In 2017, flowers and chocolate no longer cut the mustard. More than two thirds of UK women (70%) are looking for a partner that shows a genuine and constant interest in their career and work life, in preference to a partner that surprises them with a bunch of flowers every week. This is according to the latest research into modern romance by EliteSingles.
In the UK, one in five of us (22%) feel the pressure to be romantic. Zoe Coetzee, in-house relationship psychologist for EliteSingles, believes that when it comes romance, nothing is generic.
“You have to find your individual firelighters,” Zoe 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.”
So, what can you do to impress a partner and show them some real romance and love? Here are Zoe’s top 10 tips:
- Be detail oriented: Nothing says I love you like paying attention to what your partner is telling you. Nearly 3/4 of Brits (74%) prefer a significant other to take an interest in their work over something traditional like buying flowers. Show you’re listening by remembering the date of that big work meeting or event they organised; send a good luck message and make sure you ask about it. This is so much more romantic than a generic “How was your day?”
- Stay in and cook a meal together, rather than going out. Almost a third (32%) find a romantic dinner a top gesture – but there’s no need to book a table at The Ritz. Remember that romantic trip you took to Marrakech three years ago? Recreate those memories by staying in and making a Moroccan meal together.
- Do novel activities together. Part of the excitement of a new relationship is the new environment you experience 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. From taking a road trip to enjoying a romantic walk and picnic, new places and activities will keep that flame alive.
- Plan a surprise. Surprises are a sure-fire spark for romance. Collect your loved one after work and take them on a mystery date; book a weekend away and set up a treasure hunt for them to guess where you’re going. Surprise, like novelty, keeps the spirit of romance fiery and fresh.
- Demonstrate your love. Less than 1% of UK ladies consider chocolate treats to be romantic, but a picture can speak a thousand words. 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 to remind them how you feel every day. Such demonstrations show that you really know the person you’re trying to impress. Think outside the box. Don’t think about grand gestures, rather think about the individual gestures that will really mean something personal to your partner.
- Keep them on their toes. We’re all so busy that it’s easy to take your partner’s presence for granted. Especially when living together, you have to be careful not to fall into a mundane routine. Spice up daily life by regularly reminding your partner how you feel. For example, hide 50 notes around the house, each with a reason why you love your partner. It will take them 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.
- Create new experiences together. The reality of living in the UK today is that travel is so accessible. Travelling together is a great way to ignite romance. You’re not only experiencing new environments but expanding your cultural horizons while making new memories together.
- Make your feelings heard. There is such an overload of communication in today’s modern world. We wake up and more often than not reach straight for a mobile device. We check email, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram before we even brush our teeth. Break through the noise and make sure you’re the first thing they think about by sending a meaningful message for your partner to wake up to. You’ll cut through the clutter and start their day with a smile.
- Put time aside. Today, time is our most valuable commodity. We’re constantly busy, rushing around from meeting to social engagement. Make sure you have one date night per week dedicated to spending time together; put all mobile devices aside and really focus on the person in front of you. Nowadays it’s so easy to get swept away with a hectic social calendar that you end up with no time to spend alone. To avoid a mundane routine, change the day up or use some of the above tips to mix up the activities you do together.
- Integrate yourself. If you’re trying to create a real life together, there’s nothing more romantic than making an effort to build meaningful relationships with the people who are most important in your partner’s life. When asked about the most important traits of a long-term partner, UK women revealed family orientation is even more important than romance. By naturally, but consciously, integrating yourself into your partner’s inner circle, you’re intrinsically showing that the people most important to your partner are important to you too. Invite friends for double dates or organise to a family visit for the weekend. It might seem small but these actions really show how much you love your other half.