We’re continuing our monthly series from our book, The 5 Sex Needs of Men and Women. We’ve already hit the top 4 needs for both husbands and wives, so we’re down to the end of the list. So what did women rank as their #5 sex need? Romance. Many of you husband may be thinking, “Okay. Of all of my wife’s sex needs, this is the one I know the most about.”
Men, we hate to break this to you, but most women do not equate romance with sex. Several years ago we conducted a survey about how husbands and wives defined romance, and we found that men and women are quite different in this area. Of the husbands we surveyed, 50 percent said the most romantic thing their wife ever did for them involved sex. Of the women we surveyed, not one of them directly mentioned sex in their understanding of romance.
A wife feels romanced when her husband does anything that shows he cares for her and thinks about her. Romance is the bridge between love and sex, so when a wife’s need for romance is not met, she struggles to move toward sex. She views her husband more as preoccupied and distant than as her lover. Will she still agree to have sex? Probably. But it’s not as exciting or enjoyable for her as it could be.
Many things can deter romance: misunderstandings, the distractions of home, work, kids, and life. But without frequent doses of romance, a sexual relationship will get boring and shrivel up. Romance is a must if you want your sexual intimacy to deepen.
So what is romance? Love is a feeling; romance is love in action. Romance is something you do to express the love that you feel.
One thing you can do is ask yourself this question: When I was dating my wife and trying to win her heart, what really got her attention? Men tend to stop thinking about those things once they get married. But a husband needs to realize that life’s responsibilities have a way of wearing down his wife. She needs him to romance her all over again.
When men hear the word romance, they often become intimidated. Two images pop into their heads: a dollar sign (money) and a clock ticking (time). They imagine they’ll have to spend a week thinking of what to do, a week planning the special event, and a week earning the money to pay for it!
But the real reason many men feel intimidated by romance is because they fear rejection. Perhaps a man has asked his wife several times to reserve two Saturday nights a month as date nights, but every time she has an excuse: she’s tired, the kids need her, the house is a mess. Or a husband might give up romancing his wife because he’s afraid she won’t like his romance ideas. But allowing fear to have the upper hand will harm their desire for sexual intimacy.
Husbands, we have good news. According to our survey, romancing your wife often means doing simple things that don’t require much time or money. Here are some ideas to try:
1. Learn your wife’s love needs. What makes your wife feel cherished and deeply loved? Study her. Ask her what romance means to her and how you can meet that need. Then really listen to her answers.
2. Being tender is romantic. An important element of romance is tenderness. Hold her hand and caress it. Touch her face. Tenderly play with her hair. Remind her why you fell in love with her.
3. Show your wife that you care. Pay attention to what your wife likes. For instance, Alice finds it romantic to dress up when she and her husband go out, but her husband doesn’t. It means a lot to her when he takes a shower, smells good, and puts on nice clothes when they go out to eat.
4. Remember romantic days that are important to your wife. Fill your calendar with reminders for your wife’s birthday, significant anniversaries she would want to celebrate, Valentine’s Day, and any other days that are important to her. Then celebrate those days with a card, gift, flowers, a getaway—whatever is meaningful to your wife. If you’re not sure what she likes, ask her.
5. Surprise her. You can surprise your wife in so many simple ways. Write a love message on a Post-it note, and put it on your bathroom mirror. Make her breakfast some morning. Give her a card for no other reason than to say “I was thinking about you.” Take home a treat she likes. Send her flowers at home or work. There are so many possibilities!
6. Occasionally make a splash. Do something big and exciting. A special getaway, a fancy dinner and night out to a play – something you wouldn’t normally do. Most of us can’t afford a big splash very often, but once in a while it’s good to make a romantic memory.
7. Share secret “special somethings.” “Romance is something he does just for me—not for anyone else,” said Nikki. “For instance, he always taps out ‘I love you’ on my arm or shoulder when we’re in a crowd and can’t verbally say it. It reminds me that he’s thinking of me and loves me.” Another woman said, “When we’re in public or as I’m driving away from the house, my husband will hold up three fingers, which means ‘I love you.’” Create a secret code that only you and your wife share.
8. Get away. As family responsibilities and challenges mount, husbands and wives lose track of each other’s needs. Sometimes it takes getting away from the pressures at home to get to know your spouse again. Plan a night to be together. Go for a long drive in the country, and take roads you’ve never taken before. Enjoy the adventure. Leave town—without the kids! Take mini-vacations.
9. Shake things up a little. Instead of doing the normal dinner-and-a-movie date, go see a foreign film or some quirky independent film. Instead of eating a meal on the deck, throw a blanket in the backyard and eat PB and J sandwiches. Lie outside on a blanket and count the stars.
10. If you think it, do it. If you think of a romantic idea during the day, do something about it! Don’t wait! Make the call to the restaurant for a reservation, stop at the store for that sweet card, or stop by the bakery for that special treat. Just do it!
*For more revealing insights about what your spouse’s most intimate sex needs are – and how to meet them – check out The 5 Sex Needs of Men and Women in our online bookstore!