If you are a man, it’s hard to ignore the fact that everyone thinks that it’s up to you to provide the romance in a relationship. And make no mistake – that’s the way it is. Just take a look at the latest movie plots, TV series and dramas, and even popular romantic novels – it’s always the guy who has to make the date a success by being the ultimate romantic and doing everything exactly right. After those first few dates and things have gotten serious, it’s up to the man to keep the spark alive in the relationship by always being thoughtful, considerate, empathetic and sympathetic, plus having the libido of a tiger in heat. It’s enough to make a fellow run for cover and find a good monastery.
Alright, it’s not that bad, but the pressure is on the man in a couple these days in so many ways, and having to be the one who is responsible for the romance is just the latest in a series of demands that are put upon him. He needs to be completely aware at all times of a woman’s needs, and make sure he is meeting them. We’re not just talking sexual needs here, but the need for cuddling, for esteem boosting, for making sure we have planned ahead sufficiently, for getting the latest issue of Cosmo when it comes out, and so on. We men have to be good listeners and outstanding communicators, we have to be considerate and unselfish lovers, and we have to remember our anniversary and our mother-in-law’s birthday to boot.
That’s just the day-to-day stuff. When it comes to the really important things we are also expected to keep the fires of romance burning brightly. Take for example Valentine’s Day. The woman can probably get by with a card or a small box of candy given to the guy to make sure she has met her romantic obligation. But the guy has to make this most romantic holiday of the year something truly special. It isn’t enough to spend a small fortune on her favorite candy – that’s just the beginning. By the time the jewellery, the flowers, and the one of a kind custom card have been paid for, there might be enough room left on the credit card for a romantic dinner at her favorite fancy restaurant – or there might not.
But let’s look at it the other way for a moment. Would you, as a man in a romantic relationship, really want it any other way? Just imagine that it’s your anniversary and you’ve planned it all out – the flowers, the gifts, the dinner, the romantic lovemaking when you get home. You’re sitting at work when a delivery of a small flower bouquet shows up – and your co-workers all snigger a little. Your wife has decided to take the romance into her own hands, so to speak. When you get home, she’s waiting in lingerie – but she’s drawn a warm bath for you to enjoy. She’s also made the bathroom an erotic den of sorts, with candles and incense and ambient music playing. She makes her expectations clear – don’t fall asleep in the tub, because she’s made a reservation at your favorite steakhouse for dinner. After eating a huge meal, she will want to go home and make love – and you’d better be up for it.
So, maybe romance should be the man’s job. Any guy who can think about the ironies and discomforts in that scenario and not cringe is – well, not an unromantic person. We men need to be in charge in this case, and the opposite is not going to please us. We don’t mind being rewarded for being romantic, but we certainly don’t want the tables turned entirely. Some things are just meant to be, after all.