As I write this, Kitten, I sit at my desk… In front of a large picture window… fresh flowers in a crystal vase… a flickering candle… and the sounds of one helluva songbird {Miss Ella Fitzgerald} fill the air.  I tell you this for one simple reason: old-fashioned romance {the magically ridiculous i-am-oh-so-in-love-with-life kind} exists {even if you have to create it yourself}.

I also say this because, while I am all about love/men/lust/excitement/full-blown-twitterpation, I am also about independent, self-sufficient, incredibly strong women {get out there and cause a stir!}.  A strong woman can create a little magic on her own {as evidenced by my current carefully-crafted writing environment}.  But, sometimes {every once in awhile} even a strong woman would like to have a bit of chivalry, a couple gentlemanly gestures, and some good ol’ fashioned romance to come sweeping into her already fabulous life.

Romance has become a bit of a lost art.  And, yes, it is an art.  It is something that is thought out, crafted, and perfected to induce just the correct reaction {ideally resulting in a loss of breath, spinning thoughts, and the feeling of the earth moving ever-so-slightly beneath one’s feet}.  My favorite definition of romance {and the one I deem to be most realistic} is as follows: A strong, sometimes short-lived attachment, fascination, or enthusiasm for something.

The crux of that definition is “sometimes short-lived attachment.”  Experience romance is bursts; don’t expect it to be an eternal flame of sorts.  The love you have for someone can last, but to expect that gentleman to be a Constant Casanova would be preposterous {poor fellow}.  Simply, if women would lower their expectations {unyielding romance that lasts until eternity is simply implausible} and men would raise their standards {a tiny, thoughtful gesture goes a long way} we could successfully revive old-fashioned romance and adjust it so that it becomes a more modern concept.  Here are a few things that the men could start with…

Romance Pointers for the Modern Day Man {and Why Women Love This Stuff}*
*I am not a psychologist/psychiatrist/or any kind of medical doctor… all of the psychological points contained within this article are from personal experience, conversations, or just my uh-maz-ing women’s intuition {which each and every one of you lovely readers are blessed with, as well}

1. Open the Door for Her: Listen, it doesn’t have to be every door.  In fact, it doesn’t even have to be the car door.  However, if the man is going into a building of some sort {a restaurant, shop, dwelling place}, he should make the extra effort to turn/pull the handle.  Odds are high that both the man and woman are arriving at the threshold at around the same time {read number 3 if you’re not}, so why shouldn’t he just reach out, open the door, and let the woman go inside first?  If the man makes this simple gesture, a woman feels important {because the man thought of her and put her… literally… before himself} and she feels protected {he let her go inside into shelter and out of the elements… even if the current “elements” involve a perfect summer day full of sunshine… first}.  The man should take the extra half of a second to put the woman ahead of himself.

2. Cook for Her: Women are oftentimes used to being the provider of the elements of comfort {home, food, warmth, affection}.  If the man’s woman is phenomenal {I am assuming that she is} she likely provides him with affection and occasional creature comforts in addition to maintaining a career, her intellect, and a fabulous social life.  Many men out there are unknowingly dating Superwoman.  Maybe it would be wise for him to take a second to make her superhero life a bit easier.  When a man provides a woman with a creature comfort, it makes her feel understood {because the man is doing something for her that she would normally be doing for him}.  A home-cooked meal is one such creature comfort {it took effort and it makes a woman feel a bit cozy and just the right amount of pampered}.  Advice to the men: Take a second and whip something up.  It doesn’t all have to be homemade… just take her tastes into account and put it on a plate.  Bonus points if you have wine… Extra super bonus points for champagne.

3. Walk Next to Her: A man should not walk too far behind a woman {she’ll assume he’s checking her out… in a psycho stalker-ish kind of a way}.  A man definitely shouldn’t walk too far in front of her {he’s sending the signal that he doesn’t have time for her, that he wants distance from her, or that he is annoyed that her insanely hot stilettos are causing her to walk a bit slower than his comfortably sneaker-enveloped feet are accustomed to}.  He should walk beside her.  He doesn’t even need to hold her hand {that’s extra credit} or put his arm around her {but, maybe he should… see number 4}.  This sends the message that the man is considerate {recognizing that she can’t man-walk in those high heels} and patient {he’s not rushing her} and a gentleman {he’s not lurking and staring creepily at her… ahem… assets}.  So, a man should slow down a bit {or speed up, if need be}.  Come on… it’s as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.

4. Put Your Arm Around Her: I am the first to say that no one should ever be treated as another person’s property… if a man puts his arm around a woman to establish some sort of jealous ownership, there is nothing romantic in that notion.  However, to put one’s arm around another person is a socially acceptable form of public affection.  If his intent is to express affection towards her, he should proceed.  It shows that he cares, that he is comfortable with being publicly perceived as “together”, and that he actually enjoys being near the woman.  The man can do this when she is cold, if they are in a crowd, or for no reason at all.  This helps a woman feel that the man is proud to be with her {as he is publicly expressing it} and she feels safe and secure {perhaps he made her warm or kept her guarded in a crowd}.  Though she is aware that she could just put on a jacket {and she most certainly can protect herself in a crowd}, the fact that the man took care of her is something she will appreciate.

5. Compliment Her: This is the easiest one of all.  The only prerequisite to making this one a success is that the compliment must be entirely sincere.  A woman’s intuition is a wonderful/dangerous thing… and a woman can read dishonesty more easily than she is ready to admit.  A man should not offend a woman’s intelligence by offering an insincere compliment.  The more unique/personalized the compliment is, the more powerful its effect.  A man could tell a woman that she is “pretty” or he could say that her “insanely quirky sense of humor is hot.”  One is general, the other specific.  See? Simple.  This makes the woman feel appreciated and noticed.  She will feel that the man finds her attractive, intelligent, funny {whatever type of compliment he carefully and earnestly chose to bestow upon her}.  This results in her feeling secure and safe, both elements of a successful pairing.

In summary, each one of the aforementioned romantic gestures takes very little time and effort to employ.  All of these tips are less about the man’s actions and more about his intent.  His intent should be to make the woman feel special, appreciated and, most of all, respected.  There is nothing old-fashioned about that.