Dear Tamar,

I fear mentioning my love of romance in my JDate profile because it may turn guys off. I am a hopeless romantic and I’ve tried to tamper that part of me, but it doesn’t work… it’s a part of me. I love watching and reading classic romances and romantic comedies, and although I’m not expecting Richard Gere to climb up my fire escape, I think men get scared that I’m too high-maintenance. All I want is some consistent flattery (that goes both ways!), and for the like/love to be shown as well as said. Why is it too much to expect a man to remember special dates, to make reservations more than a day in advance, and to stop and buy flowers on days that aren’t my birthday or Valentine’s Day or our anniversary? And how do I communicate this need?

—Hopeless Romantic


Dear Hopeless Romantic,

I personally don’t think you’re asking too much to a certain extent. Let’s start with how to express your desire for it before getting to what you should realistically expect.

Grab a thesaurus (or use your favorite wordy website) and find synonyms for “romance” and “romantic” so that you aren’t overloading your profile with words that may be equated with lovey-dovey, sappy, syrupy, fairy-tale fantasies. Instead mention – no more than twice! – that you are a lover at heart, you’re looking for someone to dote on who enjoys being affectionate as well, you believe in love, and so on along those lines. In the section about your ideal relationship, you can mention wanting to find someone where you can’t keep your hands off each other and want that to last longer than the “honeymoon phase.” You can also simply say you’re a hopeless romantic, but that you’re feet are firmly grounded in reality.

Speaking of reality – life is not a rom-com and even the best of intentions are difficult to continue consistently. A man who brings you flowers every week may be running late one night and skip the tradition even though he enjoys watching you receive them, and then another night just be too lazy to stop even though he doesn’t want to stop making you feel special, and another night… life happens. And that’s okay. You have expectations, but you also have to be realistic and forgiving. It’s good that you mention being romantic in return; don’t stop doing that because you didn’t get flowers one week. If it makes you feel good to give, then keep giving, even if you aren’t receiving in return, otherwise it defeats the purpose and reduces the intent.

And remember that people view romance differently. One man may think holding your hand is hugely romantic! And it may be for him, and that should be appreciated! Other men don’t know what you mean when you ask for romance, so be specific because none of us are mind-readers. If you are happy with a date, but would like some more romance, then speak up and ask for it… nicely. If you’re already being romantic on your end, then it shouldn’t be too difficult for him to match that.

One last note: make sure you aren’t expecting too much romance too quickly and that you aren’t giving of too much romance too quickly. The former is unrealistic and the latter is overwhelming.


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