How to Hack Romance
Most of the things we want in life are physical. We can get our hands on them, manipulate them, move them around. Some we can buy, some we can make, others we find. But the things we need, the things that really make our lives worth living, are not physical. We cannot get our hands on love, we cannot manipulate kindness, we cannot move romance. But that doesn’t mean it is out of reach. We can hack romance. We can learn how to be more romantic.
This isn’t a guide to creating a flawless dating profile, or how to craft a love potion – this is how to make the romance you already have work for you. This is how to kickstart your romantic gears, and to turn them into a perpetual motion machine. Endless romance! What could be better?
The Pareto Principle
This is the bottom line. This principle applies to all aspects of your life. You’ll find 80% of your troubles come from 20% of places. 80% of your clothes are only worn 20% of the time. 80% of your happiness comes from 20% of your life.
This is how we will get your romance back – by focusing on the 20% of attitudes and activities that will yield 80% of the results.
Think back to the last time your partner seemed properly grateful for something you did. The likelihood is that it wasn’t some grand gesture, it was something little. You brought home a treat, you got their slippers ready while they were still in the shower, you left a little note in their pocket before they went to work. An activity that did not cost you very much in terms of time, effort, or resources, but led to a great outcome – your partner was overcome with gratitude, love, affection.
With that kind of ROI, you would have been crazy not to invest in such an easy romantic task. However, the small actions with the greatest romantic rewards are usually spur of the moment ideas, conditional on what is happening at that time. How can you make sure you can deliver romance effectively without being able to see the future?
Think Of Your Partner
If you want to be romantic, you have to learn to be empathetic. You don’t need to spend all day trying to think about your partner (it’s best when they pop into your mind to say hi!), but take some time to see the world from their point of view. What upsets them? Maybe you can help mitigate some of those troubles. What do they love? Perhaps you can find a way to bring such things into their life more often. What do they need, but don’t know they need? Boom! You just found your next little gift!
Of course, there is a problem of diminishing returns. If you do the same activity over and over, it is still objectively sweet – but it becomes subjectively mundane. In the worst case scenarios, your partner would come to expect it and be upset if it ever stopped.
Moreover, thinking differently helps to separate your relationship away from the typical. Creating a unique connection and existence is something important. Together you’d be staking out a place in space and time and proving that no one loves each other quite like you do.
Try to be a little bit spontaneous and unpredictable (while still romantic). Harmless pranks are fun for both parties, and can lead to some lovely inside jokes. Helping out with something unexpected (have you ever had a cold beer in a hot shower, or had someone prepare an outfit for you?) will be the perfect spice to your partner’s day, and leave them thinking about you even when you’re not around.
If there’s a bit of free time, and you’re a little bored, why not plan ahead? Get rid of the boredom, and get some surprises (big or small) ready for your partner. You could create a cache of love messages you can place amongst their things (or let them stumble across!). You could get a list of costs of a weekend trip to the coast. You could even schedule some emails to tell them how much you love them, for years in the future!
Think Of Yourself
I think we’ve covered maybe 15% of the easy stuff so far, and you can save the last 5% for yourself. Taking some time just to meditate on what makes you want to be with your partner can make everything else we’ve talked about so much easier. When you know why you love them, you’ll naturally act more romantically. Or, at least, you’ll have the desire to do so. You’ll have your own relationship- and partner-specific ideas and activities. You’ll go full-on 100% crazy romantic every so often. But if you ever need a little bit of a kickstart to your romance, remember that romance can be hacked. Kind of.