30 Men Share What Romantic Things They Wish Women Did Way More Often

Human beings have a lot in common, even if we tend to hone in on our differences—we all have very similar wants and needs. Aside from the basics like food, water, and shelter, we also need constant physical contact and strong emotional bonds. We all want to be loved, respected, and cared for.

Redditor u/optimist_cult sparked a very honest and wholesome thread on r/AskReddit after asking the men of the site to open up about some of the romantic things they wish that women did more. Their answers were heartwarming and odds are that they’ll make you smile, dear Pandas. Scroll down to read what they had to say.

Bored Panda reached out to the author of the thread, redditor u/optimist,_cult to hear her thoughts on relationships and romance. We also got in touch with dating expert Dan Bacon, the founder of The Modern Man, for his insights as well. Read on for both interviews.


Happily married father of 3 who met their wife on an online dating site with generic advice for women looking for a man.

1. Men don't get complimented, like at all, ever. You don't have to fawn over someone, but if you tell a guy, "Nice Watch" on a date you better damn believe that man is going to be wearing that watch at his funeral. I've had women compliment different parts of my body (non-sexually) and I'm pretty sure I remember every one of those compliments I've ever gotten.

2. Men, especially young men are absolutely terrified that they might be mistaking the moves you are making on him as being innocent. It would be humiliating to us to think you were coming on to us when you were not. You need to be absolutely clear with a guy if you are coming on to him. You need to say, "I'd really like it if we went out on a date sometime to get coffee or play mini-golf". Many guys won't pick up on it unless you use the words "on a date".

3. Point number 2 goes double for sexual interest. We can be our own worst enemies and completely miss things. Example, I took a girl to the Marine Corps ball before I met my wife. We had agreat time, and on my way driving her back to her car she said I wished that night didn't have to end, she said it didn't have to and she kissed me passionately... so I took her to Waffle House because it was the middle of the night and no place else was open. Now, it may be obvious to you what she was saying but it was completely over my head because I couldn't imagine a girl that pretty being into me.

4. I've had girls I dated be really shallow and not want to talk about themselves for fear of being embarrassed. Do you know what my wife did on our first date that no one else did (no, not that, get your head out of the gutter)... she talked about what she was passionate about and interested in. My wife was a huge book worm, a nerd, and a big Star Trek fan. Ladies, we don't care what your hobby is, if you are passionate about it that makes you interesting to us. I've now watched every episode of every Star Trek series with my wife (actually, 5 left of TOS plus the animated series and the latest Picard but you get the idea).

5. Be confident in yourself and tell that guy you like that you like him clearly as shown above. When I left high school I had not 1, not 2, but 3 girls moving out of town for college confess to me that they really like me and would have dated me if I had asked. All thought they had made their feelings clear but these all came out of left field.

6. There is no man, not one single man on this planet that wouldn't be pleasantly surprised if someone wonderful became a part of theirs.

7. Despite what you might think from reading Reddit, not every man on a dating site is just looking for a hookup. I met my wife, the mother of my 3 kids almost 15years ago on match.com.

Good luck!

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Redditor u/optimist_cult opened up to Bored Panda that she'd recently "rejoined the dating world" and was considering what she wanted in a partner. "I was also considering what I have to offer my partner in a holistic way," she explained the story behind the interesting thread.

"I was surprised to learn that a lot of men view non-sexual affection as inherently romantic in contextual situations and that made me kind of sit back and ponder some things," she said, referring to hugs and hand-holding.

"Love languages are important but it would seem that Physical Affection and Words of Affirmation are some of the most prominent in the men who responded," the OP told Bored Panda.


When you ask how my day was, and I tell you I had a bad day. Please don't tell me you had a worse day. That doesn't help me with my bad day, now I'm trying to cheer us both up.

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Plan dates without my input. I'm 40 and can count on one hand the number of times that has happened in my life.

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We were also interested to get u/optimist_cult's opinion on the secret to a long-lasting relationship. According to her, it's essential to "really communicate with your partner and HEAR them when they express themselves."

She said: "Not everything is an attack or a criticism. Being self-aware, being willing to make concessions, and practicing empathy with your partner will go a long way."


we live in a busy world.

if she were to stop in the middle of what she was doing and come over to cuddle and tell me a joke or a compliment., my happiness meter would explode. and my day would be one to remember.

