When it comes to love, there’s being romantic, and then there’s being a Stage 5 Clinger. While movies and songs would have men believe that all women secretly desire grand romantic gestures, the truth is that most of them work better on screen than in real life – especially when she’s not sure how she feels about you.
So guys, read this list and take precautions before attempting them on any women in real life. Unless she really, really, really likes you, performing these gestures may make you look like a creep rather than the potential love of her life.
1. Climbing up to our bedroom window
Crouching outside a woman’s window at night while she sleeps isn’t romantic, it’s scary. Despite what the Twilight movies might tell you, no woman wants to wake up in the middle of the night to see some guy’s face looming in the corner.
What you should do instead: Save the surprise visits for the daytime, Edward Cullen. Or if you’re feeling really sappy, show up at her workplace during lunchtime with a takeout box from a fancy restaurant. We’ll take food over your creepy face at our bedside any day!
2. Serenading us in front of strangers
In theory, this is dead romantic. But in real life, it’s awkward. For one thing, the majority of guys are not as great at singing as they think they are. And for another, we don’t really know what to do during those three minutes of serenading. Are we supposed to sing along? Burst into tears? Run into your arms while the song is over? And while some women enjoy all the attention from strangers, most people we know would feel self-conscious beneath all the stares.
What you should do instead: Honestly, public serenades only work if you dedicate a song to her while performing at a coffee shop or a concert. Otherwise, keep it to one-on-one dates or mix tapes, if you’re terrible at singing.
3. Feeding us in public
First dates are uncomfortable enough without you spoon-feeding us. Not only is this a little clumsy, but it also feels slightly infantile and way too intimate. Plus, feeding each other grosses out the strangers around you.
What you should do instead: Ask us if we’d like a bite of your food and give us a small portion. Like adults. Thanks.
4. Publishing an article, poem, or short story about us
Again, awkward. Who wants to see all those personal details splashed out on paper for the public? We’re pretty sure this has only worked one time in history, and that was when Pablo Neruda wrote a poem comparing lady love to a piece of bread (trust us, only he could make that sound romantic). Seeing ourselves in our published work makes us feel self-conscious and makes us vulnerable to the curiosity of strangers. We shouldn’t have to answer questions about our relationship with you just because you thought it was the whole world’s business.
What you should do instead: Are you a published author? Dedicate your book to us without using us as inspiration for any “fictional” characters.
5. Busting through airport security to declare your love
There are plenty of things we’d like to see a man do for love, but getting arrested isn’t one of them. Nowadays, airport security is so strict, that entire terminals go on lockdown when people jump the gates. It’s not worth it to inconvenience thousands of strangers just because you’d rather replicate a scene from Love Actually than send us a goodbye SMS.
What you should do instead: Pick us up from the airport. We’re especially touched when guys offer to drive us late at night or early in the morning. And if you want to be really romantic, bring us something nice to eat or drink (because goodness knows we need to detox from the airplane food).
6. Punching a guy in the face for her
Getting into a fight might seem like the manly way to impress a woman, but instead, it pisses most of us off. Why? Because it makes a guy look primal – hot-tempered, aggressive, and lacking in self-control.
What you should do instead: We don’t need you to defend our honour by beating someone up. We can fight our own battles. But if you really must pull the white knight card, a harsh verbal comeback can go much longer than a punch in the face.
7. Sabotaging your rival
Is someone else vying for the lady’s love? Then by all means, drop a laxative into his drink. Hack into his email and forward all incriminating documents to his contact list. You can even interrupt the guy and the girl’s wedding to declare your eternal love! That will work exactly 0 per cent of the time!
What you should do instead: Honestly, you need to let the girl make her own decisions. No means no – we might prefer another guy, but finding out that you sabotaged him will not up the chances that we’ll ditch him for you. Just give us some time. If it’s mean to be, we’ll break up with the other guy eventually and get together with you. But it will come through destiny, and not through force.
8. Celebrating anniversaries way too early into the relationship
Nothing rings our “overly attached boyfriend” alarm like having a guy surprise us with a present for our “two-week-aversary.” What is this, secondary 1? Unless we’re the ones SMS-ing you 10 times a day and calling you “hubby”, it’s wise not to act overly enthusiastic during the relationship’s early stages.
What you should do instead: Wait a year, six months, or even 100 days before mentioning any type of “anniversary” to us, lest you scare us away.
9. Getting a tattoo of her name or face
Unless we’ve been married for a while and you’ve discussed it with us, we don’t want to see our name or likeness on your forearm – especially when the relationship’s still in its casual stages. That just screams “commitment addict,” which can freak out women who aren’t ready for that level of seriousness. And need we remind you that most people’s faces don’t look good in tattoo form? Especially when your skin starts to wrinkle?
What you should do instead: Sorry, but there’s no alternative here. Don’t get that tattoo. If you really want some part of us imprinted on you forever, let us help you pick a tattoo design that would be appropriate even if we broke up.
10. Proposing in public without discussing it first
A simple search for failed proposals on YouTube will make it clear why proposing in public isn’t such a great idea. What if she’s not ready to commit? What if she wanted something more intimate? Not only will she feel pressured to say yes on the spot, but she’ll feel embarrassed having to act happy and excited in front of a group of other people
What you should do instead: Obviously, you need to discuss marriage before popping the question. Once the two of you are sure that you want to get married, ask her what type of proposal she wants. Don’t worry about ruining the element of surprise. You don’t need to get the process down to a T, you just need to make sure you’re on the same page with the setting. Does she want friends there? Or does she want you to be alone? Does she want something simple, or something a little more memorable? How does she feel about having it filmed? Once you figure out what type of proposal she wants, you’ll be able to plan it more effectively – and without the risk of embarrassing or disappointing her.