Romantic Advice

By John Gray

November 7, 2008 4 min read


From the author of "Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus"

John Gray

Creators News Service

Dear John: My boyfriend and I have been dating for just over a year. Before that, we knew each other about five years and were great friends. "Dexter" has always been very unromantic. I know he tries to make me feel special, but as far as flowers, cards or little gifts are concerned, there is nothing. Even Valentine's Day was no different than any other regular night out.

Is this normal? Do I just deal with it and realize his way of showing love is different from what I expect? Is there a way to talk to him about it? Or, should I just not say anything? I know he loves me, and I love him very much. I so want our relationship to work, but I am not sure how much "romance" is needed or should be expected. -- Moonlight and Magnolias in Atlanta

Dear Moonlight and Magnolias: Obviously, you need more romance -- and that's what counts. As to what you can expect, well, maybe you'll anticipate more if you prime the pump first. That means expressing your needs in a way he hears you. For the occasion in question, drop hints early, such as: "Honey, I so look forward to our special evening on Valentine's Day! Do you want to discuss a plan, or should I let you surprise me?" Or: "Darling, I want you to thank you in advance for my birthday surprise."

OK, so that's not subtle. Then again, he's not a mind reader, so now is the time to let him in on your expectations. And, while it may not be "romantic" to tell him what you expect, your expressed anticipation now becomes a goal that he must achieve -- and guys love goals. Even more so, they love praise -- which is what you'll dole out in droves when he "surprises" you on that special occasion.

Dear John: I have a guy friend whom I know and love. In fact, I consider "Stan" my very best friend in the whole world. I can tell him anything, and he tells me pretty much everything, too. In fact, when he's dated other women, he's told me their issues. They usually got upset because he'd talk about me all the time to them. Now that I'm heading into my 30s, I am seriously looking for a future husband. It's dawned on me that Stan has all the qualities I would want in a husband. I tell my friends I would marry him tomorrow if he asked me.

Well, lately he tells me what he wants in the future, such as living in a big house with a lot of kids, which is exactly what I want as well. However, he's too scared of commitment -- to anyone. So, John, tell me: How do I even approach him and tell him of my true feelings? How can I feel sure that we would be perfect for each other? -- His BFF and More in Washington

Dear His BFF and more: The sooner you let your feelings be known to him, the sooner you may both discover what many committed couples already know: A friendship can indeed turn into a successful romance.

My only concern is you say that he is "very scared of commitment." Knowing this, I would suggest you tell him how you feel in this manner: "Stan, I truly love and appreciate our friendship, and I'll always be your friend. I also want you to know that I have a strong physical attraction to you."

Then, leave it at that. The ball is now in his court. If your feelings aren't reciprocated, you've let him know you are still his friend and there are no hard feelings. If he takes you up on your romantic volley, then it's love for both of you. Good luck.

John Gray is the author of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus." If you have a question, write to John in care of this newspaper or by e-mail at: All questions are kept anonymous and will be paraphrased. To find out more about John Gray and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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