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Hug for longer

Every time a guy gets hugged he pretends it didn't affect him and then he goes to sleep all warm and fuzzy

Image credits: Fake-And-Gay-Bot


Everyone has their own love language, for me it's physical touch. A handsy girl can make me melt and I don't mean sexual touching, like hand holding, walking arm in arm, cuddling, running her fingers through my hair, touching my face, etc. things like that. Also receiving compliments on our appearance is something I think every man loves since, at least in my experience, we don't get that many. Nothing crazy, but if you notice something you like about him, tell him, like "that shirt looks really good on you," or "I love what you did with your hair," just be prepared for whatever article of clothing you compliment to become his favorite piece or for whatever hairstyle you compliment to become his new default.

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Meanwhile, Bored Panda wanted to get dating expert Dan's thoughts on romantic gestures in relationships. "Rather than being romantic, most men just want their girlfriend or wife to be respectful, loving, and affectionate towards them. Most men don't need romance, or to be swept off their feet, so to speak," the founder of The Modern Man explained to us.

"Generally speaking though, some men would love it if their girlfriend or wife did one of the following:

  • Offered him a relaxing, oil massage and then did it with love. 
  • Cooked him his favorite meal and then when serving him the meal, she kissed him and told him that she loves and appreciates him.
  • Did something to show support for his favorite hobby (e.g. bought him a new, more comfortable gaming chair for when he plays video games, cleared out space in the garage for him to have a workbench, and then told him she did that because she loves him and knows he enjoys building things, or tinkering with things in the garage)."


For me it physical contact. My late wife was huge on physical contact. We were always holding hands, hand on a thigh when sitting, she would hook her arm around mine and press her body against mine when we'd be standing in line, random hugs for no reason, etc. Sometimes in bed she'd reach over and just and squeeze my arm and say "I love you" when we'd be going to sleep.

My favorite was when I'd be driving. She had nice acryllic French tipped nails and she'd gently rub and scratch the back of my head and neck. Damn I miss that.

It doesn't even need to be sexual. Just gentle contact to let the other know you love them.

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Clear and direct communication. I'm neurodiverse so social cues aren't my strong suit and when my partner wants something from me they will just ask. Whether that's affirmation, a cuddle, a kiss. Not the most romantic but it makes me feel safe and valued.

They also pick flowers for me when I'm feeling down so that's pretty romantic and I like that and hope other folks get to experience it.

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I've opened up to women who responded with something along the lines of "I'm so glad you feel like you can open up to me" which made me feel like they were making it about themselves. Later some of those women used that vulnerability against me when it suited their needs. One girl just listened and cared. Guess who I fell for

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The dating expert stressed the fact that clear communication is essential, whatever you do. "It's important to point out though that many men need to hear a woman say that she is doing something because she loves him, respects him, or appreciates him," Dan told Bored Panda.

"If she does something that she thinks is romantic, but does it as more of a matter-of-fact type of action, many men will assume that she's just going through the motions and just happened to cook his favorite meal because she couldn't think of anything else to cook, or because the ingredients for it were in the fridge."


Small spontaneous stuff like little notes, random gifts even if its my fav chocolate bar, drink etc.

Its not super romantic in the momebt but its these really tiny things that add up for me that have me glancing over at my girlfriend randomly falling in love all over again.

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Articulated what's on your mind...helps strengthen bonds between us with no assumptions and self guessing.

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As a hopeful Romeo, I'd swoon for handwritten love notes hidden in unexpected places. It's like an analog flirtation treasure hunt, turning my heart into a giddy Indiana Jones.

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We were also curious about what could help couples stay excited about the small things, like holding hands, in a long-term relationship. The dating expert said that couples "must avoid growing apart in the relationship." Miscommunication, misunderstandings, and being too self-centered can damage the relationship.

"Couples who remain committed to caring for each other, being loving and understanding and being present will naturally want to hold hands, hug and kiss," he said. "Yet, couples who get into the habit of arguing, or trying to make the other feel at fault, won't feel motivated to hold hands and may worry about being rejected if they attempt to."


