What Women Want From Romance


romance-2Last time I posted the first half of Pamela’s essay on what women want from romance. She had gathered ten women and ten men friends to ask what women want from romance. We’ve heard what the men think. Now it’s the women’s turn, as we continue her essay:  

So, what is it that we woman want? Is it gifts and flowers? Is it fancy dinners and bling? Or, are our ideas of romance more along the lines of that little kiss in public and making us the center of your attention, even if just for a few moments? Let’s find out.

The ladies agreed right out of the gate. Romance is not about things.

“Cooking together, for me, is very romantic. Fun in the kitchen turns me on,” one woman said. Another added, “At an outdoor football game snuggling together in a blanket is romantic.”

Passion was mentioned, but not in the way you might think. Great interest was expressed at the idea of a man sharing something he is passionate about with his lady or having her share something she is passionate about with him. “I think taking the time to learn about your partner’s interests is a big deal, even if it’s not what you are into.”

We need to be reassured we’re special, but those reminders don’t need to cost anything nor do they need to take a lot of planning.  We’re happy with a wink from across a crowded room or a goofy face made at us that no one else sees, and knowing you are one hundred percent focused on us in that moment.  We love what one woman calls “The Hallmark Effect,” those subtle things like bringing us a cup of coffee, leaving us little Love Notes, a phone call in the middle of the day just to say I love you, or reaching out while standing in line and kissing our hand.

We want someone who genuinely enjoys being around us. We want someone who is content to hold our hand, touch our feet together under the covers, or hear us tell the same story for the tenth time without complaint. Show us that we are interesting and worthwhile, and, most of all, that we are valued. Some of the women were sweet on what was dubbed, “Man Chest Puffery.” They liked when their man got protective even when they didn’t need him to be.

Bottom line, romance shouldn’t be hard or a pain in the ass. It’s nothing to be afraid of and it shouldn’t break the bank. It doesn’t require a suit and tie, a rose petal strewn walkway or bed, or shiny bobbles and rich gooey chocolates. It’s about giving; giving of yourself and your full attention to us in that moment. It’s a random act of selfless love with no reward expected.

The secret is out, gentleman. Most of us ladies truly would be very, very happy to order that pizza, better yet, let’s make that pizza together while wearing comfortable clothes in our sock feet. Put a swipe of tomato sauce on our nose and kiss it off. Make us laugh. Grab that bottle of beer and start up the Netflix.

Reposted from 

Please stop waiting for the man who broke up with you

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on November 16, 2016, in relationships, sex and sexuality, women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.

  1. just typing to see that the clip didn’t change again in relation to what I posted, like it did last time for some reason

  2. It’s not gisele though but another model and I don’t know why the video changed to what I posted. that’s not it at all. You can read what I wrote, but this is the song and clip.

  3. I was wrong about who the model was, I knew it wasn’t her, but saw someone write it

  4. I know the original song by Chris Isaac was about unrequited love actually, but still I like this because it’s new and modernized and the original has been played so much or overplayed.

  5. Speaking of romance. I think many men even the casanovas have a romantic side and women often get labeled to care more about it. I think guy’s just don’t show it or are less open about showing that softer side unless with a woman they not only love but trust to be vulnerable with or infront of. But remember how I talked about my “layers” with desire for fun meaningless stuff but it doesn’t mean guys who are like that are callous and dont’ have feelings. I think more than women think, casanovas and romantics can be within the same man and almost like an inner conflict or feelings. The conflict of the heart and small head that probably comes from society. But I remember I brought up the lindsey stirling song and video crystallize which you showed a video of. I don’t know what brought me in the mood to listen to it. But there’s so many remixes and the original is good but so overplayed that I don’t care hearing it. I’m talking wicked game, but I found this remix, it’s got an edm vibe and modernized and just so smooth.

    I didn’t care how it started initially with her voice but got better soon after and raspy voice goes well with the music and visual especially. The song just pulled on the romantic chords in me and yes the visual is a model, but my thoughts were to romantic thoughts when with someone special. 27 millions vies though on youtube. I think it must be an old pic of gisele. But I’ve seen victorias secret ads with trying to be sexy, but it never struck me even thought they are beautiful. I think it’s because it’s so commercialized and forced. The commercials are “be sexy, sexy sexy”. But the image goes so well with the song, not just because of beauty, but her eyes are so beautiful and hypnotic. Victoria’s sectret tries the bedroom eyes, but this paired with the music and details like hair over her face and eyes. But very sensual and like primal feel. But like hearing the music and visual, it catches my feelings and like affection thoughts come to my mind. Summer comes to my mind. I think of sun going down, lying on a blanket on the sand at beach with woman I love, just her and I with a glowing bon fire near us. This song playing and snuggled close and stargazing on a clear night sky. There’s this here to eternity feel with the music but smooth vibe the remix brings. I know it does feel lame as I write this, that’s just how it feels as a man going to much into that stuff. But romance can go many ways, but this music makes me think of something outdoors though. A hot tub with the lights sensually moving and different pretty lights almost rhythmically moving to the melody and onto each other’s bodies and water and just adding to the atmosphere organically too on a summer night, with a cool breeze and clear night sky again as well

