Dummy’s Guide to Romance

When I first started dating Jasmine, I have to admit that I really knew close to nothing about dating and romancing a girl.

I recall that the first time we met after I asked her out, it was for a church service with Rev. Kim Song Hei. We had dinner with my cell group leader and it was a good time. On the journey back, I clearly remember this conversation we had:

Jasmine: We’re not going to spend all our dates at church gatherings, right?

Andrew: Erm, of course not.

Jasmine: If we spend so much time at church gatherings, I’ll be falling in love with God and not with you.

Andrew:[at a loss for words and ideas] Yea, I know.

Yes, this was a man whose idea of ‘spending time with a girl’ was inviting her for a church gathering.

Over the course of the past few months, with the help of Google, close guy friends, my brother, and Jasmine herself, I’ve picked up some tips on how to romance a girl and would like to write them here – as a reminder to myself and also for any guy out there who might be as lost as me with regards to romancing a girl.

How to Romance a Girl:

1. Surprise her.

Girls love surprises. They love it when you do something out of the ordinary. Dropping off her favourite snacks, or a random love note in her letter box shows her that you still think about her, even when you are not spending time together. Secretly offering to hold her shopping back, then dropping a love note in her shopping bag makes her feel that you’re still with her, even though you’re not next to her.

Order a bouquet of flowers and get it sent to her place, or even better, her office.

In our early dating days, I used to buy breakfast for my Dearie, but I wouldn’t just pass it over to her when I pick her up. I would hide it in the glove box of my car and ask her to get something for me from the glove box. Sometimes its not just about the gift, but how you give the gift to your Dearie.

This Valentines’ Day, I surprised my Dearie by not just getting her a bouquet, but actually attempting to put together one myself, with much help from her mum. Went down to the cold room at Thomson Road, bought tulips baby’s breath and some rice paper and came back to assemble a bouquet (with much help from Anna) :


[Yes, I actually did some work in putting the bouquet together. You would have seen the final product in the previous entry!]

2. Be attentive to small things.

My Dearie always says, ‘Romance is about the big and the small’. While we all know that girls love extravagant and public displays of affection, what we guys tend to neglect a lot is the small things. I admit that I’m often oblivious to it too, and require a bit of nudging at times.

Little things like opening the doors for her, taking out the chair for her at dinner tables matter to a girl and make her feel important. Ensuring that you stand on the side of the pavement closer to the road makes her feel protected.

This varies, of course, from girl to girl. I once heard a friend tell me that it was so dumb for guys to stand closer to the road because if a car were to come, it would be the same anyway – either her or the guy would get injured. While I have nothing to say about the feminist perspective, I must say that any girl would appreciate protection from their boyfriend.

Other ‘small things’ you could do include smsing her randomly throughout your work day to let her know you are thinking of her, looking out for what she needs and getting it for her. Make a mental note of the things which catch her eye as she goes shopping and buy them for her without her knowing it.  Take note of the songs she loves and compile a CD of those songs. Be attentive in conversations and see how you can meet some of her needs even if she doesn’t explicitly ask you to. Girls appreciate initiative. 

Take notice when your girlfriend wears a new top, when she puts on make-up (even if its the most subtle form like a lighter shade of lipstick), when she has repainted her nails or done her hair. I have often missed out on these small details, but I’m trying to be more sensitive to these things now. 

3. Be expressive.

It is not in the nature of guys to be expressive about their feelings, but girls do need to be assured constantly that their man loves them and still finds them attractive. Regardless of her love language, it never hurts to tell her once in a while how beautiful you find her, or how much you love her. Inserting a random ‘I love you’ in a conversation works wonders. If you like her dress, tell her how much you like it and why you like it.

Of course, always be prepared to answer questions like ‘What do you love about me?’, ‘What do you love the most about me?’, ‘Do you love me more today than a few months ago?’.

Be expressive of your love for her even in front of others, especially if she’s around. Praise her in front of your parents and her friends. That’s not to say that there’s no room for honesty or teasing each other about your bad points – Dearie and I do a lot of that!

4. Be genuine.

Now, this is where we come to a tricky part about girls, which Marcus and I have both conceded that it’s something we have to live with.

At certain points in your relationship, your girlfriend will probably ask you to do something for her, i.e. to get her that card which she really loves, or that hairpin. She won’t demand that you do it, but she will probably hint subtly or tell you gently and she might follow it up by, “Aiyah, never mind la, no need la. It’s okay.” Of course deep down inside, she wants you to do it, but doesn’t want to seem like she’s forcing you to do it.

What you have to do as a guy is extremely tricky.

You have to please your girlfriend, without making her feel that you’re doing it just because she asked you to. What girls don’t like is their boyfriends being compelled into doing something for them. Your girl wants to know that you genuinely want to please her and appreciate her.

I won’t share too much about how to do that here, because obviously, Jasmine reads this blog too, so do leave a comment if you want some tips. Heh.

(The assumption here, of course, is that your girlfriend is being reasonable and not just merely materialistic. At least for Jasmine (and I won’t speak for all girls here), hinting to me to buy her a present is never about the costs (i.e. she can’t afford it), it’s always about how meaningful it is if it were bought by me. )

Jasmine’s probably sneering when she read this entry now, thinking about how I’ve stopped doing some of the things above. Heh. The basic truth is this – guys are not programmed to be romantic, but every guy can and should be romantic. Hope this has been helpful!


9 responses to “Dummy’s Guide to Romance

  1. It is soooooo important for guys to be expressive to the girls they love.. Or else the girl won’t feel loved and firls always tend to feel insecure now and again. =p Good to reassure them now and again. =)

  2. *girls

  3. heehee i agree stephanie. andrew does a really good job of that- he’s caring, sensitive, gentle and thoughtful… all sides of him that i never knew existed prior to dating him!

  4. hehe..yes indeed! you are one very blessed woman! =p He is very expressive (in the form of notes, letters etc) compared to many guys whom I know. Hope he continues to be caring, sensitive and thoughtful to you or else I will hunt him down if he doesn’t. XD

  5. happy for u babe! wish my boi is as caring, sensitive, thoughtful n expressive =P

  6. your cousin Adeline

    “While we all know that girls love extravagant and public displays of affection”

    umm… not I. :S

    I find it monumentally embarassing when it happens to me. PDA is the pits.

  7. “At certain points in your relationship, your girlfriend will probably ask you to do something for her, i.e. to get her that card which she really loves”……..like you’re credit card? HAHA. Couldn’t help it :P.

  8. HAHAHA! Thanks for pointing that boo boo out, Adeline. I think Andrew was referring to “public and extravagant displays of affection”… referring to gifts or surprises- and not of the physical kind! We abhor PDA too!

    • Yes Adeline! A Big no to PDA. What I was thinking of was things like giving her flowers in front of her friends! 🙂

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