What To Do With a Good Man Who Is Not Romantic


It’s incredible how much of our behavior is determined by how we are raised.

I grew up in a family where my Mom made  big deal about every holiday.

It wasn’t enough to say “I love you.” It wasn’t enough to give a card. It wasn’t enough to buy a thoughtful gift. You had to do ALL of them for EVERY holiday – birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, you name it.

As a result, I was brought up with the de facto mindset that this is how you treat women on special occasions. I never questioned it. As a result, I’ve been fortunate that, for whatever my considerable flaws (know-it-all, tactless, oversharer, impatient), being a thoughtful and generous husband is not one of them.

It doesn’t mean they’re bad. It doesn’t mean they’re cheap. It doesn’t mean they’re selfish. It just means that the grand romantic gesture is not a part of their vocabulary.

But lots of men didn’t get that memo. It doesn’t mean they’re bad. It doesn’t mean they’re cheap. It doesn’t mean they’re selfish. It just means that the grand romantic gesture is not a part of their vocabulary. They don’t want people making a big fuss about their birthdays and they don’t want to make a big fuss about yours.

It would be nice to say that he “should” go the extra mile “if he really loved you,” but as we all know, it’s not that simple to rewire your personality. Victoria Fedden, to her credit, realized this, in her piece for YourTango/The Good Men Project.

“At one point, my resentment grew so great that I began to dread birthdays, holidays and anniversaries because I knew I was going to be let down. One year, after yet another birthday disappointment, I finally realized that something had to change – and that something was me…

I mistakenly viewed television-style romance as concrete proof of true love. I believed that all men could be moved to extreme romantic measures if they really loved their lady. I didn’t measure up to some mysterious standard, I thought, and so I was never “good enough” for a proposal on the banks of the Seine.  I came to believe that I must be unlovable. This belief became so ingrained that I began to view the world through a lens of unworthiness where every event, every little instance, became the proof I was looking for that I lacked the spark that would make a man shower me with treats and surprises. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.”

I think this is really powerful. All you have to do is look in the comments section below and see how many women and men blame the opposite sex for everything.

Looking internally about what you can do differently is SO much more effective than complaining that the world is not the way you want it to be.

Women are hypergamous and are always trying to date “up”!

Men are so interested in sex!

Women want men for their money!

Men are selfish for dating you if they don’t want to marry you!

These all have a basis in truth, but they’re not the whole truth – not by a long shot. Furthermore, complaining about it doesn’t change a thing. Are men going to complain their  way into telling women that they should not care about money? Are women going to shame men into only having sex if, and only if, marriage is in the future? No and no.

This is why looking internally about what you can do differently is SO much more effective than complaining that the world is not the way you want it to be.

Writes Fedden, “I stopped looking for evidence that I was unlovable and started to focus on all the little, lovely things my husband does every single day to express his love for me  –  making me breakfast on the weekends, running a hot bath for me each night, working hard for our family, making  future plans for us,  texting me from work to see how I am, encouraging me and supporting me while I pursue my dreams, and never complaining when I want a girls’ night. The list is endless because my husband constantly expresses his love, even if it’s highly unlikely that he will ever compose sexy riddles or shock me with a whirlwind trip to South Africa for a glam safari.”

That’s right. And while I might be prone to over-the-top birthday fiestas for my wife, that’s not really the best  measure of our love. Our marriage works because I make her feel safe, heard, and understood every day,  and if you have a guy like that, do your best to appreciate what he does for you, instead of focusing on what he doesn’t.

Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.

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  1. 21

    But when you and your partner havent done anything alone in literally 2 years its s problem….i NEVER get any “special” treatment and im not talking about gifts. Im talking about foot rubs or a dinner out WITHOUT the chikdten. I have an awesome man but some form of romance keeps the fire burning..i dont care what anyone says

  2. 22

    Honestly I just think most men are selfish period. I’ve been in relationships where I’ve done sweet things only to have them barely glossed over, I usually always go the extra mile just to make sure that they’re happy and if they’re sad I try to cheer them up, but I have never once gotten that same treatment. Yet and still these are the same men who always complain about oh my exes never did this, they never treated me right but when they finally get someone to treat them right they turn around and treat her like mess

    1. 22.1
      Drew Curic

      You nailed it! My guy has a horror story for each of his two past exes and I show up completely different. I care, I cook, I clean, I appreciate and am romantic.

