Help! I’m Crushed-Out!
December 6, 2010 9:23 PM   Subscribe

I would like to pitch woo to (at?) the boyfriend this holiday season. And I would love your suggestions.

The deal: I was thinking about my boyfriend the other day and was suddenly besotted by warm, fuzzy feelings. Some fluttery palpitations, even. Since my general approach to life can probably be described as “cynical,” I figure it might be fun to jump on these foreign feelings and express them to their fullest. Hence – impish gestures of the romantic kind (these can be gifts, activities, or any combination of the two).

The problem: for whatever reason, my initial impulses all revolve around baked goods (such as a tray of cupcakes decorated with scenes from our fun times together), but the boy doesn’t eat grains or dairy. Thus, all cakes and brownies are out. In fact, our diets are radically different, so making him a nice dinner could get tricky.

Also, I’m a jaded cynic, right? Obviously, romantic ideas don’t come easily to me. A few threads touch upon this topic, but a lot focus on romancing women or spicing up marriages. Nice, but not everything applies (it’s not really about gender boundaries, though he might not be impressed by flowers, but we don’t live together, so a lot of the “leave cute notes around” and “do her laundry!” advice isn’t really useful). Hence, I was wondering if you had any ideas.

Some info and guidelines:

- He is in his thirties: somewhat reserved, moderately sarcastic, very smart. Reads a ton, and then some. More a laid-back let’s-look-at-art type than a let’s-go-scale-a-ravine! kind of guy. Not a huge fan of current snowy conditions. Not a huge fan of it, at all.

- I am poor. Inexpensive = good.

- The idea of a series of romantical gestures, several things that can be spaced out over the course of several weeks, kind of sounds great right now. Since he really likes the holiday season (the music, the lights, the excitement), but isn’t into stuff, anything that could tie into December festivities and make it an especially memorable month would be nice.

- While not necessary, bonus points of Salt Lake City-specific suggestions.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (19 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I know you said he doesn't like Snowy, but ice skating is pretty cliche-romantic, and cheap, and fun! Even for us people who hate the snow.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 9:30 PM on December 6, 2010

Can you sorta draw? Can you maybe hide 12 days of Christmas post-its where he will find them (perhaps in the book he's reading)? Alternately, you might find the nice neighborhood in town and go check out the lights. I'm tremendously cynical, but the lights sort of make it ok. Maybe you could make some wassail?
posted by Gilbert at 9:34 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

A stack of love coupons. Printed, or hand-written. They can range from whimsical (ONE FREE KISS!!!) to useful (One-hour backrub) to funny/useful (Get out of doghouse free) to sexy (you can figure this one out).

Print on card stock, not ordinary paper. Laminate for extra pizazz. Add some clipart if you like.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:34 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Find a couple of great books you think he'll like. Used is fine. Ones you're at least familiar with, and then start adding little notes all over them. In the margins, in the white space at the end of chapters, above chapter titles. Comment on the plot, or make fun of the archaic language because it's from the 1920s, or just crack jokes.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:49 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

The correct preposition, according to Cole Porter, for pitching woo is "with".

Moving on... if you're so inclined, as a diehard wordie nerd there's a certain intimacy, nay romanticism in doing crossword puzzles together, maybe get a book of crossword puzzles to do together.

As a nerd, I like going to marvel at things that have labels on them, so botanical gardens and natural history museums provide a good venue for opening up the childlike wonder pathways and giving a frission of understanding. Try that. And then making out near geological samples is totally hot.
posted by thusspakeparanoia at 9:51 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Are you familiar with the book/concept of "Love Languages"? The general idea is that different people feel love different ways. Some people feel loved when they hear loving words from you, some want quality time from you, some feel loved when they receive gifts, some people feel loved when you do favors or chores for them, and for some people it's a matter of physical affection.

Take some time to figure out which of these resonate most strongly with your boyfriend. (His preferences may very well be different from yours.) Then tailor your "loving gesture" to fit the way your boyfriend feels most strongly.

Otherwise, you might be pitching woo with all the best intentions in the world, only to have it fall on deaf ears.
posted by browse at 9:58 PM on December 6, 2010

My general feeling is that most guys appreciate anything that even seems like you went out of your way for just them. Does he have a thing he really enjoys? Or a food he hankers for? Or a thing that he would never actually get himself, but would love it was in his house (don't laugh, but my wife will eat a ton of 50 cent bubble gum if it happens to be around)? In this particular case, it sounds like the thought is really what counts. Money shouldn't be an issue, here: Just knowing him well.
posted by Gilbert at 10:05 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh man. I heard Salt Lake City and immediately started thinking in terms of "let's go scale a ravine!"

More usefully:

- Write him letters. It doesn't matter if you see him all the time; getting personal mail is special. Send him vivid postcards.

