Welcome to February, the love month. With Valentine’s day on the near horizon, you may be thinking about all the ways your partner is going to shower you with love this year. But what about him? How will you shower him with love this year?
Your first objection might be wondering if men even care about romantic gestures, or claiming that yours doesn’t. But relationships are complex and it can be difficult to understand what exactly your partner needs from you. The way our society views masculinity is shifting and this allows room to begin to question classic relationship roles. Typically it has been that men are the pursuers and the ones who desire more. Now it may be time to look into other ways to view men and romance.
This blog will go into understanding how to romance him and ways to explore deeper intimacy in your relationship. Beyond these tips, couples therapy is also a wonderful way to begin unpacking the way you and your partner can unblock barriers to romance.
Reason #1: You Might be Stuck in a Traditional Script
We learn scripts for romance and sexuality through what is depicted in the media and what we see in the world around us. For much of the past several decades, there has been a singular story of how men and women should act in relationships. Typically it is expected for the man to be responsible for the wooing and romantic gestures like bringing over flowers, giving compliments, or initiating sex.
Don’t get me wrong, many men enjoy stepping into this role, but these traditional gender roles and sexual scripts can leave men feeling insecure about their romantic needs when they fall outside of this prescribed box. They may have difficulties expressing a desire to be romanced (or even knowing what words to use) because of their idea of what their role should be in the partnership. This can leave men feeling unappreciated or undesired while in love.
Reason #2: Men Wish to be Romanced
For some, it might be difficult to see that men have a tender side. There might even be the thought that men don’t care about the small gestures and “all they care about is sex”. Recent research is coming to a different conclusion that though men do value sex in relationships, they are also drawn to romantic stimuli. Men want to feel connected to and loved by their partners!
Loving gestures can look different for each person. Breaking some socialized roles to romance him could look like planning a special date for him, leaving a love note, cuddling, or noticing his appearance. It could even be something small as asking for his advice or sharing your belief that he did a good job handling that situation at work. Men need these reminders that they are cared for ans respected by the person that they love the most.
Reason #3: Men Need to Feel Desired
Much of the attention on heterosexual male sexuality is geared towards sex. This script has portrayed the picture of the male desiring the woman and her being receptive. There is little room in this narrative for the man to feel like the object of interest. A study on male desire explored how the sexual roles are evolving over time and found that men feel desired through non-sexual touching and their partner being the one who initiates sexual contact.
It is time to break the myth that men and romance don’t mix. Men also need to know that they are desired in the relationship and need these gestures. This can look like having flirtation throughout the day or some physical contact that does not have to lead to sex. These actions are a reminder of interest and excitement in the relationship. When the men can be the receiver instead of initiator of sexual activity this gives an opportunity to learn more about ways the other partner engages in foreplay and sex. Men are romanced through meaningful connection and sensuality.
How to Start Romancing Him
- Explore Together: Starting a conversation about romance in the relationship is a great first step. If the word “romance” feels too fem, mix it up. Talk about desire, interest, excitement, and the little ways you can show each other you care. Share with one another what it means to feel loved and appreciated.
This can be a time to be curious about what is going well and what are areas to course correct. Clear communication is key to allow both of you to have space to share and reflect on your needs.
- Openness and Acceptance: To be able to romance him, he may need some extra support so that he can have space to step into new expectations or desires. Only within a safe place can a new romantic script to be developed that does not have to follow traditional gender roles. Allow room for him to share what makes him feel special without shame.
- Experiment: There might be some uncertainty or awkwardness about what romance looks like in your relationship. Trying out new things and giving feedback on what feels good can help with this. Looking into the five love languages can give ideas about different activities or romantic gestures to try.
- Couples Therapy: Relationships are complex and changing romantic patterns can be challenging. There might also be underlying issues that are getting in the way of romancing him or feeling connected. Going to therapy together can support both of you in your relationship journey.
Pure Health Center wants all parties in the relationship to feel special and acknowledged. Being a part of a relationship is a continual learning process on how to love one another. We provide couples therapy to help reduce stress and increase intimacy. If you are interested in couples or individual counseling, please reach out today to learn more about our therapy options.