      Guess what?! My guy doesn’t do any of that and the romantic vacuum is incredible. He wants me to join him everywhere, but has left me often on my own — OR — never introduces me to people he just starts talking to (this lasted 10 minutes one time… I just stood in silence and nothing, not even a mention of me RIGHT THERE).

      I do believe past behaviors are indicators of the future… my guy is HOT. Somehow, he’s single when I met him… I assumed the other guys WERE crazy for cheating on him and whatnot, but now I get what they felt… it’s this hot guy whose looks started to mean nothing after a little while and they were left with a shell who just looks pretty, but cares only about himself. These people need to be left ASAP if you are a good, positive person and don’t want your “Cup Is Half Full” personality to be emptied out by a lesser personality.

  3. 23

    I’m the type of girl that loves romantic thing. I know my bf loves me but I would appreciate if he would show it more often. I’ve told him that I wish he were more romantic and all he does is feel sad or even cry because he says he forgets to do it, but it’s frustrating because sometimes I feel like he’s bored of me or doesn’t get the excitement to do those things for me.

  4. 24

    Wow.   I don’t get foot massages, breakfast in bed, a wildflower from the side of the road, a post-it note, nothing. I don’t care about expensive gifts.   Those are easy.   You can’t buy love.   It should be thoughtful and personal.   I collect silly fridge magnets and my bf travels a lot.   I have yet to get one but hear all about the breweries the coworkers visit at the end of the day.   Quite simply, I’m not a priority.   All the thoughtful sweet things I did were unappreciated and even criticized.   May be time to move on..

  5. 25

    Oh boy, i was brought the same way, love was expressed in words, actions, gift etc… And dating a man who never celebrated a birthday for 36 years, no routine, no ” i love you” from parents, no romance. I still have a hard time focusing on the little things because i am still craving the romance and routine. This is so hard and i completely understand your point, just need strength tonget there.   I took him to Puerto Rico for his birthday and it seems as it was a ” oh tx” moment. Mine is coming up and i just want to travel so i may use my absence as a way to protect myself from the disappointment. I don’t know where to go from here.

  6. 26
    Tiro SA

    Love me in a way that you know how. Allow me to love you in a way that I know how.

    There is a misconception that men are emotionally selfish, the truth is human being are emotionally selfish. We do things with the expectation that we will receivein the same measure.

    One of the reasons so many women get crashed romantically is because they set a level of expectation that aligned to the mainstream example of romance and not to their partners. A sure fire route to disappointment.


    1. 26.1

      So the answer is that we (the romantics) lower our expectations, accept the fact that needs will not be met, or that our needs are unreasonable, warped to begin with….   And then we’ll be happy?

      Thanks anyway, I’ll take a cabin in the woods or travel the world on my own.    Go ahead though, accept the fact that your spouse, chosen life partner and mother of your child is not romantic, accept that you will not have needs met but that you love your spouse for who they are and what they are able to bring to the table… and then watch them cheat on you for a year and leave you for someone else.

      Do not go without challenging your partner to meet your needs.    Very specifically, very directly.

      1. 26.1.1
        Drew Curic

        Such a good post! I too love when we [romantics] are told ‘everyone is different’ and WE need to accept that. No, no I will not. The fact that someone ELSE cannot express emotions and passion and compassion does not indicate that I — the romantic — wants too much.

        It indicates that people will small, self-centered hearts can find one another while I continue to seek a person whose heart has room to grow and include my own.

        Seriously, how dare people settle for less and then tell those who have a lot of Love to give that we are expecting too much while they’ve lowered their expectations and now live happily ever after.

  7. 27
    Elizabeth K

    I can agree with this completely.

    I was with a guy for 6.5years who was the most romantic man I knew, I adored it! Little unexpected gifts, Compliments and being showered in love constantly… We got engaged and planned our happily ever after… 6 months before the wedding he cheated on me with my best friend/bridesmaid called of the wedding and relationship on Christmas Eve and made it out that I wasn’t good enough instead of the truth.


    2 years on I’m in a relationship with a guy the complete opposite- romance isn’t his thing but respect, trust, happiness and love are overflowing…

  8. 28

    So I’ve been with my husband for 12 years. He is not a romantic guy. But he also doesn’t do much of the little things either. Reading some of the things above, I would kill for a text during the day just to see how myou day is going. I would kill for an “I love you ” other than in response to me saying it first. I would be grateful for some house work to be done or a hug or kiss unprovoked. I don’t need the big gestures. But to have him tell me that he loves me so much and that I’m the only person for him would be amazing!

