What Men Really Want When It Comes to Romance

romantic couple
How do you keep the spark alive in your marriage over the many, many decades? We turned this question to men to find out what's worked for them -- or at least what they think will keep the romance alive for them. And it's not exactly what we expected!


1. Get away to get closer. Steve Horsman writes in The Good Men Project about what long-married men crave from their wives. No, it's not just better, more frequent sex either! A man wants his wife to take a trip alone with him, where they connect as man and woman, not as co-parents. He wants her to make eye contact with him, run her fingers through his hair, and tell him, "I'm so happy you're my man." He wants to feel respect, connection, and trust from this experience.

2. Take him out on a date. "Just like women like to be taken out on dates by their husband to be romanced and wooed, men also like to be taken out on dates," marriage and family counselor Aaron Anderson tells Modern Married. "The fact that their wife took the time to plan something they thought their husband would like is a good enough feeling that men often don’t care what they do as long as their wife planned it and thought of their husband in the meantime."

3. Schedule in romance. "Too many people think the words 'intentional' and 'romance' shouldn’t be in the same sentence," writes Jim Burns, author of Creating an Intimate Marriage. They think passion is supposed to happen on its own. Burns disagrees. He's created a "Passion Plan" that involves things like "kiss passionately for at least 15 seconds a day" and "date and court your spouse for 1.5 hours per week."

Even if you don't schedule in love in the exact same increments Burns recommends (1.5 hours a week for sex, GO!), you get his point. You have to make intimacy and romance a regular practice in your marriage. You can't wait to feel inspired.

4. Talk about your sex life -- the right way. What's really going to keep your love life alive is deepening your emotional connection, says Ken Solin, author of The Boomer Guide to Finding Love Online. "Talk about your sexual fantasies, any aspect of sex, as long as there's trust and vulnerability." The key, he says, is to focus on emotion. "Tell him, 'I'm missing that sweet feeling when you're making love to me. How can we reconnect on that level?' That will go over better than just talking sex positions." And definitely don't start by complaining.

This can be a difficult conversation to have, especially for men. They may feel defensive. "Once you have that conversation a couple of times, it does become easier," Solin says. Just remember: "It's about making love," Solin advises, not just about sex. And trust: That's what men want, too.

5. Revisit a romantic activity. We're talking about your happiest moments, dates, and memories. "Revisit the restaurant where you had your first date, or if in another city, cook that same meal," says Eric Marlowe Garrison, clinical sexologist and author of Mastering Multiple Position Sex. "Just as some parents hide their kids' toys for weeks or months at a time to keep things novel, couples can borrow that advice, as they do a little 'hey, remember this?'" 

So there you go -- five ideas for keeping the romance alive that will actually work on MEN. Now go forth and fan the flames of love, all you Valentines! Sweep your guys off their feet.

Have you tried any of these ideas? What does your husband find romantic?


Image via EpicStockMedia/Shutterstock

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