By Tim Robinson
Men and women think differently about romance.
Men are goal-oriented. They measure their success by their achievement. Unconsciously, they tend to divide their relationship into two phases - courtship and 'Keepership'.
The aim of courtship is to woo the woman and win her affection. During the courtship, he is the hunter while she is the hunted. During the hunt, he can be wonderfully charming, thoughtful and sensitive. He attends to her every whim and fancy. He is sensitive to her feelings and needs. He pays great attention to every detail. He will go to great length to please her. If necessary, he will climb the highest mountain, swim the widest river, and bungee jump, just for her. He may send flowers or a loving note after a romantic date.
But once her heart is captured, the courtship is over. When the hunt is over, so is romance. When he senses the woman cares for him, he changes. His victory is assured. Having captured her heart, she is like a trophy for keeps.
Women tend to be different. They want romance to continue; they are disappointed when it ceases. Women often feel shortchanged by men when romantic behavior fades. Women complain that men take them for granted.
For most men, romance is a means to an end; to many women, romance is an end in itself. Most men don't feel discomfort with romance; they love it. Guess who read romantic novels - the women of course!
Men, on the other hand, are anxious to get over with the pursuit so that they can stop worrying, relax and enjoy the rewards of victory. While women tend to equate pursuit with love, men often equate not having to pursue with love. Having possessed her love, he can stop pursuing her.
Before marriage, men often declare their undying love with the magic words, "I love you." But after marriage, they hardly utter those words. The excuse men gave is that they have not changed their mind since they declared their undying love at the altar; and if he ever changes his mind, he would tell her. They feel they don't have to remind her that 'I love you' everyday.
What a dilemma for the women! Is there any hope for romance? Of course there are. A committed relationship need not be without romance and passion.
If a woman wants her man to be romantic, here are some things she can do.
Do not hassle him to buy you presents, bring you flowers or accompany you for shopping. Men do not like to be told what to do. If you keep nagging him, you will probably succeed in making him feel pressured and guilty, but you are not going to get him to feel more romantic. Even if he dutifully gives in and brings home a dozen roses from the florist, it will probably be mere compliance. Romance has to come from the heart, not out of obligation. The smart woman knows that compliance is an enemy of romance. Let him feel it is his ideas, not yours.
Simply allow him to enjoy being loved. Interpret his diminished need to be romantic as a compliment, as a hallmark of his trust in you. He is assured of your love. You are safely in his fold. Therefore he does not feel the need to woo you and to remind you of his love for you.
Understand the psychology of men. Do the unexpected. Reward him occasionally. Keep him in suspense. To be predictable is to be boring. Be unpredictable. Men enjoy the chase. Put him in a competition so that he will not take you for granted. Be vague. The uncertainty stimulates him, motives him to re-embark on the romantic chase; it drives him wild.
Remember, for men, romance is a goal-oriented behavior, a time when they are uncertain of a woman's feeling towards them. The key word is uncertainty. When men are uncertain, they become more romantic.