Lexus. Or Framed Starfish.

Framed StarfishAn entire retail sector caters to the browsing inclinations of women. Stores like Pier One, World Market, Crate and Barrel and Bed Bath and Beyond are the best examples, not to mention the online universes of Etsy, Ebay and that South American jungle place.

This is all information for men. It’s information that we largely ignore, but I’m here to shift that perception slightly.

Science does not understand it, but women’s brains release a hormone when they look, shop for, or notice anything vaguely decorative. Decorative, of course, covers a gargantuan range of goods, including even some foods or books or stemware or actual art. If you’re a guy reading this, walk into a Pier One next weekend with this in mind: everything in there is calculated to release that hormone.

A leap of logic tells us that we can engender the same reaction by purchasing one of these items, wrapping it, and giving it to the woman of our choice. In essence, it matters little just precisely what the gift is; the fact that it is new and in a nice bag is a source of joy. A source of delight is that we spent the time and effort and – critically – the headspace to think of her while we made the purchase. This is a token of time spent with her in mind. Underestimate this to your detriment.

And here’s the awesome part for guys. None of this stuff need cost big money. In fact, set yourself a goal of spending less than ten bucks a time, including wrapping…and you’ll be on the (ahem) money every time.

Buying her a Lexus is something. Buying her a framed starfish is something way more.

He’s So Romantic

Your idea of romance and my idea of romance will be different. Romance is like one’s taste in food; we all like and need it, but my steamed branzino with cilantro and scallion might not mesh with your cheeseburger.

Herein some of the friction of dating. With the best intentions, I try to curry your favour with my brand of romance. It will succeed only partially, because we are all quite specific in our likes. Really specific, actually. And the likelihood of finding someone new who shares precisely the same ideas of what’s romantic and what’s not is small.

We can look at dating through this lens if you like. Dating is the process of gradually aligning our romantic ideals so that they fit together pretty darn well. Finding someone with the potential for this is our goal. As a simple test, it’s not a bad start.