    1. 28.1
      Drew Curic

      My heart hurts when I read this. Are you afraid to ask for even one of those simple gestures? We do inherently open the door to dissapointment if we ask for One Simple Little Thing and then don’t get it (that little thing becomes THE BIGGEST THING by simply being withheld).

  9. 29

    I’ve read every comment here – the sympathizers, the criticizers.

    Everybody listen:

    It all boils down to this. YOU should strive to meet your partner’s relationship needs in every way, and your PARTNER should strive to meet yours in every way. Sometimes you both will slack or mess up. That’s ok.

    The point is that you never tell your partner that their needs are silly or too idealistic, and your partner should never tell you the same.

    To the people who have accepted lack: No. Your partner is apparently ok with your sadness and frustration and that is NOT an ok quality in a partner.

    To those who criticize: It is NOT your job to determine what someone else’s love needs are. If you are doing this to your partner, you need to stop. If you are not willing to meet your partner’s love needs, then you need to move on and find someone whose needs more align with what you are willing to give. It is NOT ok to continually, consciously make another human being sad while claiming to love them. Just NO.

    Lady with the beach birthday: Your man is being selfish and tying to control your views of love. Withholding a simple card IS cruel. Period. The foot rubs, etc, do NOT make up for it, because all that is on his terms, not yours. If a card makes you feel loved, he just needs to get you a card, not try to convince you to change your very belief system.

    Man who married a foreigner: So glad that you found someone who loves the way you love. Your success does not give you a right to criticize an entire country full of women, just because your level of romance didn’t measure up in a past relationship.

    To all: Express very explicitly, YOUR love needs. If your partner refuses to meet those needs, or even worse, belittles your needs, leave! They are either being selfish or controlling – neither of which is good. Also, you need to be willing to meet their love needs too (this does not include love ‘needs’ such as “don’t bother me with your love needs” mmm-k?)

    1. 29.1

      AAAAA to the MEN!!!! YES! Couldn’t have said it better myself! So many people commenting on here don’t get it. They don’t get that a relationship isn’t about THEM individually (if it is, they’re better off single)…a relationship is about BOTH people. If you don’t care that your actions (or lack of) hurt your significant other, well, maybe you shouldn’t be in a relationship. If a woman knows that something really makes her man happy, and doesn’t do it…don’t be surprised when he withdrawals from you, or outright finds someone else who will. Same for a man. If he knows that his woman likes something or that holidays are a big thing for her, and he CHOOSES to not care, not to do anything, that’s his choice…so is where to spend the next several holidays…all by himself. If you aren’t even willing to TRY and meet each others needs out of love and respect, then WHY are you with them?? Go find someone who’s willing to settle for less (like the foreign girl). From the comments on this blog, there are plenty out there!

