How to Pull Off a Romantic Gesture Without Being a Dick


To all you budding romantilcs out there, to help you get up to speed for when Valentines day, an anniversary or your partners birthday comes around, we’ve complied an array of tips so you can pull off a romantic gesture without looking like a dick. However big you want to go and however romantic you’re planning on being, here’s how to go about it.

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So you want to make a little bit of effort, and as Valentines Day seems to always come around so fast, why not start planning something good now. Pulling off a romantic gesture doesn’t have to be like the ones you see in the movies. No Romeo and Juliet business or Titanic arms in sight, because you can actually make your girl smile without going all out and looking like (and feeling like) a bit of a dick. And believe it or not, sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest impact. With this in mind, how do you pull off the most romantic gesture ever?

All men have the ability to be romantic, you just needs to find what suits you best. Because, and let’s face it, guilty romantic acts don’t really count. Take note, because bringing out a romantic gesture to say sorry isn’t going to win you the brownie points you’re after.

Romantic Gesture: Flowers

Probably the most obvious and simplest idea can be the most effective. Yes you may feel like flowers are the way to go when you’re apologising for something, but to be honest it is quite a good one to pull if you need a romantic gesture to say sorry. Never the less, flowers are a good shout. Doing your weekly shop? Why not pick up some flowers. Walk past a florist on route to work, pick up some flowers. Because why not? This is the thing with romantic gestures – it’s the impulse to do something nice for your partner without completely over thinking it. When it just comes naturally, you end up showing your affections way more than if you feel like you have to do it.

At The Idle Man we can near enough guarantee that your girl or guy will love the idea of spontaneous flowers. And because you haven’t just bought them because you did something wrong and ended up in the dog house, it can be a easy romantic gesture to choose.

You don’t have to go all out Titanic

Romantic Gesture: Surprise Her

People either love them or hate them, but sometimes it’s the sense of surprise that makes the gesture so romantic. You should know if your partner likes them or not, so if they do love a surprise then go for it. It doesn’t have to be that big either. So, if you’re not naturally big on the whole romance thing or think it’s a bit ‘soppy’ or ‘wet’ as a few people like to call it, then there’s a few things you can do without feeling like a dick.

Romantic Gesture Ideas

  • The stereotypical ‘I saw this and thought of you’ – whether it’s food, something funny or just generally something random that made you think of your better half, whats holding you back?
  • Tagging them in memes – yes, this is the most 21st century thing to say, but it’s true. The most social media friendly way of showing your love is through the meme world.
  • Suggesting a spontaneous trip – This can be for a meal, going out for the day, or even for the night. Just booking a hotel room to mix things up a bit, and to spend some quality time together will go a long way.
  • Showing your partner off – and we don’t mean in a weird and creepy way, but inviting them out with your friends and family and actually wanting them to be there.

The element of surprise is all about planning. You realistically want it to go well and to make them happy. It may seem to involve a little more brain work than buying a bunch of flowers but the results you’ll probably a lot more happy with. If you know what we mean.

When Harry met Sally, it was all friends at first.

It’s All About Location

Kirstie and Phil could tell you, it’s all about location, location, location. And sorry to anyone that’s not obsessed with house programs but seriously, the location is one of the most important factors. Where can you pull off a romantic grand gesture? Because if it’s rejected or it dramatically fails then you’ll start to feel your face heating up and wish the floor could swallow you up. You need to know when and where you can pull off whatever you’re big romantic plans are.

So how can you be really romantic without stopping traffic? Obviously the comfort of your home is a good place to be – it’s intimate and you guys can just be yourselves. A restaurant is another obvious choice, especially if you’ve planned to take them for their favourite food. You could plan on doing something in public, because sometimes this in itself is romantic. The big gestures like a treasure hunt or asking the next important question will need to be somewhere where you still have some of your own space. In their favourite place in the city for example, you need to make sure it’s not during rush hour or in a super busy area that’ll ruin the intimacy of the moment.

No Overthinking

The best romantic gestures are the ones you don’t really think about. This sounds a bit, odd but things are only as romantic as the intent behind them. Meaning, if you’re planning a romantic gesture for her because you did something wrong, more often than not she’ll realise and it won’t go down as well as you planned. A romantic gesture for an anniversary people kind of expect, so instead of one massive cringeworthy idea, think of something that’s personal to you both – whether it’s a selection of your favourite foods each night or doing something your partner has never had to courage to do themselves.

Small ideas that reflect you as a couple are the ones that’ll probably give you the best response. The little things will be the ones they’ll remember the longest because you did it ‘without even thinking’. So think about who you are and who you are as a couple. What do you like doing together? (Other than the obvious of course). And plan something that reflects you both. If you’ve got this sorted then this can be your big romantic gesture.

Take some ideas form 10 Things I Hate About You and sing your heart out

Romantic Gesture Gifts

Romantic gestures always seem to include some kind of gift. It’s not the rules, but it can help show how much you like the person. So to not be a dick when giving your present, you do actually need to think about what you’re giving. We asked around the office and some of the gifts that people have given or received don’t quite cut it; getting drawn a picture (when there was a £100 budget), buying over the top jewellery (just because that’s what people buy right?), sex toys (unless that’s BOTH your kind of thing), a framed picture of yourself, tickets or a reservation for something that you like and she definitely doesn’t. It’s all about compromise remember, and compromise doesn’t mean just for you, so there’s more to gift giving than you may think.

You’re going to have to do better than The Idle office, so whether it’s a romantic Christmas gesture or a romantic gesture for valentines day, you need to think about what’s appropriate for the occasion. Valentines day is all about you two, so that’s the theme you should go for. Christmas is obviously very festive, so think along those lines. As well as all the failed gifts, we do actually have some good ideas to give you. Being interested in what they’re interested in and actually knowing about the things they like is a good start. Make it personal, if you know this then your gift giving skills will flourish. Just like the flowers you give to accommodate the present.

Not feeling the Friends With Benefits flash mob?

On That Note

You should now be set up for any birthday, anniversary or special occasion. And as romantic gesture ideas don’t come around often for most, pulling them off can be tricky. But, hopefully this has given you some idea on what to do and what not to do when planning your next big moment.


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To all you budding romantilcs out there, to help you get up to speed for when Valentines day, an anniversary or your partners birthday...
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