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Your favourite romantically-coded gestures?


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I'm a newbie, so I'm not sure if this is the right forum to be posting this on or if such a topic already exists, but: What are some of your favourite gestures that are traditionally labelled "romantic"?

Personally, I enjoy love letters. I've grown up with classical literature and long to express the depths of my affection for others with the same musicality of language that Austen or Brontë or Nabokov do. Had I the money, I'd invest in all kinds of stationery and a calligraphy set, and wax seals, and maybe even perfume too, and send letters to all the people I know (and some I don't know, if they were amenable to it), telling them how grateful I am for the simple fact that they exist in my life and I can speak with them.

Unfortunately, love letters have a strong romantic connotation to them and I dread even the possibility that someone might develop feelings for me, so I have not done that. Maybe some of you here would be interested in an aromantic love letter exchange? I can't guarantee all the bells and whistles, but I do have some charming thank-you cards depicting owls and beetles and the like. (Just kidding, of course.)

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18 hours ago, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Sex, lol.

Nooooo....

19 hours ago, Gökotta said:

Unfortunately, love letters have a strong romantic connotation to them

Well, it's a LOVE letter. Isn't hat simply a romantic thing?

Edited by DeltaV
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3 hours ago, roboticanary said:

watching the stars with someone.

stars are just legit fucking cool.

I agree.

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Kissing, specifically on the lips. I wouldn't kiss a friend personally but it's really fun to imagine.

I do have a boyfriend I can do it with, but he's on the other side of that world :/ 

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cuddling and shooting the shit. I absolutely adore snuggling and just talking shit. It's accepted in some platonic circles, but not most.

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Complimenting people (not just friends); specifically noticing they have a new haircut or new clothes/glasses, asking them about it and then telling them it looks really nice. You won’t believe how often I do this and how often people tell me ‘You are the first to notice!’ all smiles :)

And I wonder, AM I the only one who noticed, or am I the only one who comments? Because I think most people associate compliments with flirting and that is of course way to romantic to do with friends and definitely with people you barely know 🙄

Edited by Nix
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OK, seriously. On which planet are

  • cuddling
  • sex
  • watching the stars together
  • kissing
  • using pet names

gestures?

I always thought that gestures are actions that must be a bit special and not something you do all the time. Also they have to be one-sided and not simply be a shared activity. Which means they have to be innocuous that you do not need a permission. All this is not true for those examples.

IMHO the only real gestures mentioned so far were: sending love letters, giving flowers / chocolate and complimenting.

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On 6/11/2022 at 5:07 AM, Jot-Aro Kujo said:

Sex, lol. But also pet names and hugs.

Yeeesss my favorite comment so far😂😂😂

Holding the door, singing a beautiful love song(or even much better, a cover song from Rage against the machine or Metallica😂), giving positive compliments and affirmations, go hiking or having a drink together at the pub is something that i find lovely and interesting. 

 

PS: I love calligraphy too, but love letters doesn’t really make sense to me so i write positive self love letters to myself. And pet names, hugs and sex is also very romantically to me lol 😂 

But only with fictional characters😝

Edited by Cocothecoconut
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44 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

OK, seriously. On which planet are

  • cuddling
  • sex
  • watching the stars together
  • kissing
  • using pet names

gestures?

I always thought that gestures are actions that must be a bit special and not something you do all the time. Also they have to be one-sided and not simply be a shared activity. Which means they have to be innocuous that you do not need a permission. All this is not true for those examples.

IMHO the only real gestures mentioned so far were: sending love letters, giving flowers / chocolate and complimenting.

Well can you come up with some more romantically accurate gestures? 

I’m not being rude, i just have difficulties understanding the language of romance 

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2 hours ago, Cocothecoconut said:

Well can you come up with some more romantically accurate gestures? 

All which has been mentioned is indeed associated with romance, but these are activities or rituals and not gestures.

"Oh, the sex last night was such a nice gesture"

Doesn't that sound weird?

Leaving notes with compliments or serving bacon in a heart shape (cringe), etc. that's what I would classify as romantic gesture.

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17 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

Oh, the sex last night was such a nice gesture"

Doesn't that sound weird?

Hmmmmmmmmmm

 

No

Maybe for you but not for me. I would personally be more weirded out if someone served me a heart shaped bacon.

But that’s my opinion.

