When we first heard that August is Romance Awareness Month, we couldn’t quite believe our ears. Is this an actual thing? Are there people who are unaware of the role of romance in their relationships? While there are holidays and special dates throughout the year that remind you to be romantic– Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve (smooches!), Christmas, birthdays, and your anniversary– isn’t romance more than just spending quality time with your partner because the calendar said so?
After a bit of conversation (and a few eyerolls from the peanut gallery about whether romance still exists), we decided to ask some experts– our users, naturally– about the place of romance in modern relationships. Here’s what we found:
- Romance is a high priority: 98% of men and women said that romance is an important part of your relationship.
- Men and women love to get romantic— but, they experience romance in different ways. Ladies prefer romance in their relationships to be in the form of quality time, while dudes prefer physical contact as the basis for romantic exchanges.
* 20% more men than women indicated that physical touch was their favorite romantic gesture.
* 22% more women than men said that they prefer quality time with their partner.
- Giving gifts, not so much: Neither men nor women considered receiving gifts to be a romantic gesture, though women were three times more likely to prefer gifts than men.
- Men and women disagree on who is more romantic in their relationship: 51% of women and 60% of men thought themselves to be the more romantic partner in their relationship.
- Men were 18% more likely to think that they are in charge of creating romance in a relationship.
What we ultimately learned from you is this: you think that romance is important, but you experience it much differently than your partner. If your boyfriend is constantly leading the charge for physical affection– wanting to kiss, cuddle, and otherwise get your lovins’ on– he thinks that’s romantic. Ladies, if you’re less likely to be the initiator of physical contact and more likely to organize a fancy meal or night out, you’ll feel that you’re the more romantic partner. Because men and women communicate their needs differently, they both believe that they’re the ones leading the charge to demonstrate love their relationship.
When it comes to romance, how are modern couples supposed to get it just right?
There’s no perfect answer. Romance is ultimately about showing your affection and appreciation for your partner, two vital elements of happiness in a relationship.
Most respondents describe the romance in their relationships as above average… but a significant percentage of both men and women do see an opportunity to improve.
- 31% of women and 26% of men say the romance level in their relationship does have room to grow
To keep the loving feelings going in your relationship, it’s important to communicate your emotional (and physical!) needs to your partner. Opening up to your dearest with an honest discussion of your romance needs is a great place to start– though technology is getting better day by day, technologists are nowhere near being able to roll out mind-reading powers to the general public. If you’re looking for ways to increase the displays of affection and appreciation in your relationship, doing something as simple as setting a goal to surprise your partner more often than usual is an easy place to start. If you find yourself making romantic gestures to your partner only once a week, set a goal to surprise him or her 2-3 times a week.
When it comes to romance, what does all of the data we’ve shared really mean? That in relationships, communication + understanding are key! Simply asking how your lover how they want to be romanced is an easy place to start. Romance is not something that has to come in grand, dramatic gestures; it can be as simple as greeting your partner with a glass of wine after a long day at work, or cooking an exciting, fancy meal together.
What was your favorite or most interesting finding from the survey? Do you have any romance advice or a story to share that can help couples increase their romance? Share your thoughts in the comments!