    • Yeah, I actually have a book called “challenging Casanova“ which talks about how even guys who like to have multiple partners have a romantic side. But I think you were right that the romantic side involves things that aren’t necessarily considered masculine: emotion, vulnerability, dependence on the loved one. So guys often don’t feel like they can express that side of themselves. Or maybe only with someone that they strongly trust. And that is a real loss for everyone.

      • You like this version of it? I know the original had the supermodel. and was sexy at the time. But it got so overplayed that it lost it’s luster to me. Plus with music now, with better technology. The sounds can be HQ and added. I like how smooth it sounds and how this was remixed when I’m picky out remixes and don’t like many. But it’s amazing the power the image a strikingly beautiful woman’s face does to just everything when it comes to romance, sexy moments, sensuality that just adds to the whole feeling. I think it’s a combination of the music and image that just brings it together. I and men are so visual sexually of course. But it’s interesting how like we as in I and men are believed to be the horny visual sex. But like I believe the visual effect that hit us strongest actually goes beyond lust or pure horniness. Like cleavage, hot girl in yoga pants with nice ass or other things can really bring a powerful lustful urge.

        But like it’s a fast and like temporary surge. It’s the mesmerizing beauty, often from striking facial beauty or eyes or like a cute laugh, or dimples on a woman’s face. Like that stuff just lingers and just like in a dumbfounded fawning. Lust and horniness fades, it comes and goes like a way. But like striking beauty hits beyond just sexual lust. It leaves a man thinking about a woman the next day if she has that effect and not in the “I want to fuck her” way. But just this, wow, who was she? I can’t get her out of my head, just mesmerized. I doesn’t happen often, but I’ve had women cause that from me. I actually am affected by the very pretty, but very cute face from some women. It for some reason provokes strong like affection/romance thoughts, like I have when with a girl friend and hugging, kissing, cuddling, arm around her shoulder, affection, passion, romance thoughts..It’s weird how psychology plays with aesthetics. Whereas, a woman that looks hot, that provokes more purely lust thoughts. I doubt I’m the only guy.

      • That’s an interesting way of describing the difference of being mesmerized and sexually aroused. And how it affects the interactions/relationship. And surveys show that for a long-term relationship man care more about face and body but that the face doesn’t have to be extremely beautiful. They just seem to see the face as communicating something about who the woman is inside, which creates another sort of relationship. Probably a very strong one that includes caring and empathy.

      • You’re right about that too, it is sad, because I’m sharing this with you. But not too many guys I’m sharing that I had romantic thoughts of a future woman to fall in love with. Or listening to this song. The funny thing is seeing from the comments on youtube and it had million of views. A lot of dudes are listening to this song and almost as many liking this song. So dude have that side and many, and may admit on the internet but wouldn;t openly admit it. I say this and seeing how it’s unfortunate it’s that way, but yet I guard my “man card” too infront of guys as well. And even around women as you never know if you’re letting down a woman’s expectations of what a man is too. Last thing you want is being perceived as “girly” by a woman herself as some women can uphold rigid or high masculine standards and perhaps why they like men. And it’s because of being attracted to that stereotyped gender difference and a woman wanting a man to be all the opposites of what she is and thus why attracted. So yes, I and men guard our feelings or softer feelings because perhaps the irony is men ARE actually sensitive, but just now allowed to be.

      • It’s sad that both women and men can pressure men to refrain from showing their – what we call feminine — side. We live in a culture that values men and masculinity over women and femininity and so both women and men can ridicule a man who doesn’t seem masculine every moment. But then everyone ends up suffering as a result. Because women do you want emotional expression and connection, and so do men.

      • And just to show the difference. Like I don;t have the desire and won’t listen to nor would my guy friends want to or would listen to this song in each other’s company. Like driving in the car or whatever. That would be kinda “gay” ha. But you know girls and women don’t give a damn and probably listen to soft romantic songs all the time and nothing would make it less feminine of them or “lesbian” to do so. But actually normal and probably quite common.