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1 hour ago, Cocothecoconut said:
2 hours ago, DeltaV said:

 

Hmmmmmmmmmm

 

No

Maybe for you but not for me. I would personally be more weirded out if someone served me a heart shaped bacon.

But that’s my opinion.

I'm an aro vegan. Heart-shaped bacon would weird me out no matter what... 😁

🥓=😒

But this is about the meaning of the word "gesture".

Merriam Webster:

  • something said or done by way of formality or courtesy, as a symbol or token, or for its effect on the attitudes of others

Cambridge Dictionary:

  • an action that expresses your feelings or intentions, although it might have little practical effect

Wiktionary:

  • an act or a remark that serves as a formality or as a sign of attitude

So sex is a GESTURE???🤷‍♂️ Yeah, ok. Maybe in aro culture and I didn't get the memo...

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6 hours ago, DeltaV said:

I always thought that gestures are actions that must be a bit special and not something you do all the time. Also they have to be one-sided and not simply be a shared activity. Which means they have to be innocuous that you do not need a permission. All this is not true for those examples.

 

Ah sorry, that was my bad on the stars one.

What I should have said was something like 'Taking someone out to see the stars'

which is arguable but I would say fits in with your cambidge definition in that it is an action done to express your feelings, although it may have little practical effect. If I understand the romantic mind right, you offer to do something with your romantic partner to express the feeling of love towards them. This would then be a gesture in that it is an action done to express feelings, rather than because there is any practical desire to watch the stars.

But yeah, sorry about that I really didn't think through the distinction between doing the activity and the gesture of taking someone to do the activity.

 

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kissing and romantic hand holding

 

also, not a gesture, but i love sexual/romantic tension between characters, so sweet

(you can tell that all my romance experience is from TV, can you not?)

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19 hours ago, DeltaV said:

But this is about the meaning of the word "gesture".

Merriam Webster:

  • something said or done by way of formality or courtesy, as a symbol or token, or for its effect on the attitudes of others

Cambridge Dictionary:

  • an action that expresses your feelings or intentions, although it might have little practical effect

Wiktionary:

  • an act or a remark that serves as a formality or as a sign of attitude

Ok i get it now. It seems cute to me, but it’s still “meh” to me. I’m sorry my friend but i’m not so great at being romantically minded😂

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Posted (edited)
On 6/11/2022 at 4:37 PM, roboticanary said:

watching the stars with someone.

stars are just legit fucking cool.

Oh, that's a good one. I'll take "taking someone out to see the stars" as an acceptable activity that fits the gesture template too, lol.

On 6/11/2022 at 9:53 AM, DeltaV said:

Well, it's a LOVE letter. Isn't hat simply a romantic thing?

I had thought so, too. But Shaun Usher's Letters of Note: Love, which I picked up at the public library out of curiosity a few months ago, contains not only romantic love letters, but love letters between family and friends as well. There aren't as many of them, as one would expect, but I remember it leaving an impression on me: "You can write love letters that aren't romantic?!" So I think it's possible haha.

On 6/12/2022 at 3:59 AM, Nix said:

Complimenting people (not just friends); specifically noticing they have a new haircut or new clothes/glasses, asking them about it and then telling them it looks really nice. You won’t believe how often I do this and how often people tell me ‘You are the first to notice!’ all smiles :)

And I wonder, AM I the only one who noticed, or am I the only one who comments? Because I think most people associate compliments with flirting and that is of course way to romantic to do with friends and definitely with people you barely know 🙄

Story time: Some years ago, I considered making an account on a dating site for the sole purpose of dispensing compliments. I thought doing so had the potential to brighten other people's days, especially in an environment that my friends kept describing as miserable. Unfortunately, I ran up against the question of whether I would sign up as a man or a woman and it became too complicated (no romo in addition to no homo if I were truthful, potential harassment and the guilt of lying to others if I posed as a woman), so I didn't do it. I'm still not sure where the inspiration for this idea came from.

Edited by Gökotta
Forgot to reply to Nix in the initial post.
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36 minutes ago, Gökotta said:

Story time: Some years ago, I considered making an account on a dating site for the sole purpose of dispensing compliments. I thought doing so had the potential to brighten other people's days, especially in an environment that my friends kept describing as miserable. Unfortunately, I ran up against the question of whether I would sign up as a man or a woman and it became too complicated (no romo in addition to no homo if I were truthful, potential harassment and the guilt of lying to others if I posed as a woman), so I didn't do it. I'm still not sure where the inspiration for this idea came from.

