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. 41
    Anna Y Moss

    I used to work for a call center for florists. Not everyone who sends flowers is sincerely romantic…or exclusively romantic if you know what i mean. Lol.

  2. 42


    Very well said my dear,

    I also have a boyfriend for 3 years now and being romantic is out of his vocabulary. On our first year on a valentines day he just greeted me happy valentines and I was stunned with a very fake smile acting like I am all good receiving nothing, where in fact he’s the only person I am expecting to give me some flowers or chocolates cause I told him I have a sweet tooth, but he did nothing. He doesn’t care. Then I cried without him knowing. Sometimes you really set these level of expectations and boils you down for nothing

    I’m not asking for extravagance here, it is the small things, the gratitude that matters and for me it is so important that you feel valued and appreciated.

    I cooked for him, surprise him on his birthday trying to show him things that this is how you surprise a person. Guess what it was unsuccessful (laughs).   He said that I am so demanding and I should love him the way he see things. And this breaks my heart.

    He is a very good man, but when it comes to these things.. I get disappointed. And you can’t blame me..   This is how I feel. I told him I am sad. But for the next 2 years he did the same thing.. Nothing..

    I am not saying that you should give me this and that.. Im not that type of girl I have a broad mind that I can understand that not everyone is perfect but Guys, remember.. If a person can’t do small things for you on a very special day that only happens once a year in our lives what more on bigger things?

    And now I am having second thoughts about this relationship. See? It is really the small things that you do.. You have to remember, this is not a one sided relationship. You have to make each other happy for God’s sake! Spice up the relationship and do something about it. Ask each other what you like and just don’t tell them you love them in words

    Show it with your actions, and yes that’s what you call a five letter word EFFORT.

  3. 43

    I went through this very same train of thought not too long ago…I have a very wonderful, hardworking man in my life that does little things to make me happy.. I realized that every man is different in the way they exspress themselves and show love , I had to rethink my own interpretation of what I was used to and have come to expect… once I did that, I freed myself of self doubt and worry, which has allowed me to be more accepting and understanding in our relationship .

  4. 44
    P. Huebner

    This is ridiculous. Men are far more narcissistic , selfish, and emotionally disabled.   Women are more advanced in intimacy and love.   Women are nurturing and caring, and most men just care about sex and making money.   The world caters to  caveman and objectifies women in social media, porno, and television.   This contributes to the culture of rape, sex trafficking, domestic violence. Men are not capable of loving a woman as a woman love a man.   Women are fed the story book lies, and false love stories that say that someday they will find their Prince Charming when he doesn’t exist. No wonder there are so many lonely, disenchanted women in this world. What women need to do is find their inner Goddess, that was taken away from us, by men and religion.

    If a men are so interested in the world and women are not, we would not have both men and women scientists, mathematicians   and every other world related thing that men do.   Except for sports, because of wage inequality, women are prevented from making large sums of money for playing sports. Woman are powerful human beings, demonized by people that make up terms for woman’s sensitivity, beauty, and intelligence.

    Self love is important and the ability to stand on your own to make your live better is all one needs to be happy.

    Buy yourself the damn flowers, and chocolate, and just know that the pickings are slim, but there are good men out there.

  5. 45

    I’m not sure how old this blog post is, but I happened on it today. I’m a woman. I’m not romantic at all, and don’t expect any romance from men either. When a man comes to me with flowers, I don’t know what to do with them. I don’t even own a proper vase to put flowers. Grand romantic gestures leave me cold and feeling a little awkward that I’m not feeling something I ought to feel. Sunsets are pretty, and I love gazing at them, but I don’t feel the urge to kiss while watching a sunset. I do love chocolates, but I’m very picky about them, so would rather buy them myself, than be given something that doesn’t meet my standards.  Oh, I know it’s the thought that counts, but part of me is annoyed when I have to act happy and appreciative upon being given something that I don’t need or want. It probably has to do with my upbringing – my mother also wasn’t a romantic type. My parents had a court wedding, there was never a wedding dress, and wedding anniversaries were never mentioned, although their marriage is still going strong. Holidays were celebrated during childhood, but phased out as I entered my teenage years. I’ve literally never seen cut flowers in the house, although there were plenty in the garden. To be clear, I’m not romantic, but I’ve been passionately in love, rather too often if anything. I just don’t see romance having anything to do with love. I think unromantic men are perfectly fine, as long as they are loyal and fun to be around – I may not care for romantic gestures, but I do love intelligent conversation, and men who can make me laugh!  Just putting in my two cents, because I see that most if not all of the posts from women are complaints about how men aren’t romantic enough, and well, I can barely relate.

  6. 46
    No Name To Give

    YYR, I’m not much of a romantic either. If man does things for me, I will graciously accept his kindness, because it’s the right thing to do. Or at least I did when I was dating. Maybe it’s easy for me not to date because I don’t need those things.

  7. 47

    Leave. You will one day really resent it if you stay. I stayed and now after 35 years I hate that I am in this relationship with someone so selfish. He never gets excited about anything he does with me. He is always excited about what he does with his friends. He states he loves me sooo much, misses me because I’ve pulled away. Acts hurt like he doesn’t understand yet I’ve asked him every year for 35 years to take me out monthly, celebrate my birthday, Christmas, Anniversary. He just won’t. And if I breach the subject he takes me out once or twice then goes back to the same thing. He placates me, pats me on the head then goes back to what is really important to him and it is not me. And now I’m done, I’ve wasted all of these years and its sad. I hope someone else can avoid my mistake. He is good in every other way but this one. But I can’t keep going without what I need because he is too selfish to provide it. It is destroying me, my self esteem, I’m tired of being angry and hurt as he gets so excited about his plans with his friends. Girls don’t do it, if he can’t be romantic and show you he loves you by making you feel special then don’t continue the relationship.

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