Listen, if you just hug me out of nowhere every so often, I will love you forever. That and try any new stuff I cook for the first time

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Taking interest in your hobbies. I love watching Supercross, motocross, MotoGP, football games etc. I don’t expect someone who isn’t as passionate about that stuff as me to want to watch every race or game and know much about that stuff. But something as simple as “I would love for YOU to take me to a race/game” show casing that they want you to be the man to introduce them to maybe something they know nothing about. Or better yet surprising you with some tickets to a game when you know they aren’t even a sports fan.

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Stop dropping hints and tell us outright if you want to be with us.

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Both men and women tend to have the same goals when it comes to love. According to Sylvia Smith writing for Marriage.com, everyone values “a kind and intelligent person with an exciting personality.”

At the same time, looks do matter. It’s important that a person be physically attracted to their partner, too. And this is a factor that everyone keeps in mind when choosing who to date.

Some of the things that men find romantic, according to Smith, include honesty and clear communication, as “men’s idea of romance is more logical.” While some people enjoy ambiguity and reading in between the lines of what their potential partners say, far from everyone does. Openness, then, is key.


Love hugs from behind, head rubs too. Random compliments are nice as well.

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After commenting I just remembered another instance, being playful. My late wife LOVED doing playful things to aggravate me but in a silly playful way. Her favorite and the one I always fell for was she'd want a little kiss and the moment my lips touched hers she'd stick her tongue out so it went between my lips. It used to irritate the s**t out of me but she was being playful. I really miss that stuff now. If I was to date again I'd want someone that does playful stuff like this.

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So I got given flowers for Valentine’s, and I cannot express the joy I felt receiving them hahaha.

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Meanwhile, men also value small displays of affection, like their partner holding their hand or being physically close to them. Having their date take the time out of their day to take part in their favorite activities also works wonders. And it doesn’t much matter what the activity is, so long as the person enjoys it—whether it’s cooking, hiking, watching old-timey movies, or putting together a massive puzzle that covers the entirety of their living room floor.

Women can show men that they care about them in other small ways, too, such as sending them a loving text message, brewing them a cup of coffee on a sleepy Sunday morning, or organizing a small surprise date. There are no limits except for your imagination and how well you know your partner's personal likes and dislikes.


A conversation over a cup of coffee is a nice gesture. Definitely would make my whole week

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Being really present and genuinely listening. Putting the phone away and making space to hear what's going on for you.

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My ex used to play with my hands when we’d be watching a movie or something. We’d be holding hands, but in a more active way - she would kind of run her hands through mine, kind of just fiddle with them. I am not sure why I liked it, but I did. Miss that.

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The Washington Post reports that two ways to stand out from the crowd in the dating pool are to spend some more time on your appearance and to show that you’re smart. According to one study done by researchers at Columbia University, men and women both care a lot about attractiveness. However, the data showed that women care about intelligence around twice as much as men.

Meanwhile, a study done by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania confirmed that whether or not a date was successful depended mostly on the couple’s physical attractiveness.


Make him feel desired. Stop acting like the only 'prize' in a relationship is you. Take him out on a date. Get involved in his hobbies especially when he's willing to be involved and support you in yours.

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Honesty would be nice, even when the truth might hurt.

I was let on for almost a year by this girl who just this past weekend revealed that she had been chasing someone, and they had just made things official. This was after telling me that she needed time to recover from her last relationship when I expressed interest in her.

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Initiate the conversation. Pretty obvious when someone is attracted to you. Why does it have to be the man to start s**t. I'm tired of the chase to be fair, just want a butterly to fly right into the net.

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I thought she was taking me on a surprise camping trip, but instead we hopped on a train to the airport and flew to Norway.

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I wish women/men would stop assuming romance is all about sex I have always hated the idea of it and whenever I admitted that I like someone they usually assumed sex instead try kisses and cuddles or snuggles

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Small gestures. Pour me a whiskey after a long day. Run me a bath. Buy me some beer. Offer to drive.

I’ll make you tea. Bring you a blanket. Run you a bath. But you flowers etc etc.

Just reciprocate really

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Take relationships seriously. It's been my experience that most of them just jump from one guy to the next as soon as the relationship becomes mildly inconvenient for them and requires a tiny amount effort and communication from them.

Also, I wish they'd be the one to initiate more, but let's face it. They really don't need to.

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I wished women would approach me if they are interested. I feel like men approaching women are far less appreciated than women approaching men.

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Let me be little spoon and play w my hair.

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