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What Does It Truly Mean When Someone's 'Romantic'?

Romance is more than a notion, chile.

Love & Relationships

Ah. Yes. Romance. Romance is an interesting topic to me because, since I tend to be pretty word specific (because of that I know that romantic means things like being fanciful and impractical), I must admit that sometimes, I think this word applies more pressure onto relationships than it should. Does that mean that I think that there isn't an art to wooing and that people deserve to experience it? Of course, not. I just personally believe that it's important to hold true and real romance to a more realistic bar than what we see on the television or movie screen.


So, what do I think that it means to be a romantic individual? Well, in the spirit of avoiding the fanciful and impractical, how about we look at this world from a more sensible—and yet still wonderful—point of view.

1. A Romantic Person Is Thoughtful

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Another word for thoughtful is "considerate" and while that might seem like an odd way to lead off a topic like this, when you really stop to think about it—it's not. When someone is considerate, they use tact in conversations. When someone is considerate, they factor in other people's feelings when it comes to the decisions that they make. When someone is considerate, they respect other people's time, they avoid doing things that will trigger them or make them feel uncomfortable and they have a very kind demeanor. Someone who's considerate is also pretty proactive in their actions.

Matter of fact, one definition of considerate is deliberate. This means, they are intentional in what they do and, when it comes to relationships, a part of the intention is doing what they can to make people feel good. So, while this might seem like a super practical definition of romantic, that doesn't make it any less relevant.

The reason why I thought it was important to lead with this is because a lot of women find themselves getting their feelings all the way hurt because they confuse charming with consideration. A guy can be a complete and total ass and still charm your pants off (literally). A considerate man is going to make choices that factor in more than just the present. He's going to move in a way that shows that he cares about how you'll feel about him in the days, weeks and months to come too.

Sis, spend more than a couple of decades on this planet and you will come to realize just how romantic that kind of guy really and truly is.

2. A Romantic Person Is Attentive

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A romantic person? They want to know your love language. Once they do, they don't forget it. They ask when your birthday is and honor it every year. They take note of what some of your favorite things are and then present them to you at the most random of times. When you're having a bad day, they're present. When you're having a good day, they want to celebrate it with you.

Bottom line, when someone is good at being attentive, what they strive to do is make others feel really special, wanted and valued. And yes, that is a cornerstone point of what it means to be a romantic individual. If you've got someone in your life who is affectionate, giving, sentimental and super consistent when it comes to all of these qualities, count yourself blessed. Attentiveness is an art and it's not a ton of folks who have truly mastered it.

3. A Romantic Person Can Move You Without Money

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I actually think it's fascinatingly hilarious that one definition of romantic is to be impractical because, when it comes to a lot of people's expectations as it relates to romance, that's exactly what they are. To think that someone is only being exciting, passionate or chivalrous (which are synonyms for romantic) is when they're pulling out their credit card all of the time or purchasing things that shine is a huge fallacy. Honestly, that's kind of a cop out way to be romantic because simply spending a lot of money doesn't really require much creative thinking.

Love letters. Cooked dinners. Personalized playlists. Handmade gifts. Flowers (a bouquet or petals spread everywhere). A drawn bubble bath. Slow dancing in the living room. Kissing in the rain. Taking impromptu walks down memory lane. Sharing a dessert. These are some ways to be romantic without spending a ton of cash.

And I can speak from personal experience that these are oftentimes the kinds of experiences that you end up remembering more anyway. Besides, if you read all of that and thought, "Hmph. Sounds more like being cheap to me," perhaps you need to ponder if you are romantic. Or not.

4. A Romantic Person Is Seductive Without Being Sexual

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So, here are some synonyms for the word seduce—entice, allure, fascinate, magnetize and captivate. While I think we all know that, for the most part, seduction is ultimately about trying to get someone to engage in sexual activity, a truly romantic person knows that there is a true art that comes with it. For instance, I was recently talking to a male friend of mine who isn't big on kissing or giving oral sex (he'll do both; they're just not on the top of his menu). When I asked him what the "selling points" were for actually sleeping with him, he told me that he does enjoy cooking for women, rubbing their feet and singing to them.

