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Married Life

How to Be Romantic in Modern Times

A New Definition for Romance?

I don’t know about you, but I find these days that romance can be so clichéd. True, some elements of romance will never go out of fashion. Candles will always be beautiful, the right music will always set the mood… flowers will always soften hearts.

But modern times come with a heavy lashing of cynicism. We live in a time where white stuffed teddy bears and heart-shaped chocolates are laughable, and romantic date ideas like walking the beach hand-in-hand at sunset can seem contrived.

So what is Modern Romance? How can we be romantic in this day and age?

Believe it or not, we here at $30 Date Night think we may have worked it out! It’s actually quite simple… And here is a guaranteed way to knock your date’s panties off (figuratively, of course!) and romance them all at once. Are you ready? – Be. Thoughtful.

It’s never been truer – it IS the thought that counts! Think to open the door for your date. Think to take them a small present that is exactly to their taste. Think to book a restaurant you know they would love, tickets to a show they’ve been wanting to see or take them on an experience they’ve never had before.

But how to be thoughtful? My tips in planning a really special romantic date night include:

1. Pay Attention to What They Like
It’s not too hard – there will be clues everywhere! What sort of music do they listen to? What kinds of things do they gaze at while window shopping or flicking through brochures? What kind of food do they love? What sort of things do they do for fun? Gather all this information quietly and subtly and you will soon have a collection of things that are guaranteed to make your date melt!

2. Plan Every Minute
Plan the date from start to finish, so that everything runs seamlessly. Your date should just be guided through the evening from pick up (YES – pick your date up!) to arriving home, barely noticing what’s going on, just being able to enjoy the moment.

3. Be Prepared
Once you’ve planned the night’s activities (whatever they may be), make sure all the elements you will need for the night are looked after… that the petrol tank is full, that your date is wearing appropriate clothing, that you have an umbrella if it’s raining… you get the idea.

4. Above and Beyond
Go above and beyond the call of duty! Don’t just take your date to dinner – take your date to dinner in a restaurant she’s been longing to try out, call ahead and ask for an intimate table (explain that it’s a special night), arrange for two glasses of bubbly to be brought over on arrival without you having to order them.. if you’re out on a picnic, visit a specialty deli beforehand and pick up the most delectable treats you can find, including their favorite dessert. If you’re cooking for them, get your hands on their favourite recipe from their mother and recreate it. Garnish the dish before serving it, for crying out loud! Don’t just slop it on the plate.

It’s the small things. Taking note of what your date loves. The most romantic thing Denis has ever done for me was run a bath for me, and have it waiting when I arrived home from a horrible day at work – he took my laptop and my handbag from me as I walked I the door and led me to the bathroom. He’d lit candles, had my favourite CD playing and had bought the latest copy of Harper’s Bazaar for me… he left me there in the bathroom to unwind at my leisure, and when I emerged refreshed he had cooked me a lovely dinner. Bliss.

Do you agree? Is the old version of romance irrelevant for today’s society? What’s the most romantic thing that’s ever happened to you?

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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.


5 comments for “How to Be Romantic in Modern Times”

  1. Posted by Glenda | August 7, 2009, 3:13 am

    Completely agree! Its the thoughtfulness that counts. Details are the order of the day :)

  2. Posted by 7 of the Most Romantic Date Ideas Ever | $30 date night | Date Ideas, Marriage & Romance Blog | August 9, 2009, 6:23 pm

    [...] seem to be appreciated… and despite what I said last week about needing a new definition for modern romance, the popularity of these seven date ideas on our voting system just goes to show… some thing [...]

  3. Posted by Men vs. Women on Love, Sex and Romance | $30 date night | Date Ideas, Marriage & Romance Blog | August 12, 2009, 11:06 pm

    [...] Makes you wonder what the definition of romance is for each sex? Are we talking flowers and chocolates? Sexy lingerie? Candlelit dinners? Romance isn’t just limited to these things… In fact, I maintain that we probably need a new definition for romance. [...]

  4. Posted by Kate | October 9, 2009, 11:20 pm

    What’s funny is that we spend more time trying to redefine what constitutes a “good date” instead of just having fun on them. The trick might just be to try to relax and be ourselves and find out quicker if we can have fun just being who we are in the company of the opposite sex. It really doesn’t have to be rocket science… either it works or it doesn’t. Why make a date into something it’s not? As for me, the most romantic thing that has ever happened on a date didn’t come in a box, and certainly wasn’t planned. It was spontaneous and mind blowing. Let’s hear about those dating experiences and then let nature take its course. I don’t know what makes a great date for everybody else, and I’m not even sure I could tell you what makes a great date before it happens. If it is planned, it is better left to the next episode of Lipstick Jungle. When is that going to start again, anyway?

  5. Posted by Dan | April 20, 2012, 7:55 am

    Just a question on romance, I broke up from a 5 year relationship and when it ended she said I never did anything for her or took her anywere . however looking back nor did she is it just me or is it that it seems to be up to the man to do the romancing is it not a two way street to be cared for by your partner. Its a partnership isnt it not a all i can get?

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