Redefining Romance: How to be Romantic Today

how to be romantic

In today’s world romance may seem like an old-fashioned idea. But the good news is that romance is far from dead. EliteSingles surveyed 2000 men and women, and discovered what it means to be romantic today. The surprising results are in, and step one is throwing out the chocolates and flowers. Clichés just don’t cut it anymore…

Modern romance: survey reveals romance is still relevant

Let’s start with the good news: romance is not dead. An overwhelming majority of men and women still believe in romance. 95% of the men and women surveyed believe that romance is still relevant today. Moreover, 90% of women and 92% of men say that they consider themselves to be romantic.

People still want to be romanced, and not only do people still believe in romance, they think it is important in relationships. 70% of women say that they think romance makes the world go around, with only 10% seeing it as soppy drivel.

How to be romantic in 2019

Although romance is still relevant, the EliteSingles survey suggests it has been redefined today. The old clichés have given way to reflect the modern woman, and modern love is shown to be a much more practical and personal affair. Although the tradition of romance is going strong, it’s out with the old and in with the new, especially if you are trying to impress a woman!

Contrary to popular belief, women don’t want flowers or chocolates. In fact, less than 1% of women consider chocolate treats to be romantic, while only 9% are blown away by flowers. Today, it turns out the best way to be romantic, is to be actively involved in your partner’s work life. For more than two-thirds of women surveyed, modern romance is grounded in the day-to-day of work. 68% would pick a partner that shows a genuine and constant interest in their career and work life, over a partner who surprises them with a bunch of flowers every week.

Not only has romance become far more pragmatic in what women really want, it is also about the individual and personal ways of saying ‘I love you’. The mass-minded approach of stereotypical romantic gestures no longer turn up the heat. Today, with an endless list of options, customisations and variations, the secret of how to be romantic is to individualise your romance. Nearly a third of women (30%) desire something that is unique and spontaneous, preferring personalised gestures over flowers, chocolates, theatre tickets and even hotel stays.

Zoe Coetzee, in-house relationship psychologist at EliteSingles comments: “In today’s modern world, traditional romantic gestures no longer sweep a lady off her feet. Women are less impressed by clichés like flowers and chocolates. Not only do they buy their own, but they consider the most coveted commodity to be unique and personalised surprises. This reveals how well your partner knows you and spontaneity gets the heart racing. Making a memorable moment is the priceless present creating meaningful romance today”.

She goes on to say that when it comes to romance, nothing should be generic. “You have to find your individual on buttons,” Coetzee advises. “Ask yourself what would mean a lot to your partner specifically? Is there something that only they would enjoy or an in-joke only they would understand? That’s what makes someone feel really special. The fact that you know details that no one else does.”

Be a real romantic: the expert ways you can revive romance

Even though a majority of men and women value romance and consider themselves romantic, the idea of not getting it quite right can be stressful. For the 18% of women and 27% of men who admit to feeling pressure to be romantic, Coetzee shares some practical tips on how to be romantic today:

1. Get up early to start their day with a smile
The overload of communication in today’s world means many people wake up and reach straight for a mobile device, checking email, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram before they even brush their teeth. Break through the noise and make sure you’re the first thing they think about by sending a meaningful early-morning message for your partner to wake up to. You’ll cut through the clutter and start their day with a smile.

2. Recreate beloved memories
Flowers and chocolates might be out, but candlelit dinners are still appreciated: nearly a third of women (31%) find them romantic. However, it always pays to personalise – try combining the romance of a dinner with your treasured memories as a couple. Remember that romantic trip you took to Marrakech three years ago? Recreate those memories by staying in and making a Moroccan meal together.

3. Think about meaningful moments rather than grand gestures
Don’t think about grand gestures, rather think about the individual gestures that will really mean something personal to your partner. One great idea is to frame a picture from the early days of your relationship, one that really shows how in love you are. Give this as a gift to your partner to have on their bedside table as a daily reminder of how you feel.

4. Focus on the specifics
One of the clearest ways to communicate real romance, is listening to your partner. If you want to sweep her off her feet – remember the next time she has that big presentation or stressful meeting. Demonstrate your love by flagging the date, sending a good luck message, and remember to follow up and ask how it went afterwards. Demonstrating an active interest in her work life is much more romantic than the generic, “have a good day”.

5. Try out new experiences together
People are stimulated by novel and unique experiences – so create your own to maintain that stimulation. New activities actually activate a neurochemical response in the brain that can genuinely stimulate you and your partner to create feelings of excitement and elevated emotion. One way to get the heart racing and reignite the romance in your relationship is to be daring and step out of your everyday routine. It can be as simple as going to a new restaurant in a different area of town or starting a new hobby together. Dare to do something different.

6. Surprises are sexy
Spontaneity was on top of the list for women’s favorite romantic gestures. Surprise is your secret weapon if you are wondering how to be romantic. It shows you have put time and thought into planning something special, and that will make your partner swoon. Plan a treasure hunt with small gifts, blindfold your partner and take them on a mystery date, or set up a picnic in your garden. Whatever the activity, the unexpected increases the excitement.

7. Regular reminders of your love
In a relationship, it is easy to take your partner for granted and fall into a mundane everyday routine. Romance today is about the little but daily ways you remind your partner what they mean to you. Spice up your relationship by regularly reminding your partner how you feel. For example, hide 20 love letters around your home, each with a reason why you love your partner. It will take time to find each note, making them feel acknowledged and appreciated with each message. Acts of love, like these, support real life romance; the kind which lasts.

8. Romance on the road
Today travel is much more accessible than it ever has been before. Plan a holiday together, even if it is just a weekend break. Travelling together brings you closer as partners and companions. You’re not only experiencing new environments but expanding your cultural horizons while making new memories together.

9. Give the gift of time
Life has become very busy, and time is arguably our most valuable commodity. Turn off your devices, clear your schedule and make each other your one and only priority. Make a decision to keep one night a week for your date night, when the only thing on the agenda is each other. Giving time and effort to your partner is one of them most authentic ways you can communicate your love and inject a boost of romance to your relationship.

10. Focus on their family and friends also
When you are a building a life together, real romance is making effort to build meaningful relationships with the people most important to your partner. By naturally, but consciously, integrating yourself into your partner’s inner circle, you’re actively demonstrating that the people most important to your partner are important to you too. Invite friends for double dates or organise a family visit for the weekend. It might seem small but these actions really show how much you love your other half.


All statistics from EliteSingles’ Redefining Romance Survey, 2017. Sample size: 2362 men and women

About the author: Zoe Coetzee

Zoe Coetzee is a Relationship Psychologist and Editor for SilverSingles.

See more articles written by Zoe Coetzee