Sunday, February 13, 2011

[Weekly Whimsy] Romance

[Welcome to Weekly Whimsy! Accentuating ardor, amour, admiration and affairs; regaling relevant rules for relations.] 

Got a special someone? Lady Friend? Dr. Girlfriend? She Who Must Be Obeyed? Wife? Man? Sexy Thing? Dude? Husband? 

If so, no doubt you've noticed that Valentine's Day is quickly arriving. I've heard countless times from many of my male gaming friends that Valentine's Day gives them something of a complex- they simply have no idea “what to do”. I thought I'd toss you guys a bone and help you out. 
Yes, I know I'm a little late on the scene. I probably should have followed my own, best advice when it comes to wooing;
1- Do a little planning. 

For us gamers, being prepared is either second nature, or a terrible burden. I know countless guys that come to game ill-prepared (no dice, paper, pencils, nothing). For them, thinking ahead is an actual chore. Then there's those of us who are just a little crazy about being ready for anything. I'm personally guilty of having no less than 3 pens at any time and I usually have a pad of paper, too. For me, being prepared is second nature to who I am. 

Regardless, when it comes to romance, planning ahead is essential. Don't wait until the last minute- or you'll end up giving wilted, terrible flowers from a gas station, bad lingerie from Kmart, or Little Debbie's Valentine Cakes. (Sometimes those terrible gifts can turn into a goofy tradition- but be aware at least some frustration will come of it before your Sweetie thinks it's “sweet”.)

What kinds of planning has a LOT to do with your special friend, and almost nothing to do with “what the media says”. Here's an example:

If your Significant Other adores Motocross, getting her a hearts & flowers gram is not going to be as effective as getting tickets to the nearest dirt track show. If he likes SCA and RenFaire stuff, he'll most likely be far more tickled with a trip to Medieval Times than going to see the latest Jet Li movie.

Having tickets to these sorts of things takes thinking weeks (if not MONTHS) in advance. Many of these sorts of adventures involve travel. That can include hotel stays, dinner out, and distractions other than the intended event. Coordinating all of the said itinerary ahead of schedule with consideration to your partner's tastes can turn you into a hero overnight. But all of those ideas need at least an element of 

2- Know Your Partner's Interests- This, in a nutshell, is: PAY ATTENTION. 

You know what synergies work best in your armies, right? The same should be said for your romantic endeavors. Know what works, and use it to your advantage. 

I'm a pretty simple girl. I like good food, games, books, miniatures and purses. I'm also very fond of surprises. I'm known to enjoy wrestling, football, basketball and goofy action movies. A quick surprise date to see a movie like “Red” and going out to have dinner at a place I haven't tried before is going to score TheDude major points with me. Knowing what makes your partner smile is a key element to romancing and wooing said person. 

Giving a gift (or expressing your affection in a way) that's meant to show you understand her, and care about what she likes is golden. Guys like it too- nothing's worse than a bad golf tie when he hates 'that game with the crooked sticks'. Give him a StormRaven, a new Citadel Paint set, or maybe a Battle Foam bag instead.

This third pointer is really meant for the guys, but girls can learn at least a little something, too.

3- Make your partner feel valued. 

This is a bit tough to explain, but it's kind of like showcasing your favorite IC or HQ on your blog for all their massive exploits. You want to offer public validation and recognition for that special someone in your life so they're seen for how truly awesome they are. 

This is really about helping a girl feel like a princess in a fairy tale- making a special impression with a truly grand gesture. Guys like to feel like rock stars, with tons of adoring fans and massive adulation. 

If you send flowers (and you should know IF she likes them and what kind), do it EARLY in the week, and send them to her work. She'll get the thrill of seeing a delivery just for her, she gets to brag on you all week, and get admiring glances from the other gals at work. It's a win-win. 

Tell him how much you appreciate him- in writing, through music, with a tattoo or writing a check to help fund his dream. Do it in a big way, so that he knows how much you treasure what he does for you, and he can gloat to the other guys how he has “the best partner in the universe”. It's a win-win.

Doing just a little work will pay off big in the long run. Just like play testing or honing a list (and subsequently stomping face), the effort is completely worth the results when your loved one swoons at your romantic gestures. 

Being “romantic”, much like winning against a tough competitor, is not simple- but it's easily accomplished with preparation and planning. 

Be Well (and be prepared), 



  1. Sound advice all the way around. I've found the flowers thing can be difficult (at least for the first time), and requires careful off-hand questioning about kinds of flowers, and potential delivery locations to get it right. None of that can be done last minute.

  2. I would add:

    Rinse and repeat - at least 5 more times this year. If you can't bother to treat your significant other that extravagantly at least once every other month ... then it's not really worth the once a year effort.