How To Make Your Partner Feel More Romanced:

by Reid on May 28, 2013

Would you like simple ways to create more romance quickly and easily?

The secret is in figuring out who is a cat and who is a dog…

Here are my top techniques for helping your partner(s) feel loved and appreciated!

Just Getting AlongRomance Is NOT About Gender

A lot of people think of romance as a guy/girl thing. They think it all depends on gender. Men should do X and women should do Y and everyone’s happy. The problem with that is it builds up a wall between the genders and actually creates a false container that people think they need to live in. That false container inhibits our self-expression and ability to connect, and it brings along with it all kinds of cultural baggage. It also doesn’t account for same-sex relationships and queer and non-binary identities. The best relationship skills create freedom, self-expression, and authentic connection, which means you can like what you like whatever your genitals look like and whomever they like!

Are You More of a Cat or a Dog?

Don’t think about romance from a guy/girl perspective. Think about it from the perspective of cats vs. dogs. Now, I know for some of my relationship geeks out there, you’re saying, “Dude, you’re already going back into this dualism. What’s the difference between male/female if you’re just doing cats and dogs?” Bear with me for a moment.

If you are oriented to romance like a cat, you find romantic anything that proves that the person was thinking about you before you walked into the room. You get all warm and fuzzy over what I’m going to call forethought. Someone bringing home flowers for you, making dinner reservations, sending a card are all good examples.

For people oriented around romance like dogs (and I’m a dog by the way), anything that tells us that we’re a good dog is romantic. Telling your partner that they did something wonderful, you’re proud of them, or they made a good decision–approval makes a dog feel loved and opens them up.

Making Up

The Problem: Dogs are not usually thinking about things or people in advance. We’re very in the moment, very “now” oriented. So we don’t think about the people in our lives until we hear the keys in the door. Once we hear that key and doorknob turning, we get so excited! We’re so happy because you’re home! YOU’RE HOME! All we want is for you to tell us that we’re a good dog and have you play with us and feed us. That’s all. We’re very simple. But of course, for cats that’s not very thoughtful. Cats are wondering why you weren’t thinking of them before they arrived.

The Solution: Identify which your partner is more like, a cat or a dog. Of course, people are on a continuum and have some cat and some dog in them, but focus on their primary orientation. No matter what your romance orientation is, if you’re living with a cat, do some things for them that prove that you were thinking of them before you saw them. If you’re living with dogs in your life, acknowledge them, affirm them, and tell them, “good dog,” every once in a while.

Example 1: We’ve got date night, my partner is a cat, and I didn’t make reservations. Not because I wasn’t being thoughtful, but because in dog terms, what’s going to make me be a good dog is if I get you the food you want in that moment. I’m not thinking in advance of making a reservation because I don’t know what you’re going to be in the mood for. To a dog, getting you what you want in the moment equals doing a good job, and I wanted to do a good job.

But for the cat, there is frustration and a feeling of being uncared for. “Why you couldn’t pick up the phone and make a reservation? What’s up with that?”

If your partner is a cat, make the reservations and you’ll win lots of points, whether you picked the perfect restaurant or not (you can always change your mind and go someplace else!).

Confident young man in smart casual wear talking on the mobile phone and smiling while sitting at his working place in officeExample 2: Dogs are very confused when in the middle of their workday, their cat calls and says, “Hi. How’s your day going? I was just calling to tell you that I’m thinking about you.” This is a cat’s way of saying that they care. For us dogs, we think something’s wrong or that you need something. Why? Because, generally speaking, we would only call you if there was a reason. For dogs, “thinking of you” isn’t how our minds tend to work.

So cats, if you want to affirm your partner who is a dog, you can call them in the middle of the day, and say “I was thinking about you and how awesome you are in our relationship and what a good dog you are.” I’ve actually trained my friends to tell me, “Reid, good dog!” and that changes everything for me.

bigstock-Happy-Couple-Laughing-12041909BONUS: Romance Home Run!

If you want to turbo-charge your romance, go to Gary Chapman’s website on the five love languages (I’m not affiliated with his site, but the quiz on it rocks) and take the five love languages test. Have your partners take it, too.

People basically show they care and feel cared for in five basic ways or categories: gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, and touch. What you want to do is find out what are the top two or three love languages for your partner that make them feel cared for. And let your partner know yours, too.

Figure out if they’re a cat or a dog and then figure out how you could drop those two or three different ways that make them feel cared for into either a forethought or into an affirmation.

Here are some examples (of course you can tweak this for your particular partner’s favorites):

Gifts: Your partner feels loved when you give them gifts.
For Cats — Order several smaller gifts ahead of time and wrap them. Then give them one at a time to your cat when they least expect it!
For Dogs — When you’re with your dog and see something small that you know they like, run in and get it, telling them it’s a “good dog treat” for them being such a great partner.

Young couple doing chores together. Man loading dishwasher and wife holding laundry basketActs of Service: Doing things and tasks for your partner makes them feel loved.
For Cats — Do the dishes when it’s your partner’s turn, and tell them you remembered they had a big meeting the next day (or whatever is true for your situation), and that you wanted them to have some downtime.
For Dogs — Do the dishes when it’s your partner’s turn and have them sit in the kitchen with you while you tell them a favorite memory of how they rocked your world.

Words of Affirmation: Your partner feels loved when you affirm and appreciate them with words.
For Cats — leave little notes saying how much you appreciate them hidden around the house where they’ll find them.
For Dogs — Tell them how wonderful they are in the moment.

Quality Time: Spending time together (usually without distractions) is what makes your partner feel loved.
For Cats — Tell them ahead of time that you want to spend time with them at their favorite restaurant, and that you’ve already made the reservations!
For Dogs — Take a moment to set everything aside with your dog, look them deep in the eyes and be present with them while you tell them details of what a great job they did.

Touch: Physical touch is what makes your partner feel loved and connected.
For Cats — When your cat comes home, have candles, rose petals and soft music playing and tell them you want to give them a nice massage.
For Dogs — Cuddle them and rub their back while you tell them how amazing they are.

Homework: I want you using this new knowledge to start creating romance home runs in your life. A home run of romance makes your loved ones feel cared for and seen. And this knowledge can help them do the same for you. Can you see how that could make your relationship juicier and more nourishing!?

And remember that these approaches can work on your friends, family, and co-workers, too!

If you liked this article and would like my help upping your romance home run game, check out this easy to learn 7-secrets course I created with worksheets and videos of me walking you through creating (and hitting) perfect home runs for your dating and intimacy world!

Image of a couple holding the woman in the air against an orange sunset while she cheers with the text, "Your Romance Home Run; 6 Secretes to unlock you and your loved ones feeling cherished!" across the image

[9/18/2018, Edited to add some new examples, updated links, and a few, less gendered examples.]

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sharie Foster September 20, 2022 at 9:56 pm

I laughed so hard; and you got through to me SO DEEPLY and WONDERFULLY — just had to let you know!

So many things now make sense that didn’t before I read this sweet little piece. I’m definitely a cat/dog combo, slightly more on the dog side. The object of my affections is pretty much all in-the-moment dog, what’s your favorite food, what do you need right now. This information goes MANY MILES in my understanding what the communication “problem” was/is and why things don’t always flow.

A+!!!!! Excellent!!!!! : )


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