- Here are events listed by City Weekly

- Take him to some of the free SLC art museums, including the Salt Lake Art Center and the Planetarium. Just do a Google search on whatever the two of you find interesting, and you'll find tons of free/cheap stuff.

- Take him to visit the lights downtown. Isn't there a Christmas Street in Sugarhouse somewhere? It isn't officially named that, but everyone on the street puts Christmas lights up.

- Take him out to a coffee shop. There are a ton in SLC! There's also the Vertical Diner next to the SLC Bike Collective and Sage's Cafe if you're looking to take him out to eat. They both seem like they might be good bets for gluten-free food. Actually, here's a list of gluten-free/friendly SLC restaurants.

- Take turns reading parts of interesting books out loud to each other

- What's one of your favorite things to do? What's one of his favorite things to do? Combine those two interests. Now find a non-profit organization based on those that can use you for your volunteer labor. Do that together. I know it doesn't sound romantic, but some of the most fun I have with my lover is when we're discussing ideas about our non-profit org together.

- I know it's cold, but if you get out of the city, the mountains in your area are GREAT for star-gazing. Keep it in mind for the summertime?
posted by aniola at 10:07 PM on December 6, 2010

Best answer: I have mentioned this on MeFi before, but this treasure hunt (self link) was both fun to do, and I think he enjoyed it. You don't have to go all out - even a small treasure hunt in your house/apartment can be fun.
posted by gemmy at 10:12 PM on December 6, 2010

flowers always melt the cynical--they expect the force field to repel all cliched gestures, which is why such gestures work with them. Pick a flower with meaning.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:13 PM on December 6, 2010

First... stop referring to him as "the boy"..maybe it's my age, but somehow, somewhere that rings as ...I don't know... not a good thing, immature...see him as a man, respond and treat him as such.

I was struck by your use of the word "impish", nice... use that image, that thought, embrace it, enhance it... I would suspect that the concept, the elf/fairy/free spirit of that concept could bring some fun/erotic/playful nuances into the relationship..

be light, be fun, be open and trusting... make it tactile, fragrant, visual...

have fun...

and, good for you, for both of you.
posted by HuronBob at 10:17 PM on December 6, 2010

The treasure hunt idea is a good one. As a not-dissimilar-to-yours male pretty much any broad, unabashed gesture of love is likely to generate those perhaps fluttery palpitations. So, just don't agonize oer it or anything.

Also, I googled some about it, but didn't see anything that seemed informative. Grains?
posted by cmoj at 10:29 PM on December 6, 2010

Best answer: write poems
copy poems
make snow angels with a fire and hot drinks nearby
wear nothing under your coat
offer to kiss him, where he has never been kissed before, every Friday
mail a paper letter every day
use spray snow to make hearts on car or house windows
put burma shave type signs on his commute route
slip something in his coat pocket
get a group to sing carols outside his home
posted by llc at 11:00 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

A Paleolithic steak begins with hunting. If you want to skip some steps, grilling a steak in a fireplace or on a grill is very easy. Stone Age people didn't use French techniques or marinades. If you want to, you can't help but succeed and he might appreciate your interest in his interest. Wearing a tiger skin would help.
posted by llc at 11:08 PM on December 6, 2010

I know it sounds silly, but I'd be awed if you simply showed this post to me if I was your boyfriend. Maybe you could do that after you dazzle him with the other stuff? I'm a firm believer in the old saying, "It's the thought that counts."

Not much help, here, I know, but I really liked your post and the obvious feelings behind it and they both warmed my heart. Good luck!
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 11:17 PM on December 6, 2010

Steak! Here's what I read/followed (previously on MeFi) and all steaks previous to this were Fails.
posted by mostlybecky at 7:27 AM on December 7, 2010

You can still bake! Try searching the internet for "Paleo Dessert Recipies". If he is not totally sugar free it will be pretty easy and you can do a flourless chocolate cake, truffles, or a custard/sabayon recipe. If he doesn't eat refined sugar, it gets a little harder, but it is still possible.
Here are a few recipes I found (I've made the first two, can't vouch for the others):
Apricot Walnut Balls
Cherry Ripe Bites (there are a few options on her site)
Baked Chocolate Coconut Milk Custard (has chocolate, but most paleo types will do dark chocolate every so often - just make sure it is dairy free)
Blackberry Cobbler
posted by smalls at 8:05 AM on December 7, 2010

Some small, everyday romantic gestures at home go a long way. When he's tired and sitting on the couch watching TV, hand him a beer and slip off his shoes and give him a foot rub (if he likes those.) Doesn't have to be a big deal.
posted by egeanin at 10:37 AM on December 7, 2010

Someone suggested you mail him letters. You can also mail him other stuff. It's fun to get mail, and it also tells him you thought about him when he wasn't there (and now he gets a reminder of you when you're not there).
posted by pompelmo at 9:59 PM on December 7, 2010

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