The Romance staff writer has the week off, so the honor of writing this article falls upon me. I don't know what they're thinking... Cockroach dung is my beat (has been for quite some time), but it's true that I've tackled topics ranging from bloated mouse carcasses to public toilets, and even hairy backs. Hundreds of years ago, I was responsible for Casanova's death. Long before that, I was the one who convinced Hades to abduct Persephone and imprison her in the underworld. But since then, this six-thousand-year-old writer has learned a few lessons about romance the hard way.
Whether your relationship is brand new or you've been together for years, a romantic night out can bring an extra spark to your lives!
Here are some tips for planning a romantic New Year's Eve.
- Cleanliness and grooming: avoid everything I previously mentioned having written about. If you have a hairy back or a collection of mouse carcasses, now's the time to shave the back and toss (or hide) the mice. If you have a cockroach infestation, exterminate those bad boys before one of them takes a sip from your lover's romantic nightcap.
It's true that a hairy back and pests are not the end of the world, but the point is that you should pay attention to good grooming and cleanliness for a romantic New Year's Eve. Your date will certainly notice. When you remember small grooming details on a night like this, you communicate how important your date is to you. Go the extra distance for this romantic night.
- Think about mutual interests. This is a good starting point. Whatever you do should be special and should stand out when compared with other nights the two of you spend together. But that doesn't mean your activities have to be completely unfamiliar. Think about ways that you can put a special, memorable twist on an activity you both enjoy or an activity related to one of your favorite pastimes as a couple. Not sure how this can be done? Consider the following examples.
- If you both like to listen to opera, then plan ahead and secure some excellent opera tickets, better than any tickets you've ever had.
- Do you and your date like sushi? Make a reservation at the finest sushi bar in town! It worked for Hades (but Poseidon was cutting the best amberjack nigiri that you could possibly imagine, garnished with jalapeno and six pomegranate seeds).
- Are you both avid skiers or snowboarders? Why not try a less common winter activity like snowshoeing? Pack some champagne and sturdy cups and let it cool in a snow bank as you enjoy a pristine snow-picnic together wherever the mood strikes you (drink in moderation, of course). Rent a cabin where you can spend your romantic New Year's Eve by the fire.
- Consider your first dates. Connecting to those earlier times can definitely lead to a romantic New Year's Eve. The trick is to make it seem natural rather than forced. Can you gracefully revisit a fond mutual memory? If so, then you can reflect on the passage of time together, which is definitely romantic. After all, New Year's Eve is a special year-marker and you're spending it with the one you love.
- Put your loved one first. Have you and your lover been overworked lately? Maybe you've sensed that your loved one is in the mood for a quiet night of relaxation. Be sensitive and make keen observations leading up to the night. The most romantic thing you can possibly do is put your loved one first and demonstrate that you care enough to cater to your lover's mood. If you sense that your loved one has little desire to enter the throbbing masses on New Year's Eve, why not plan a quiet night of romance? Cook dinner, buy a fancy bottle of wine (get a wine connoisseur's advice if you're lost) and go where the evening takes you. Perhaps plan a midnight picnic of wine and cheese overlooking your community fireworks display. Or stay indoors and... no, I can't say "make your own fireworks." The cockroach dung in me won't permit that level of cheesiness. But you get the idea.
- Buy your lover a gift. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, but a small gift is definitely a romantic gesture. Make it sweet and humorous and, above all, thoughtful. When it comes to setting a romantic mood on New Year's Eve, the thought is what counts.
- The classics are classics for a reason. When planning your romantic New Year's Eve, remember those classic, time-tested gestures as well.
- Splurge on a wonderful bottle of wine or champagne to end the evening in a romantic and intimate way. If the bottle should be chilled, remember to chill it! But wine and champagne aren't a necessity. If beer is the preference, spring for a gourmet microbrew instead of MGD. Or if the two of you don't like alcohol, look for some special non-alcoholic drink and mocktail recipes to bring your experience out of the ordinary.
- A flower is an excellent touch for a romantic New Year's Eve. Gentlemen, greet your loved ones with a long-stem rose. Or if you know that she hates roses, you can get creative! Ladies, bring your fella some cashews; he'll melt like butter. No, I'm only kidding - even the most cashew-loving guys might be confused by that gesture. Call me old-fashioned (I am thousands of years old), but women should not be expected to arrive with any kind of gift or token of admiration. Their presence is magical enough, and they ought to know it. Guys, make sure they know you know it.
- One last word: ladies, you must laugh at every one of your lover's jokes. Just kidding again. Start practicing by not laughing at any of my jokes (shouldn't be difficult).
- Don't let trivial negativity enter the evening. Remember that your romantic New Year's Eve is a special occasion. Don't let its specialness paralyze you! But if you've had current troubles at work or have quarreled recently, now is the time to put such un-pleasantries aside. Transcend those mundane concerns; a romantic New Year's Eve demands that you not be trapped by that kind of thing.
- Keeping it simple is better than going overboard. More isn't always better, and stress is a cold-blooded romance-killer. If your plans are stressing you out, then take a deep breath and simplify. It doesn't take a parade of elephants to let your loved one know how you feel. Look how it backfired on Hannibal.
- Travel. To mark a romantic New Year's Eve in grand fashion, traveling is definitely an option to consider. A journey (as long as you both have the energy for it) automatically creates special energy and a sense that this night will not be like other nights. Whether the two of you are in the mood for a quiet New Year's Eve or would rather paint the town red, you can find a romantic destination in which to do so. From secluded bed-and-breakfasts to bustling metropolises or snowy winter resorts, explore your options.
Romance requires a balance of sensitivity and decisiveness. Sweep your loved one off of his or her feet with confidence, but do so in ways that are sensitive to your lover's mood and energy level. Be flexible, but not to the point that you appear negligent or dismissive of the significance of your romantic New Year's Eve. Sounds complicated? Relax - you know your own relationship better than anyone else does when they peddle advice on how to be romantic. The best advice I could offer is to examine your relationship. Give serious thought to the activities you both enjoy, and how you would best convey your love. Always remember the significance, but maintain a light-hearted, jovial spirit during the evening. Thought and effort are the two essential ingredients when planning and executing a romantic New Year's Eve. What can I say? I'm an old windbag. But if you follow these tips as they would best apply to you and your relationship, you'll have a romantic New Year's Eve after all.