That is such a nice idea! Though I get that it can cause all sorts of potential problems... I read this article a while back about a guy who was making wholesome video's for pornhub, I thought the idea was quite funny and he got a lot of positive responses.

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On 6/13/2022 at 3:12 PM, Gökotta said:

I had thought so, too. But Shaun Usher's Letters of Note: Love, which I picked up at the public library out of curiosity a few months ago, contains not only romantic love letters, but love letters between family and friends as well. There aren't as many of them, as one would expect, but I remember it leaving an impression on me: "You can write love letters that aren't romantic?!" So I think it's possible haha.

Well, I don't know. I mean, is this about external facts (human psychology, sociology) or about language (how the term is used)? Or both?

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On 6/12/2022 at 7:26 PM, roboticanary said:

What I should have said was something like 'Taking someone out to see the stars'

which is arguable but I would say fits in with your cambidge definition in that it is an action done to express your feelings, although it may have little practical effect. If I understand the romantic mind right, you offer to do something with your romantic partner to express the feeling of love towards them. This would then be a gesture in that it is an action done to express feelings, rather than because there is any practical desire to watch the stars.

But yeah, sorry about that I really didn't think through the distinction between doing the activity and the gesture of taking someone to do the activity.

Well, you are forgiven. It is not me who is harmed by thy deeds, but only the English language.

 

But to now seriously get a better grasp on what actually a romantic gesture is, I googled for it and came across this site.

So here are my opinions on a few of those "romantic gestures".

Do the dishes or a chore that your significant other hates doing.
Approve. Also buy me a dishwasher.

Pick up the phone and give them a call instead of texting them.
Please text only.

Make a plan instead of debating where to eat or what movie to see.
Nope.

Bring them back a souvenir from you trip.
Approve. But do romantic couples travel separately?

Offer them the last bite.
Approve.

Bring home their favorite meal for dinner.
Approve.

Surprise them with something nice if they've had a bad day.
No surprises, please.

Buy them something you know they're about to run out of.
Approve.

Bring them their coffee in bed in the morning.
Ewwww no. I drink tea.

Dress up once in a while.
Please no.

Leave them little notes.
No, very annoying.

Tag them in a meme.
NO.

Pack them a lunch one day.
Approve.

Take them to your favorite places.
No, to my favorite places.

Insist on starting a show together.
Nope.

Put a picture of the two of you up.
Please no.

Share a secret family recipe with them.
Approve.

Tell them something you love about them
Don't care.

Pull them aside for a minute.
NOOOO!

Let them off the hook.
Yes, absolutely. I do indeed concur, wholeheartedly! (Commander William T. Riker, Star Trek: TNG, S02E02)

Put in the extra effort with people they love.
Approve.

Let them know you're thinking about them.
Don't care.

Try to read their emotions.
Please stop.

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On 6/13/2022 at 9:55 AM, Nix said:

That is such a nice idea! Though I get that it can cause all sorts of potential problems... I read this article a while back about a guy who was making wholesome video's for pornhub, I thought the idea was quite funny and he got a lot of positive responses.

I remember this guy. Those videos were truly unique in the sense that I haven't seen anything like them before or since. And the name, Creamer... LOL

51 minutes ago, DeltaV said:

Well, I don't know. I mean, is this about external facts (human psychology, sociology) or about language (how the term is used)? Or both?

I'm not seeing how the nature of love letters connects to human psychology or sociology, so I'm not quite sure how to answer. Language-wise, I'm not entirely a prescriptivist, either, so if someone wants to use "love letter" in a non-romantic sense, my answer is "why not?"

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1 hour ago, DeltaV said:

Bring them back a souvenir from you trip.
Approve. But do romantic couples travel separately?

I know some that do. But I’m guessing this list means a business trip.

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23 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Bring them their coffee in bed in the morning.
Ewwww no. I drink tea.

Turns out romance can be replaced with a teasmade

23 hours ago, DeltaV said:

Leave them little notes.

This would be utterly terrible for me because I leave a lot of notes lying around to remind me to do stuff or to remind me where I put things. Sorry dear, the love note says 'fix red shirt, bring trousers home, empty big rucksack'

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