  10. 30

    Below is what every man needs to know and why every man needs to understand that romance is a never ending circle of nowhere and why women have an unquenchable thirst for it. Women aren’t romantic they love having romance done to them, look carefully and you’ll see through the the mirage.
    Female solipsism
    Women conflate histrionics with characteristic depth, because to women, depth is defined by interweaving hues of diverse emotional experience and how they relate to one another rather than an understanding of the abstract. Conversely, man defines depth by struggle, knowledge and a capacity for  the abstract thought necessary to think critically.
    The masculine  does not view the incessant cataloguing and  processing of one’s emotional history to be particularly interesting or deep. However, this propensity  is an intrinsic fundamental of the solipsistic rationalisation process  native to women.  It is this process by which women build their self-perception.  Naturally, the flaw of this process is the dominance of the catalogued  emotional narrative and an absence of introspection in regard to it.
    The distinction between introspection and solipsism lies in that introspection assumes the external world is the root, attempting to understand where the individual fits in relation to said  world. Solipsism assumes the individual is the root, and attempts to understand how the  external world fits in with relation to the self. “What I think” becomes “I think that made me feel because…” And so whilst a woman considers it enlightenment to explore every  nuance  of her emotional palette, men view  such fixation as nothing more than infantile self-absorption.
    Antithetically, what man views as immature behaviour, woman perceives as mature. To a woman there is nothing more interesting and mature than “understanding herself.” Whilst man desires  to understand the world, a woman desires to understand herself. When a woman declares “she needs to find herself,” other than riding a train of exotic men  to accomplish the task, what she means to communicate is  “I’m leaving to seek nuanced emotional experiences I haven’t felt before.”  Eliciting the further unspoken  implication  “…and I don’t think you can provide those experiences.”
    By nature of solipsism, women deem the abstract obtuse and the solipsistic reasonable, whilst man, the contrary; the solipsistic obtuse and the abstract, reasonable. Within the sexual differences into what constitutes human depth, we merely scratch the surface in elucidating how distinct the psychological perceptions of men and women are.
    Free a woman of material dependence, and any polite sensibility or sense of self-constraint flees in an unending pursuit of new emotional luxury. When surviving is no longer an issue, the pursuit of rich and nuanced emotional experiences come to  the forefront of a woman’s wants.
    Really, a woman’s need for resources is nothing more than an unwelcome interruption of her primary psychological drive, emotional self-discovery. And so  the gratitude  of a  desperate woman provides the perfect guise for solipsistic selfishness, it will make her seem like a  good woman; one who cares for others more than herself. But the mere act of provisioning shifts her priorities, for she must no longer behave deferentially to have  her material needs met.
    Her  pursuit of intense emotion is only paused by the urgency of her material needs, it is never vanquished. No wonder then that a woman’s directive is to first seek out a man who can provide, only to later seek a man who can induce emotional intensity should the prior be incapable, or no longer capable of providing it. The boring sycophantic domesticated male is a necessity of bated breath for the woman without wealth, but truly it is the detached, ever alluring, but never quite attainable alpha she truly longs for.
    Romance  and sex,  as distinct as they are, are the culminating opiates of emotional experience, fear and power but the aphrodisiac to wetten the feminine emotional appetite. Therefore in the pursual of unending solipsistic self-discovery, it seems only natural that women would be most permanently drawn to  such things, for their ability to provide the most compelling fantastical  emotion is unchallenged. It is female nature to learn about herself via the emotional roller coaster, so what better way is there for a woman to research herself other than to pursue romance?
    The fixation with romance is not solely part of her biological imperative to produce offspring, but likewise a window into the feminine soul, the need to indulge her most visceral emotivity. And  this inclination  refuses to cease even when a woman has reproduced countless times. This suggests its presence within the feminine is not a clear-cut evolutionary psychological benefit we can deduce to be a  simple manifestation of woman’s  biological need to seek out optimum  genetic material. Because if it were, a craving for romance, the opiate of solipsism, would diminish if not vanish in women who have birthed multiple children. Instead, we note its persevering intrinsicality.
    A 60-year-old woman with 5 children is no less solipsistic and longing for romance  than a 20-year-old with zero. She may be less optimistic of the endeavour, but nevertheless it is something she shall crave should she lack it. And I think it not that romance is a solipsistic determiner  for  commitment and provisioning; as the most sought after romance is always that which is unabashedly obsessed with the woman, not any children she has. Likewise for good measure, such romance is forbidden, often sexually depraved and absent the mundanity of everyday life. Indeed then, the pursuit of emotional  intensity is a goal unto itself, one that surpasses all else. Female solipsism goes far  beyond a woman’s role as a mother, and if too pervasive, actually undermines her capacity in this role.
    Much unlike man, who searches for understanding  in the external world, a woman’s quest for understanding lies within the emotion of the internal word. Women are  not so interested in the quirks and qualities of the abstract world in so much as they are ever  perplexed by their emotions.
