A romantic partner is something that many people want – particularly women.
But it is also something that a lot of men struggle to be.
Romance is something that varies along a scale, and if you’re reading this, it seems that your boyfriend sits very much toward the unromantic end!
And this is eating away at you a little bit… or a lot.
But why is he like this? And what can you do about it? Let’s break this down, beginning with…
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5 Reasons Why Your Boyfriend Isn’t Romantic
Understanding something is the first step to accepting it and acting upon it (because you might have to do both in this case!)
So let’s look at why a man might not be the most romantic person in the world.
1. His love language is of the less romantic sort.
The Five Love Languages is a concept by Dr. Gary Chapman who theorized that people both feel love and express love differently.
He came up with five core ways in which they did this – the languages of love. They are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
Now, if you want to understand what each of these means, visit our Five Love Languages page and then navigate to the detailed explanations of each.
But, the level of romance (or what people deem romance) varies according to what a person’s primary love language is.
Words of Affirmation (saying nice things about your partner and telling them how much they mean to you) and Receiving Gifts (buying your partner big or little things) are the two languages most synonymous with romance.
Being told “I love you” or “you are my world” or receiving a love letter is likely to fill many a heart with a warm fuzzy glow. Likewise, your typical flowers, jewelry, chocolates and similar are often seen as expressions of romantic love.
Quality Time can be very romantic (think candlelit dinners or trips to Paris), but it might not be (think binging a series on the sofa).
Acts of Service (having someone do something nice for you), and Physical Touch (the hands-on expression of affection) can both be romantic in their own way, too, of course. But they might not be quite as obviously romantic to you or an outside observer.
Now, if you are here asking why your boyfriend isn’t romantic, it’s quite likely that either Words of Affirmation or Receiving Gifts or both are your dominant love languages, but that your boyfriend’s is/are something else.
If they speak the language of service and they are very considerate about making you a drink when they make themselves one, or they put the laundry away before you get home from work, you might not see that as romantic.
Similarly, they might like to hug or kiss or snuggle with you, but you might just consider that as something every couple does and not particularly romantic either.
If they aren’t that bothered by hearing you say nice things to them or about them, receiving gifts from you, or spending romantic time together, they may not realize how important these things are to you.
2. Romance requires vulnerability.
Romantic expressions of love tend to me more clear and obvious than other displays of one’s feelings.
And this poses a bit of a risk. Wearing your heart on your sleeve and displaying your love for someone in such a blatant way leaves you open and vulnerable.
What if the other person doesn’t like what you do? What if they aren’t grateful? What if they don’t express their love back?
Sadly, society has a habit of conditioning men into holding back their emotions and not showing them quite so much as women tend to do. Emotions are seen by some men as a weakness and so romance is seen as weak too.
Perhaps this is why many men reserve romance for Valentine’s Day and birthdays. They feel like it is permitted on these days but then not so much for the rest of the year.
And let’s not forget public displays of romance – men tend not to be that great at these either. They become awkward, feel outside of their comfort zone, and so avoid it wherever possible.
3. Romance is highly feminized.
Following on from the previous point, many men don’t express romance well because it is seen as quite a feminine thing.
Perhaps it’s because women are more likely to have the romantic love languages, but the stereotypical view of a romantic act is of a man doing something for a woman.
The great love stories often involve a man wooing a woman in some way. And whether in books or on screen, those stories are marketed toward women.
And take a moment to consider what colors are typically associated with romance – reds, pinks, purples perhaps. Not colors you would necessarily think of when you think of a man, right?
Because romance is feminized, men can feel less confident in displaying it because they are somehow not meant to know what to do. A ‘macho’ man is not necessarily one who is in touch with his feelings – not outwardly, at least.
4. Men don’t often express romance-like things with other men.
Whether through nature or nurture, women tend to express themselves openly with other women.
Women compliment their female friends, buy them little gifts, and remember details about each other’s lives. These are platonic-romantic parts of their relationship.
Men, on the other hand, aren’t quite so forthcoming with that sort of thing when it comes to other men.
Perhaps it’s because they tend not to need the overtly romantic gestures, but it’s a much rarer thing for a man to buy his male friend a gift or say how great he looks.
And, as with anything, practice makes perfect. Women get a lot of practice at doing things that have an underlying element of romance – even when it’s not done in a romantic way.
Men don’t get that same practice and so are less comfortable doing those things.
5. He doesn’t know what you would like him to do.
We’ve already established that what you consider romantic could be quite different to what your boyfriend considers romantic.
