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How To Be Romantic Without Being Creepy

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The romantic gesture: a lovely thing or reserved for creepy stalkers? Blogger Joshua Lyon, writing for Thought Catalog, seems to feel that the romantic gesture is dying. He talks about being branded “scary intense” for writing a letter to a man he had a crush on and suggesting an old-fashioned correspondence. That seems rather sweet to me. Also, he mentions a time when a boyfriend pulled a “Say Anything” and played “In Your Eyes” on a boombox at his window, Lloyd Dobler-style. He found it to be “one of the bravest and most romantic things” anyone had ever done for him. I see what he’s getting at. The grand romantic gesture does deserve a rightful place in the world of wooing. But it can walk the fine line of “creepiness.” Romantic gestures only work when being done by the right person in the right way. For example, a guy I was dating once had a handwritten note couriered over to my office to ask me out on a date. Sweet! Another time, a man I had exchanged a smile with followed me home from the grocery store to leave a letter of admiration on my doorstep. Frightening! After the jump, the difference between sweet/romantic and creepy/romantic. [Thought Catalog]

SWEET VS. CREEPY ROMANTIC GESTURES

SWEET
CREEPY
Pulling a “Say Anything.” Pulling a “Say Anything” after you dumped him.
A handwritten letter telling you he has a crush on you. A handwritten letter on your doorstep from the guy who followed you home from the grocery store. (See above.)
Flowers at work. Flowers at work when you haven’t told him where you work.
Surprise dinner reservations. Surprise dinner reservations where he introduces you to his entire family.
A mix CD of songs he thought you’d like. A mix CD of 20 songs he wrote about you.
A small gift that “reminded” him of you while he was on vacation. A creepy sex toy that “reminded” him of you while he was on vacation.
A picture he sketched of you. An entire notebook filled with sketches of you.
Buying you a new dress that you said you loved. Buying you a skanky dress that you would never ever wear.
Taking you on an overnight getaway when he’s sure your schedule is free. Taking you out of the country for a week without your consent.
Asking you, all old-fashioned like, if you want to be his girlfriend. Changing his status to “in a relationship” — with you! — on Facebook before you’ve discussed it.
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