    Where a man’s curiosity lies in how the external world functions and how he can best manipulate it, a woman’s curiosity lies in how her internal world functions and how she can best utilise the external world to manipulate her well-being. Essentially, men are knowledge focused whilst women are self-knowledge focused. Men are curious of the abstract, women are curious of the fluidity and sentiment of the self. Man defines himself in relation to what his observations conclude, woman defines herself in relation to how her observations make her feel.
    Women are near constantly preoccupied with their emotions in response to external stimuli. This inhibits external analysis, focussing it internally. Women will communicate how they felt from memory, eliciting further feelings, leading to word-by-word disseminations of how she believes her feelings define her — as she feels them. And so there is this continuous cycle of feelings eliciting further feelings, which a woman then needs to factor in to her overall view of herself. Only with a conclusion rationalised to be emotively acceptable does she find relief. Such a conclusion is rarely ever THE truth, but rather, HER rationalised, chosen truth. A truth that reconciles negative with positive emotion to bring about an internal balance that is completely unconcerned with the abstraction that is objectivity.
    As such, the solipsism of women appears to be not just a limitation, but an addiction. An addiction man finds psychologically arduous should he find himself in the not so pretty situation of playing therapist to the ever dissatisfied self-discovering woman. When a woman talks about her feelings, she is defining them as they are brought to the surface and expressed.  Women need to talk about how they feel, because although their focus is internal, their process is external. As such, they address external problems from the position of their emotions without even so much a hint of desire to remove said emotional filter. This is the core of what we mean by “women are solipsistic.”
    Sanity to man lies in understanding the world, a woman’s sanity lies in understanding herself. A woman who cannot understand herself is fraught with distress, compelled only to seek further self-understanding. Man experiences a similar distress in an inability to understand the world rather than himself, in this we note the similarity yet complete distinctiveness of the sexes.  Much unlike the self however, surroundings can be replaced. The self can be influenced, but it is ineludible. As such, a woman cannot escape herself, for she is always herself. The craziest woman is therefore the woman who has no outlet to process her emotions, for her relative sanity is entirely dependent on the process of emoting.
    So despite women being stuck in their heads (or should I say hearts?) they speak loquaciously. To process her emotion there is talking, lots of talking. So why does  a man stuck in his head tend to focus outwardly and process his observations inwardly, whilst a woman focuses inwardly but processes her observations outwardly, namely, with  voluble chatter?
    It is a most quirky irony that in a quest to comprehend herself, a woman will speak constantly. It is by merit of solipsism and this constant need for emotional self-discovery that every woman considers herself an expert on herself, and as such, is inclined to talk at great length about herself. In terms of attraction, there is nothing a woman loves more than for a  newly  acquainted man to tell her something she considers true about herself. A man who seems to know a woman on the emotional level without that woman having to express herself exudes his own enchanting intrigue. By being able to communicate with women on this level, man creates his presence within her solipsistic world.  “He just, like, totally gets me!”
    This is oft mistaken for narcissism, but should she lack narcissism, such a quality still persists. For not only is self-obsession a product of narcissism, but likewise a product of solipsism. Therefore being that solipsism is intrinsic to women, self-obsession is an unavoidable by-product. Indeed a woman’s most profound hobby is that of her self-interest, chiefly, the catalogued history of emotions she has experienced, how they shape who she is, and which ones are desirable enough to be pursued for re-creation.
    The emotional world is solipsistic, for it is singularly distinct from individual to individual, like a series of unconnected universes existing simultaneously. The abstract world on the other hand is a shared constant, external, one we all operate and cohabit within. To women, there is no distinction between the emotional and the abstract, for she believes the emotional is abstract. Her instinct is that her inner-world is an abstract world she must constantly process and seek to understand via external communication.  To men, the inner world is a solipsistic world. Both men and women have an inner emotional world, but men have less interest in processing the nuances of this world and  live  their lives mentally more in the abstract world.
    Few women play the male game, that is, that depth is a product of hardship, study and self-awareness. To women, self-awareness amounts to nothing more than solipsistic indulgence; this is to experience strong emotion and to then process that emotion via further emoting. The reason women constantly communicate and address their emotion, is because they seek to understand past emotion. And then by understanding past emotion, they experience the sensation of discovery. To experience emotion and process emotion is what a woman considers growth.
    Histrionic solipsism is a female simulacrum for depth. Where genuine struggle is not achieved, it will be manufactured.  The modern woman believes  experiencing  a wide range of emotion is what makes her deep and worldly. Women have a propensity for histrionics, because  it is through drama and subsequent emotional reflection that a woman evaluates herself as a person.  The female mind is characterised by its solipsistic nature, therefore it stands to reason that women intuit their self-awareness rather than deduce it.
    The emotional narrative on which a woman’s solipsism is predicated is so disjointed in nature, so very non-sequitur to all but her, that an element of the purpose in a woman’s communication of her feelings appears to be a need for her narrative to be externally corroborated. If we assume this principle is true, it further elucidates women’s need to be understood no matter how unintelligible her line of reasoning.

