Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Man Cave: Mating Rituals On Mars

“Romance” is a word that does not belong in the Man Cave. We do not speak it, except in reference to our wives. For a man to publicly outline his ideal romantic day is to essentially surrender his man-card. It is to open himself up to the ridicule and scorn of his peers. So what the heck am I supposed to do when Kathy asks me to write 400 words about what men find romantic? Crap.

Have you ever heard the phrase “I don’t know how a car works; I only know how to drive it”? This is what romance is to a me - an incomprehensible clockwork of emotional springs and levers, fueled by physical attraction, maintained by love, and governed by warm fuzzies. It is a machine built for women, and I don’t completely understand how it works, but I can operate it.

I’ve been learning to drive this machine for a while now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the biggest difference between men’s and women’s notions of romance is in the handling….more specifically the turning radius. A guy can change directions pretty quickly, but women make wide turns. Their romantic feelings today are the culmination of things that may have happened this morning, yesterday, or last week. They think about romance. They anticipate it. They plan for it.

Men don’t think that way about themselves. In all honesty I have never once thought about what makes me feel romantic. I do know what makes me feel loved, however, and I think that might be close enough. If you want me to feel loved, do one or more of these things today:

·      Dress up for me. Don’t say you need a special occasion. Make me the occasion. I’m not asking you to be June Cleaver, doing the dishes in pumps and pearls. I’m just asking you to remember that it makes me feel loved when you look like a million bucks for me.

·     Make me the focus of whatever we’re doing. I don’t really care if we see a movie, go to a comedy club, or stay home and play Yatzee. Just make me feel like I’m more important to you than whatever’s going on around us.

·     Take an interest in my interests. I know you don’t like football, but when you watch it with me and let me explain the rules to you it makes me feel good. Ditto Lord of the Rings, Halo, or whatever it is that I love and you hate.

·      Let me take care of you, or at least think I am. Yes, we both know this need stems from an antiquated notion of gender roles. Yes, we both know you could do it yourself if you needed to. Let me do it anyway.

·      Initiate the intimacy. Make me think it was your idea.

That’s a pretty simple list. I guess that makes me a pretty simple machine.

picture from Seahawks gallery


  1. I like your writing. Very captivating and also some great advice!

  2. It seems like an easy list but some days they ALL seem so difficult!!