        Sharing “soft” feelings is hard enough, but it’s not something most straight guys are comfortable doing around each other. That’s what great about women though as they let a guy to slowly unveil his hard exterior and vulnerabilities if he cares about her and trusts her. That’s what is great is that tender effect women can have. Like I wouldn’t care listening to this song around trusted girl friends , but it’s not that I’m wanting to listen to it with anyone anyway. So it’s not just that it would be weird listening in car with guy friend, but like there would never be any desire to do so. It’s a romantic song so like it makes sense for guys to wan to only listen to it or if they did want to. For it to be only with a girl friend, a girl they are seeing or girl friends as in girls they are friends with.

      • You express the problem so well.

  6. I seriously agree with this blog post, it is crazy how much men think that we want fancy shmancy chocolates or expensive jewelry or great dinners, no. Us women is actually not that hard to please us (unless youre that type of woman) but in all seriousness, I think most women are simple and just want your caring love ad attention because I know A LOT of women loooove attention from their partners. For me, my type of “romance” is super simple but this might sound a bit cheesy, it going to a viewpoint and watching the stars and just talking about life, I think that’s the biggest turn on for me, soooo romantic.

  7. I think more of what women want in a relationship is based off how their partner makes them feel. Some may find love from the material stuff, but some also would prefer little affections proving to others that they are taken. Going out and doing something new or trying what your partner likes is more rewarding than getting a new set of earrings. In my opinion I would rather get spoiled with love and affections versus anything else. I would prefer to go out to breakfast than get something that I do not need. I agree with the article on how we need to be reassured because we feel special this way. Getting a gift is meaningless while spending time with that person doing something to make a memory is way more rewarding. We want someone that is willing to give us love and go out of their way to make it known that they love us. Nothing feels better than knowing that someone is waking up thinking of you.

  8. As I am a woman, I think the concept of romance is true heart and sharing every moment we get together. I have a boyfriend and the time we have gotten along together is over two years, but we are a long distance couple because I have studied here for over two years and he lives in Korea for studying. We always contact by phone like call or text. I think that this kind of all things are kind of romance that I want from him.

  9. Most of the women like romantical things, why? Because we can get the happiness from romance. We would think that my boyfriend or husband must prepare a lot and pay their thought on doing the romance, and we can feel their love from romance, that we think we must be an important person in their lives. For me, I think we do not care about the romantical things, we just want to prove that our lovers really care about us, that they try their best to make we happy. No matter what they do, the things we are looking for is the love from their behaviors. So I think if a man really loves a woman, it’s easy for him to do some romantical things because he has enough love for her.

  10. Women are not as complicated as men think we are. As a woman I can honestly say I don’t need or want much when it comes to romance. In my opinion, romance is something that is genuine and comes from the heart. Showing a woman that she is appreciated is very romantic to me. Helping around the house without a woman having to ask shows a man is in tune to what needs to be done. Taking charge of cooking dinner, planning a stay at home date night and talking about the future with one another brings a since of security that allows a woman to fully open up her heart to love a man much harder. Romance is just as simple as stroking my hair as we lay across the couch watching a lifetime movie or a football game. Romance does not require money or gifts, just time and attention.

  11. I love this. My husband and I don’t do very many gifts. We typically work opposite schedules so seeing each other can be hard. Once or twice a week, after the kids go to bed, we typically try to at least have a quiet dinner together while watching our shows. We also try to have fun in front of our kids. I love it most when I see him being a good dad, or doing something like switching the laundry for me. His acts of service or kindness attract me far more than any gift could. I’m much more sentimental and care for affection more than material. I think men are the same way.

  12. I love this article as I fin it very true. I feel like a lot of men think that when they buy their girlfriend all these fancy things and take them out to fancy restaurants, they will b e happy. But I truly believe that for most women, money cannot buy happiness. It is definitely the little things that count. I love kisses on the for head and dinner vein ready when I get home from a long day at work. This is what makes you feel loved and also feel like your significant other is listening to you. Knowing they care about how your feel and what you need without asking is key to a successful relationship.

    Now don’t get me wrong, this can be the same for men too. I don’t think there is one way men want things and one way women want things. I think it has a lot to do with personality and with the way people are raised.

  13. As I keep reading this post I found myself laughing to how accurate it was to my personal taste of what I expect in a relationship. I don’t believe that most women do not really care for material things but more for the memories and moments they can build with their partners. I think that perhaps in the past most women enjoyed gifts and luxurious dinners because it was a way to leave routine. If we think about 50’s most women stayed home and their life pretty much revolved around being home, hosting dinners and taking care of kids of course a sign of “Romance” would revolved on getting a present or a dinner night out in which they didn’t have to cook or care for others. The bigger the present was the more your partners loved and cared for you. But now as we have become a more innovative society with a wider way of thinking we need non-valuable things like conversations, physical affection, kind words, consideration, or even just share something special with your partner. Most of us are stuck in trying to have all the popular new inventions or fallow “what is trending” we forget to be humans creating a gap in building relationships. How can someone be romantic or affectionate when you don’t take the time to be simple and not fallow what your friend or neighbor are doing.