    1. 30.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Fell asleep at “female solipsism.” When it comes from a male solipsist, it loses a little something.

      1. 30.1.1
        Maureen Taylor

        Hallelujah Evan Marc Katz!

  11. 31

    “…do your best to appreciate what he does for you, instead of focusing on what he doesn’t”

    What if it’s not enough for a woman who wants surprises and romance added to her life? What if she needed more than just looking at the good BASIC characteristics in a man and appreciate them? What is the solution of such issue?

  12. 32

    My boyfriends not romantic at all. He’s a good man but he doesn’t do anything for me. In our two year relationship he brought my flowers once and a present from him is a chocolate bar (I’ve gotten twice). He didn’t even get me a birthday present. Things like that have gotten to me but is it really fair to say I’m expecting too much? He loves me and I do love him but I don’t know what to say. I feel like it’s always me pulling my share and his half too. It’d be nice to be appreciated a little.

    1. 32.1
      Jenny F.

      Besides muttering “I love you” when he hangs up after a call, my partner never and I may never, talks about his feelings for me or about our relationship, has never told me he’s happy I am in his life or anything similar, never tells me I look nice or that I’m pretty, or notices me when I am ready for a night out with him. I feel invisible.


      Also, he doesn’t believe in celebrating birthdays or holidays.   I think their phony. No gifts, not even a card.


      After reading “The 5 Love Languages” I bought “The 5 Love Languages for Men” for him. He has not read half of the book; it sits on his nightstand to this day. When I tell him how much I need to hear these intimate words from him, his response is that he does love me but that he shows with deeds not words, that deeds are more important. We do nice things for each other. I have expressed how in love I feel but he refuses to use words to express his love. He claims that words are meaningless.

      1. 32.1.1

        I married a man like this. One word – torture. You are already unhappy. He sees no value in making you feel special.   He thinks his mere presence should be enough for you.   Believe me, after 20 years of somebody ignoring your birthdays, mothers days, anniversaries etc and basically believing because ‘they come home to you every night’ – that you should be happy ‘with what you get’ – you will be miserable.   It is better to be alone than lonely with someone who hold no value in honouring you or the relationship.

  13. 33

    Why is it that ‘romantic’ is defined in the field of ‘romantic gestures’?

    Isn’t romantic just a little more than giving flowers or chocolate on Valentine’s Day….? Isn’t it much more an actual personality/dispositional  trait?

    For example, my boyfriend could give me flowers but it would depend on the way in which they are given which portrays whether it is actually a romantic gesture or not – flowers or not, he could  look into my eyes, smile gently (etc etc) and it would be more romantic than if he gave me flowers and didn’t do any such thing.

    I was looking around on the internet trying to find solace regarding the absolute lack of romance in this particular man’s personality, and all I come across is whether or not he partakes in capitalist-driven holidays?!

  14. 34
    Damaris Scalzi

    I read this and felt optimism, then as I read on; I felt disappointed. I appreciate your insight for sure, however I realize that the least things I should be experiencing in my marriage; I don’t possess. I don’t feel safe, heard or understood. He’s not at all romantic or sensitive toward me. He’s a good man in life as far as provider and Father, he’s just not as connected to me as I believe he should be. Praying and waiting for 18 years and I’m lonely and discouraged but not giving up hope.

    1. 34.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Praying and waiting isn’t a relationship strategy. If you are content, stay in the relationship. If you are not, find another relationship instead of asking God to make your husband into a different person.

  15. 35

    I truly understand everything that everyone above me has said, I love my husband dearly and he always tells me he loves me.   I would like a wee bit of the movie romance once in a blue moon as I am a dreamer and that is what I would like my husband to recognize in me.   He is a great man, he makes me feel safe, he is strong , he shares all the responsibility of raising a family and we have lots of similar interests and enjoyments.   Just once in a while I would like to be acknowledged for being a frivolous romantic who likes to dream.

  16. 36

    A little disappointed by this: i was hoping for you to discuss what to do if you don’t feel heard or understood.

  17. 37

    What To Do With a Good Man Who Is Not Romantic

    I never really understood this being romantic malarkey – but then, I’m not a particularly good man either. You see, I went to a dreadful all-boys school – full of grunting macho lads who thought that not wiping one’s manhood on the curtains after having sex was the height of romance.

    Anyway, roll the clock forward a few decades and I’m with this lovely girl – heart of gold, legs that go on forever and an absolutely delightful bottom. But every year she has a birthday. Problem is that not merely do I have to remember her birthday, she also expects me to celebrate it by “doing something romantic” too. She’s a half-German Hungarian and strictly entre-nous, she’s a bit of an old bossy boots sometimes.

