Thinking About a Grand Romantic Gesture? Answer These 3 Questions First
You just need to watch a few romantic comedies to get the idea that a grand gesture goes hand in hand with being in love. All you need is a string quartet, a jumbotron, a choreographed dance, or a serenade from a boombox you’re holding up outside a window to let your lover know you really care, right?
A vast majority of the time that we see these big, grand gestures used by characters in movies or TV, the person they’re targeting is touched and thrilled at the scene.
But when it comes to real life, there’s no guarantee of success for something like this.
It’s probably wise to proceed with caution when it comes to over-the-top romance. This is especially true if you’re in the early stages of a dating relationship, or even considering using a grand gesture to ask someone out.
Here are three things to consider if you think you’d like to plan a grand gesture to impress someone you like.
1. What’s their personality type?
Recently, my relative’s boyfriend proposed to her in a big, public way in front of his whole family. He planned it out so that when she went to take a family picture of them, some family members helped him hold up a sign that popped the question.
She loved this. She thought it was creative and romantic.
But if it had been me, I would have been embarrassed and felt indescribably awkward.
Some personality types love anything that makes them the center of attention. Some personality types abhor being the center of attention.
A lot of people are somewhere in between.
If the person you like seems to fall in that “in between” category, dig a little deeper into the specifics of the gesture you’re thinking of planning.
What will the setting be like? Will friends or family be around? Will the person most likely feel comfortable to start with, or on edge in any way?
In a workplace setting, for example, you would be more likely to have a lot going against you.
Work can be an uptight, stressful place for a lot of us (except for people blessed with a fantastic job or coworkers). I’ve heard of people who are even uncomfortable receiving flowers from a significant other while at work.
A relaxed setting of family or friend time, though, might give you a better chance of success for something like this.
And there’s also the option of doing something that’s kind of extravagant but still fairly private. You can show someone how you feel about them through a thoughtful act even if it’s not something other people will see.
2. Is now the best time for a romantic gesture?
If it’s early in a relationship, or before a relationship officially begins, it might not be the best time to plan a big show of affection.
Even though we most often see things like this in movies and TV when a person is trying to win someone over, it’s not always wise to do it so early in real life.
There’s the possibility that the other person will find a big show of affection inappropriate.
They might feel like you’re reading much more seriousness into what you have with them than they are.
The other problem with doing something like this so early on is that you don’t know the other person that well. The better you know them, the more you’ll be able to tell whether this is something they’ll swoon over, something they’ll die of embarrassment over, or just not they cup of tea.
Plus, if you hold off on a grand gesture until you know them better, you’ll know them well enough to tailor it to their particular interests.
3. Are you sure the person likes you?
There might be nothing worse than a terrible miscommunication when it comes to things like this. Particularly when trying to ask someone out in a big, romantic, very public way.
Say you’ve known this person for a while and it seems that the attraction you feel toward them is mutual. You want to ask them out, and you want to do it in an extravagant way.
If you’re planning on asking them out in a public way, it’s safest to make absolutely sure that the feeling really is mutual first.
If you’re mistaken in their interest in you, not only might you embarrass yourself with a public rejection, you might also ruin your chances of them beginning to like you at a later date.
When you ask someone out in the typical, private way that it’s usually done and they say they’re not interested, there’s typically no harm done. Often, you can even remain friends and there’s still the possibility for something romantic to develop in the future.
But when it’s public and embarrassing, it’s not so easy to bounce back.
Don’t get me wrong, big showy displays of affection can be a fantastic way to show someone you care about them.
But there are also a lot of things that can go wrong if you don’t carefully consider personalities, timing, and the likelihood of success.
Adrienne Thorne is a Catholic wife, mother, screenwriter, and blogger, as well as author of the Catholic YA romance novel SYDNEY AND CALVIN HAVE A BABY. She blogs about TV and Movies from Catholic perspective at Thorne in the Flesh: A Faithful Catholic's Guide to Netflix, Hulu, and More.