A little romance can go a long way

Kelly Mills

I’ve had it with men. I’m going on 22 and throughout my high school and college careers, I’ve dated a few guys. But who hasn’t? I’ve dated all kinds. Most didn’t work out, but I guess that’s why I’m not in a relationship with 15 men right now.

The point is, men lack romance.

To most women, this is not a statement that should be a shock. But men deny it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a dozen long-stemmed red roses each week delivered to my office or home. I just want a little spark.

What I really have a problem with is the men who claim they are romantics but don’t conform to the cliché ideals of romance. Sounds great on the surface, but what it means is they’re cheap.

I certainly don’t mind not getting presents constantly or going Dutch to dinner or activities, as long as both parties’ budgets are accommodated. I am a poor college student, too. Money is not an object to me, and it certainly doesn’t buy my affection.

For many of the men I’ve dated, they find it the “noble” thing to do to buy dinner or shell out for movie tickets. I usually try to at least offer, but I am often turned down. Hey, if I’m getting a free dinner and movie and not trying to use the guy, I’m not going to fight too hard.

But I don’t mean cheap with just money. They are also cheap with time and thought.

I’ve heard the line over and over (including from my current beau when we started dating) that flowers are cliché and that I shouldn’t expect to get them because they probably won’t be purchased for me since they’re just an overused way to show affection.

I can live with that. Where my issue comes in is that this statement implies that flowers are not good enough. It implies that something more personal and thoughtful should be done to accommodate the action of showing affection. Again, I can’t argue.

I often show my affection in cheap — or even free — ways. A quick “I love you” text message while your hubby is in class does wonders to put a smile on his face. A card that says “I miss you” in a long-distance relationship shows you went out of your way to communicate with your significant other beyond the simple phone lines and e-mail.

Point is, guys (I interject that some men I’ve talked to have told me some women are just as guilty), please, please, please don’t claim you’re a hopeless romantic if you aren’t going to act like one.

If you can’t afford the material gifts or find the traditional presents too clichéd, you are actually at an advantage. Because you have the ability to go out of your way to put (gasp) thought into your actions toward your significant other.

Everyone loves to feel loved. So take a moment to do that for someone else. Or let someone who does it for you know it’s appreciated. Even that goes a long way.

Maybe you’ll change your ideals, many do. For now, I’ll enjoy the dozen roses sitting on the dresser from our most recent anniversary.

Kelly Mills is a senior news major and a columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].