So another reason why he may not be romantic is because he doesn’t know what you would like him to do.
This is especially true of relationships that are perhaps a bit newer where you haven’t told him what you like and he hasn’t picked up the clues you have subconsciously left for him.
And so he either does nothing, or he does things that you don’t find very romantic at all.
What To Do About An Unromantic Boyfriend
With a better understanding of why your boyfriend lacks in the romance department, it’s time to look at what you can do about it.
1. Communicate your needs and wishes more clearly.
The biggest thing you can do to help your boyfriend to be more romantic is to explain to him clearly what it is you like.
After all, he can’t read your mind. If the very concept of romance is a bit foreign to him, he’s going to need some instructions if he is to speak your language.
So sit him down at a time when you can both focus on what the other is saying – not after a stressful day’s work or when he’s trying to watch sports – and explain that the occasional romantic gesture is important to you.
Then give him plenty of examples of the types of things you like to hear or receive or for him to do.
You might even want to consider sending him a list via text so that he can refer back to it from time to time. It might sound like you are prescribing him romance, but it might require that, at least to begin with.
Don’t expect him to suddenly become the most romantic boyfriend ever overnight. You may have to remind him of your need for romance every now and then if he has forgotten or isn’t showing it as much as you’d like.
This isn’t necessarily him being consciously neglectful of your needs; it’s just that you are asking him to do something that doesn’t come naturally to him. His mind will take a little getting used to it and for it to become something he thinks about habitually.
So, please, be patient with him.
2. Schedule it.
Perhaps the very idea of scheduling romance kills that romance stone dead for you.
But give it a chance.
Making time for romance at regular intervals might be the easiest way to get your fill of it because it gives your boyfriend very precise expectations.
If he knows that every other Sunday is reserved for quality couple’s time, he can prepare himself and any little surprises in advance.
Whether that time is spent walking through the countryside, in a romantic restaurant, watching the sunrise, or whatever… he’ll know and you’ll know that romance is on the cards.
Heck, the whole concept of a ‘date night’ is based on the idea that romance is to be given and received at a specific time on a specific day. And many couples enjoy this arrangement.
So why not try it?
3. Notice how he shows his love and care in different ways.
Perhaps you see romantic gestures as expressions of love, but as we’ve talked about above, you and your boyfriend probably have different love languages.
If your idea of spontaneous romance isn’t that forthcoming, it’s important not to equate that with a lack of care or affection.
Your boyfriend may just show his love in ways that aren’t so obvious to you. And it’s up to you to look for and appreciate those ways.
Does he bring you your slippers without being asked? Does he suggest ordering your favorite takeaway when you’ve had a tough day? Does he offer to massage your aching back?
Perhaps these things aren’t your stereotypical romantic gestures, but they demonstrate that he really does care about you and your well-being.
You are, of course, entitled to receive some displays of love in the ways that mean the most to you, but he is also entitled to show his love in the ways that mean most to him.
Your relationship is a balance of both giving and receiving love in ways that are most natural to each partner.
4. Be romantic to yourself.
Self-love is a very important thing. So why shouldn’t you show that love to yourself in the ways that most resonate with you?
If that means treating yourself to some nice flowers or focusing on some loving and positive self-talk, just do it.
Have a candlelit bath with lots of bubbles and scents and relaxing music. Sure, it’s not exactly like having a romantic bath with your boyfriend, but you’ll get lots of enjoyment out of it nonetheless.
If your boyfriend can’t fill your romance quota by himself, you have to find ways to top it up.
5. Keep your expectations realistic.
If your boyfriend isn’t romantic right now, there’s a good chance he might never be as romantic as you’d like.
Then again, as he matures with age and sees the benefits of doing romantic things for you, he might surprise you.
The important thing is to be realistic about what you expect from him.
Whilst your frustration or disappointment is valid, it is something that you will have to work on, just as he will have to work on showing romance.
No relationship is perfect, but if you and he work really well together in most other respects, yours is a partnership that is worth making compromises for.
As great as romance is, it is not the be-all and end-all of love – it is merely a part of it. True love goes far deeper than romance.
Still not sure what to do about your unromantic boyfriend? This is a tricky situation, and one that can easily be made worse with the wrong approach. But Relationship Hero can guide the way and help you achieve the best outcome. Through regular sessions with a dedicated relationship expert (by yourself and/or as a couple), you’ll learn precisely how to create a healthier and more fulfilling relationship—one that can last a lifetime. Learn more about Relationship Hero and get the kind of tactical relationship advice and ongoing support you need.
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