Listen, I've known this guy for a long time now and he's never had a shortage of female company. While I personally would find someone who "tolerates" kissing and head to be a huge turn-off, I get how he's been able to hold so many women's attention—he seduces them. People who are truly romantic, they enjoy their partner. They look for ways, outside of sex, to make them feel beautiful and desired. It's not just because there's some sort of end game in mind. For the true romantic, just knowing that their partner feels desired in their presence? That, is oftentimes, what even turns them on the most.

5. A Romantic Person Tends to Go ALL In

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I think that my favorite thing about romantic people is that they don't half step. If they get you flowers, they want to make sure that it's your favorite ones. If your anniversary is coming up, they go out of their way to see that it's absolutely unforgettable. Even if they do something like bake for you for the first time, they take special care to make sure that the presentation is right. My late fiancé? He was super romantic. Even when we were both living on campus, if I was sick, he wouldn't just bring me orange juice and Tylenol; there was breakfast, tulips (some of my favorite flowers) and a card asking to go on a date with him when I felt better too. Or, when I had to leave one of my favorite pets to go to school, he mailed me a toy Simba because that was my cat's name. To him, it wasn't good enough to simply call me and say, "Wow, I'm sorry to hear that." He wanted to do some sort of gesture that made me feel like he truly understood where I was coming from.

On the romance tip, I know a husband who created an entire calendar of planned out dates for his wife. I know a wife who surprised her husband with a staycation that consisted of nothing but his favorite foods and things to do. I know a man who takes his partner on three-course dates (he plans something for the morning, afternoon and evening). I know a woman who created flashcards with words that defined all of the things that she adored about her man. Then she had those words painted into a portrait for him to put up in his home office. None of these things are super over-the-top. At the same time, none of them are mediocre in effort either. When a romantic person wants to convey how they feel, they make sure that the message is clearly sent. Often.

6. A Romantic Person Is a Solid Love Advocate

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I like the word "advocate" a lot. It's someone who constantly speaks in favor of something (or one). Not only that, they highly recommend whatever they are in favor of to any individual who will listen. And someone who's romantic? They definitely fit this bill. It's like, no matter what is going on, they see love as the solution and remedy. Going further, romantic people tend to be students of love too.

They are the ones who journal their lessons learned from past experiences, along with their goals for the future. They're the ones who have love self-help books in their personal library. They're the ones who listen to relationship podcasts, can recite I Corinthians 13:4-8 (the Love Chapter in the Bible) basically by heart and—here's the real clincher—are extremely careful with the using word.

I believe I've shared before that, for several years now, I've gotten out of saying "love" for everything. I don't want to be in the habit of saying I love my future husband and I love lemonade IZZEs. My man deserves better than being compared to some sparkling drink. Honestly, truly romantic people can share a similar way of thinking because while there are some romantics who border on being love addicts (because they don't have a lot of balance in their approach to being romantic), a truly romantic person has a sense of integrity to them. They want the object of their affection to trust them and believe what they say. And so, while they do want the entire world to experience love, they want the love to be as real and healthy as possible. Romantic people will woo yet love often takes time. Again, if they are approach romance from a healthy perspective.

7. A WARNING: A Romantic Person Sometimes Needs to Be “Brought Back to the Ground”

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I've shared before that one of my favorite quotes of all time is, "The excess of a virtue is a vice." Aristotle once said that and he's exactly right. So even with as admirable of a trait that being truly romantic is, the thing that romantic individuals have to stay on top of is not falling too quickly, idealizing or—dare I say it—romanticizing things to the point where they overlook facts and common sense. They also need to make sure that their "human trinity" (mind, body, spirit) are in alignment because "following one's heart" isn't the wisest motto to go by. Why? Because your heart is the center of your emotions and if you only go off of those, you can find yourself being all over the place.

That's why, even with all that I just shared with you, romantic people also tend to need accountability. Loved ones who care about them enough to say, "We know you love love, just make sure you're seeing everything from a leveled perspective." Oh, but if the person does, if they know that they can make someone feel like they are walking on cloud nine, even with their feet still on the ground, they can be a real blessing in someone's life.

How romantic are you? How romantic is he? Definitely something to think about. In real life.

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