  14. I really enjoyed reading this article and thought it was very accurate. Most men think that they need to do the most lavish and extravagant things to make their girlfriends and significant others happy but sometimes it is the little things that matter the most. Once a relationship has progressed and is past the honeymoon stage, it’s the little things the mean the most to both the male and female. Just like you referenced in the article, sometimes a random phone call throughout the day to say “I love you” can make the female’s (or male’s entire day). A lot of men however are stuck with the notion that to make their girlfriend content they have to treat them to a five star dinner or buy them an expensive ring but sometimes all they need to do is think outside the box and outside the check book and rather express their love in the smallest of ways. Even as a male I enjoy it when my girlfriend makes tiny gestures that show she loves me that may not even be a big deal, but they are small enough for me to see that she was thinking about me during a random time throughout the day or had me in mind when she was doing something.

  15. 😀 😀 I commented almost in the same line in your last article even before reading this one…

  16. As a woman who is in a same-sex relationship, I find this concept of romance very interesting. Sometimes I am the one who tries to do something romantic for my girlfriend and sometimes my girlfriend tries to do romantic things for me. It is very back and forth instead of there only being one woman on the receiving end. That being said what I find to be romantic for me isn’t necessarily the same romantic thing that I am going to do for my girlfriend. We are both girls, yes, however, romance is still very different for the both of us. My girlfriend usually finds bringing her food or surprising her on her lunch break romantic. I would find someone listening to me and responding to things I have to say with empathy. Ultimately, interest and time are more important than the material things when it comes to romance–even though different woman may experience, or want to experience, those in different ways.

  17. What Do Women Want From Romance?

    In my current relationship, I feel like the guy I’m dating doesn’t understand that all I want from him is to know that I’m on his mind. I hope that when he is having a hard time at work or just having a bad day, that he can think of me and it would put a smile on his face. I hope that he waits all day eagerly to see me because I make him feel wanted and safe. As a women, what keeps me in love is not the romance of getting gifts, but seeing and feeling that he needs me. There is nothing that turns me on more that seeing him need my touch. This empowers me as his women and inspires my feeling to love him back. I don’t want to feel like he can do fine without me. That make me feels like I’m only around because you need me to pass the time. I don’t want to be put in the position to make excuses for his lack of interest.

  18. I had a feeling this would be the answer. Things that make women feel special, which intimacy is more important than money spent. I think it’;s something women don’t want men to feel they plan for or this obligation, but organic. Like the little moments and sharing together and making moments out of ordinary times. I think spontaneity is a big deal and I can why. Like she brought up with making a pizza together and then kissing the sauce off each other.

    Like when you love someone and they are the one, I think you can find or make times memerable and fun just doing simple things together. I think the little things and finding the adventure in life and sharing it with her and doing little things or a little extra. And it sounds like that. I think bonus points is when a man things of or does something maybe small but spontaneous that she should enjoy. But it’s organic in the sense is that it’s rooted from his passion and love for his gf, wife or fiance.

  19. Views from both sides nail the crux precisely. It is not flamboyance or expensive gifting, but the little things in life accompanied by loving care that count in cementing relationships.

  20. Will there be a reversed double post?
    What women think men want from romance?
    What men want from romance?

    That would be interesting

    • She didn’t write on that and I haven’t seen a post on that topic. I’ll look and see if I can find one. Or maybe I will ask my readers or my students that question. Or maybe they could answer in comments.

      • Now in days it just gets more difficult to read men and for men to read us women. WE women can sometimes be very needy, needy in attention in reassurance but at the same time we can also be low maintenance. We need to be reminded that we are special, loved and most important that we are needed which can be a mind trick for some men,recognizing that they NEED a women. Even a simple short text message at any random time of the day letting us know that we are in our partners mind is sufficient, it’ll get us through our day. Women appreciate one key element that sometimes can be under minded,TIME!

      • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

    • Sex is the answer, very passionate sex. Very easy not complicated like what women want majority. I will say walks on the beach and dinner by candlelight is nice but not many men i feel like public attention to them or their S/Os.

      • Very interesting to see a man’s opinion on this. I can see how men obviously feel more of the physical attraction towards their partner than most women,it’s just in our natures that we function like that. I think men are much more simple and reserved more like….blah I’d say. They seem to lean and prefer something drama free,solid, very basic with minimal exposure to the public. Women we want a little extra in most ways, an extra mile. We need to feel reassured often ( if not daily) that we are special ,that we are wanted by our partner, that we are needed. To feel pampered and loved we usually settle for a chill night in with pizza and chocolate over a good movie,time and attention is what we value and appreciate.

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