Dear Receiving too Little,

I hate to break it to you, but romance is not what it once was.  I blame video games and the porn industry.  I fully agree with you that just saying “I love you” everyday does NOT make up for a lack of courtship.  I tell my husband that just because we are married, doesn’t mean we should stop dating or take our relationship for granted.  But it sounds to me like your boyfriend takes you for granted.

In the days before television, cell phones, video games, readily accessible porn, and even automobiles, there was a social norm about courtship.  Romance was a way of life and a show of love.  What happened to the show?  How did romance dwindle through the ages?  Now, we ladies are trained to not expect too much.  There is nothing good about that. We should, at least, expect something.  I have done the hinting thing too.  It didn’t work.

My husband needed something else to kick him in the pants, and still does.  Recently, I hinted that I would really like some flowers.  My husband said to me that I would get them when I least expected them. I hinted for weeks, left him digital messages and even asked him straight out.  Nothing.  So I bought my own damn self some flowers.  He saw how happy they made me and the next week he bought me a dozen roses.  Was this too little too late?  Yes and no.  He finally got it after visually learning that something like that really does make me happy.  Flowers for no reason.  Simple.  Effective.  But, it shouldn’t have taken so long.  What more do guys want when we are making it so easy for them?  We are telling you what we want!  What a concept!

It is REALLY good and I am REALLY proud of you for telling him what you need.  You are doing more than most women.  A LOT of women out there play the “you should have read my mind” game.  (You know who you are.  Stop it.)

Back to you.  You are not asking too much.  Not by a long shot.  You are communicating what level of maintenance you need for your relationship to continue to grow.  That’s right, maintenance.  We all have our own level of maintenance.  Mine, admittedly, tends to lean toward the medium-high side of maintenance.  I hate to compare a relationship to a car, but it is like a car in that it needs maintenance to keep it running.  If you don’t get a tune up or oil change once in a while, your car will die.  It is the same with relationships.

Your Solution:

You have traveled down the relationship road for seven months, and now you are stuck in traffic.  He didn’t listen to your directions, and now you are stuck behind a semi with bad music on the radio.  Time for you to pull out the map and change the station.  Time to show him the way.

Although your communication skills are not lacking, he is still not getting the message.  This is baffling on some levels, because it could be that he simply doesn’t listen, that he is trying to sabotage your relationship, or he needs to be guided step by step through what romance means to you.

Lets just assume he needs to be guided.  It is time for you to take the reigns.  I want you to plan what you would consider the perfect night of romance.  Whatever that means for you, DO IT.  Make a statement with what you plan and SHOW HIM what you want romantically from him.  Dinner at a fancy restaurant and a movie?  Staying in with take-out and a Dr. Who marathon?  Taking a long walk under the stars and going to a quiet coffee shop?  A concert followed by martinis at a swanky joint?  A beer tour and a football game?  Ice cream sundaes and Salsa lessons?  ANYTHING.  You are teaching him a lesson in what romance means to you.

The Down Side:  Expect to pay for this evening out.  In fact, DO pay for it.  He may be intimidated, but make a statement to him that says “This is how I deserve to be treated. This is what I need to thrive in our relationship.  This is what says I love you in my language.”

The Up Side:   You will have a romantic evening out! Yes, you paid for it; but, by God, it is what you want and now he will have no excuse to second guess what you need.

Now the bar has been set and the bets are in.  It’s time to gauge his reactions to your idea of romance.  If he is receptive to it, if you have a wonderful time, if he gets it, then I have every confidence your relationship will continue to grow in romance and, most importantly, love.

If he remains the same, and doesn’t take this tutorial seriously, if he rejects all of your ideas and won’t even go with you on this romantic journey, then I fear he is romantically challenged and may even be trying to sabotage your relationship.

 At that point, buy yourself some flowers and find what you are looking for romantically with someone else.  A fulfilling relationship is a fun relationship and a romantically challenged relationship is a ruined relationship.  Good luck.

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