • allusion
  • firsts
  • bests
  • “returning to the scene”
  • taking risks
  • unique /once in a lifetime
  • the opportunity to laugh
  • excitement
  • sentimentality
  • creating a memory
  • themes
  • music
  • fire
  • water
  • location
  • timing
  • clues/contests/scavenger hunts
  • recruiting friends

All of these can be applied to embellish regular romantic gestures or layered deep for special days like Valentine’s Day, birthdays and anniversaries.

I’m just getting started. Can you think of any lenses or layers I should add to my lists? I am sure there are more. And come to think of it, “Lens” & “Layers” are sort of mixed metaphors. Anyone have anything better? My Mrs. suggested “lenses & frames,” like glasses, but that loses the alliteration. Any ideas? Maybe something about tools?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

4 responses to Dissecting Romantic Gestures

  1. I’m still pondering the lenses and layers thing, but one suggestion I’d make… As opposed to “dimensions,” how about “stature”?

  2. Thanks Sara,
    That’s much better. Edited now.

  3. Hmm.. Lenses and layers.. Listen.. Try taking making a list of notes of things that your partner has brought up enthusiastically over the last little while, and weave them into a romantic adventure.

  4. Truth. Attentiveness is the core of the lenses.