    So this year, I reluctantly agreed to sit through all three Bridget Jones films, back-to-back. Some sort of “date night” nonsense she’d read about on the Internet, apparently. Fortunately, I managed to sneak a litre bottle of reasonably-decent Scotch past her, so I could take the occasional snifter when she was suitably absorbed in her movies. This deadened the pain a bit, but it was still utter   purgatory. Eventually the ordeal finally came to an end. Just as the last credits rolled off the screen, she-that-must-be-obeyed turned to me and asked, “Colin Firth is so romantic – can’t you think of something romantic to say to me?”

    So I scratched my head, took another nip of my Famous Grouse and replied, “You have your faults, but you’re not as annoying as Renée Zellweger.”

    Now, I’m not 100% sure, but I’m guessing that was probably the wrong answer. She grabbed my bottle of Scotch, stomped-off upstairs and hid it somewhere – whilst muttering something unprintable about me in Hungarian. And to make matters worse, it was my last bottle too!

    Ah well, back to the proverbial drawing board, I guess… 😉

  18. 38

    I grew up in a family of men, my mother died when I was 3, my dad didn’t remarry, I had 2 brothers. I can tell you expectations on men are far lower. Most people thought my dad amazing for not abandoning us and becoming an alcoholic. And let’s face it raising 3 kids single handily is not easy neither is loosing your wife. When my partner forgets his mother’s birthday her passive aggressive anger is aimed at me, as I’m a woman and somehow it’s my job to remember birthdays. My partner says, oh she doesn’t mind when I mention he’s forgotten again, but she really does. He forgets his grandchildrens birthday then doesn’t even send a late gift with a belated birthday card. It’s not about romance, it’s about being thoughtful. And women have much more pressure on them from society to be the thoughtful ones who look after relationships and ensure no ones forgotten. I didn’t have a mother, my dad forgot our birthdays, which my brothers are more angry about than me, not because they want to be romanced, they feel it sends a little signal saying “I remembered, you’re important and I love you”. I think my dad loved us to bits, but he couldn’t love us in the way we needed to be loved. We didn’t have a great role model, but we all decided to be different to him. Me and my brothers. They never forget my birthday and alaways are available on that day. Today is my birthday and I’m going out with friends and my brother because my partner forgot to ask for an early shift for that day so he’ll be working late today. I know he loves me and shows me that love in many ways. He’s not perfect and he’s not always thoughtful, he would gain from developing that side, not just for me but in his children and grandchildren – because they might remember him as grandad who never forgot my birthday instead of grandad who never remembered me.

  19. 39
    Maureen Taylor

    My husband of 31 years bought me a gift 30 years ago, he went out and carefully selected a red pen and a black one. Lovingly wrapped them to place under the xmas tree, and was shocked when I cried after opening them. I said “thank you honey”  trying not to  ruin our day, he later said he thought I would like them because I pay the bills. I also do the dishes but I don’t want a dish rack lol!

    He hasn’t bought me another gift since, no birthday, xmas, anniversary, valentines,   he said I am your gift and I love you dearly. You have control of my money so you can have what ever you want. Go and buy yourself something and pick a nice card, leave it on the table and I will write a  message in it. I would prefer he picked the gift but he’s practical not romantic, he’d probably buy me a washing machine or vacuum cleaner. So I agreed, I buy myself things a romantic man would buy. Jewellery, a dress, fragrance, I’ve even bought a gift voucher to have a salon treatment. My heart skips a beat every time I read the card because they are heartfelt and beautiful messages. So on every occasion the anticipation and excitement is in the cards message and I always say thank you sweetheart for letting me have my beautiful (whatever it is at the time)?

    He has never left the house without say I love you, with a peck on the cheek and a big warm hug, he  does the same when he comes home. He may not be a romantic gift giver but to me he is romantic in every other way.

    Recognising what makes him tick and accepting that he loves you by not eliminating the little things he does, is half the battle. I never look over my shoulder at what my friends get or my sisters get because our husbands are very different. I look at the measure of the man and his cup runneth over.


  20. 40

    My bf is really great we laugh and we are very good friends, is kind of new though. the thing is in 2 occasions I have expressed my feelings to him saying like “you are the most special person I have met” or “i am so happy with you” and this times he has been distracted, on the phone playing something and it has hurt my feelings, because im really opening up and then nothing. it just makes me sad. i don’t know how should i feel, am I being dramatic? I read the post about taking the 80% that is good and not focusing in the bad and thats what i partly think but then again why do   i fell like it doesn’t matter tooo much to him. we have both said I love you and i do think is mutual.

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