Romantic Gestures: What Do Men and Women Want?

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dating tips and romance

Whether you prefer mood lighting and a home-cooked meal or a perhaps a serenade, we wanted to know what eHarmony users thought was most important when it came to romance.

We looked at responses to our “Q&A” feature, where eHarmony users answered a series of multiple choice questions about their attitudes and opinions on a wide variety of topics. We picked out a few questions that were particularly relevant to a discussion of romance. So, what do men and women find most romantic, and where do they differ?

  1. Red Roses

Let’s start with a classic romantic staple: red roses. Approximately 60% of men and women agreed that red roses were romantic. However, women were more likely than men to feel that red roses were actually overrated and too expensive, while men were more likely than women to think that a gift of red roses meant “I love you.” Next time, guys, consider some peonies or tulips!

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2. Candlelit dinners

For this question, we saw more agreement between the genders as to romantic potential. A whopping 85% of men and 88% of women agreed that a candlelit dinner was very appealing. Other users were more pragmatic about it, with 12% of men and 9% of women thinking candlelit dinners were most convenient in a blackout. We applaud their sense of humor.

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3. Songs and poems

Additionally, we were interested in exploring how more artistic romantic offerings would be received among men and women. First, how do men and women feel about a romantic ballad written especially for them? Overall, both had generally positive emotional responses to the idea. Men were more likely to say that they would swoon (52%) than tear up (30%), while women reported both equally (45% and 46%). Men were also slightly more likely to have a negative reaction than women: 15% of men said that they would cringe, compared to 8% of women. The most drastic negative response, running away, was in the minority for both men (3%) and women (1%), which is good news for any budding songwriters out there.

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For those with who might not have the best singing voice, a poem is another option. Responses look similar, though overall there is slightly more swooning (62% of men and 52% of women) and slightly fewer tears (24% of men and 37% of women). There is a still a small subset of people who would be less than impressed by these efforts: 12% of men and 9% of women said that they would cringe if someone wrote a poem for them, and 2% of men and women said that they would run away.

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So, next time you are thinking about how to surprise your significant other, consider what he or she might like best. If your partner thinks that amateur poetry is cringe-worthy but really likes music, take these preferences into account when planning something special. Even if you or your partner think that candlelit dinners belong in the movies and roses are overrated, you can find something else that you both enjoy equally.


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