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Parallax - Advice

November 04, 2002

Romance 101

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half. His previous relationship was really bad, and he didn't do anything romantic or spontaneous for this woman. I want him to be romantic and spontaneous with me, but he says he doesn't know how because he hasn't done such things for fourteen years—for anybody. I know he loves me because he does so much for me, but how do I get him to be romantic? Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear Hopeful,

Lead by example, Girlie. Organize surprise trips. Leave cute little notes. Bring him chocolate bars. Treat him to little romantic adventures and see if he will follow course.

By the way, the idea of not knowing how is a nonsense excuse. One need not know how to do such things; they simply make an effort. That's the most romantic gesture there is, so see if you can spur him into such a course.

If you give it a few bootless months, then there is no hope for your fellow. You must decide on your guy. Given the background, he will probably provide no romance whatsoever. If this is truly important to you, you may need to move along.

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His view:

Dear Hopeful,

Try making him jealous. That usually brings out the best in guys...though it also brings out the worse. It could easily backfire on you.

Fine, so your boyfriend is not romantic. He is not spontaneous. There are worse things he could be...or not be. If you want a romantic, spontaneous boyfriend, why have you dated this one for eighteen months? Or did you not realize until now that he was not bringing you flowers and not cooking you candlelit dinners?

You must like enough things about this man to stay with him for so long. Enough to appreciate him for his unromantic, un-spontaneous self. Enough to make some tradeoffs in your head and realize that you can—or can't—live with him as he is.

Don't try to change him just because it will make your already-good relationship happier. If the change is necessary because you are otherwise miserable, then you probably need to wake up and go find a new man.

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You Vote! 29% of Women agree with HER VIEW and 71% with HIS VIEW.

33% of Men agree with HER VIEW and 67% with HIS VIEW.

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