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tips to help plan a romantic dinner

There are a lot of ways to add romance to your relationship, but one of the best ways is to create and plan a great romantic dinner. Whether you are cooking, going out, or even having the food brought to you, the key is not in the dinner itself but in the mood you set for the evening. If you are planning the night just to get to the reward at the end, it will be easy for her to see right through your plan. On the other hand, if you make the night all about her and what she enjoys, the rest will happen naturally and better. Here are five tips to help you plan the perfect romantic dinner.

The Romance Starts Before The Dinner

The perfect romantic dinner takes some time and some planning. If you are planning the night for Friday, do not wait until Friday morning to ask her if she is free. Maybe a week before you plan to take her out, tell her about your plan and ask her if she would accompany you on a date together. Do not give any details yet, just tell her you would like to take her out. Either go out shopping with her the week before or ask her best friend to help you out on this one. But I would suggest, on the morning of your date, to have a brand new dress hanging on the door frame of her bedroom with a note on it that says, "Wear this tonight, I want to take you somewhere nice." Also, do not be afraid to go with a "corny but classic" move and send flowers to her workplace. This shows her that you are thinking about her, especially if it is not a holiday, but it also allows her to brag about the great man in her life to others. Do not overdo it, but send her a bouquet of her favorite flowers in her favorite color with a note letting her know that you are looking forward to your evening together.

Forget About Yourself

It is easy to see when someone is talking about you but thinking about themselves. As men, we are generally much worse at this than the women that we love. To make the night perfect, however, it is important to learn how to forget about yourself and focus on her. Listen to what she says, respond when a response is needed but know when to just listen. We do not often do this, but when we really want to, we can, and the results are amazing. Part of this is steering the conversation towards things that she enjoys. For instance, just because the NBA playoffs are starting soon, or the NFL season is kicking off, does not mean you have to bring it up on your date. Think about the things that make her happy, learn about those things, and strike up conversations that excite her.

Sometimes, Cooking At Home Is Most Romantic

There are two ways (three if you consider take out) to approach your romantic dinner. If you have even basic cooking skills, this is your opportunity to show them off. Women love a man who knows his way around a kitchen and this is your chance to show you have the right blend of precision, creativity, and the ability to listen to what she likes and doesn't like.

Another benefit of cooking at home is that you are already in a private area should things be ready to proceed to the next level.

Other Times, Choosing The Perfect Restaurant Is Better

This is, of course, part of step one, but we should go into some more detail about choosing the perfect restaurant for your romantic outing. Remember, it is not about the food entirely, but we all know that it is always a little bit about the food. No matter how much you love a good steak, if she prefers a vegetarian platter or pasta, take her to the restaurant that she would enjoy. Maybe there is a place she has been wanting to try, a place you know she will love, or a place that is really outside of your price range, but you do it to make the night special. Again, think about what she wants and prefers and cater the restaurant choice to that.

Consider The Menu In Terms of Romantic Opportunities

There are some foods that you may absolutely love but are just too messy, smelling, or require a specific palette to enjoy. Generally speaking, you should avoid those. For instance, menu items with spinach can tend to get stuck in teeth while garlic and onions can turn your breath foul. Similarly, noodle dishes such as spaghetti or pho might want to be skipped tonight so you can avoid slurping noises or even worse,  clothing stains.

When You Get To The Table

Having something special pre-ordered and waiting at your table is a great way to show her that you have been looking forward to this night for a while. It could be extra candles, a great appetizer, or a single rose waiting for her to sit down. The bottom line is to show her that this night means a lot to you because you can show her how much you love her. Pull the seat out for her and do not sit before she does. Stand up when she leaves to go to the restroom and give her the time she needs to sit and enjoy the atmosphere before ordering. All of this should have happened after you opened her car door for her, wrapped your coat around her shoulders if it is cold, and made a gesture to open the restaurant door before she could attempt to do so herself. Most of these things are just good manners, but doing them to show her how much you care is a great touch.

Ending The Meal On a High Note And Be Ready For What's Next

If you've chosen to go the restaurant route, skip dessert. Instead, hen you get home, walk her into a a candlelit room with a table that is fully set with ornate napkins, fine china, and real silverware. Have her favorite, shareable dessert on the table waiting to enjoy it together while you finish off the evening again focusing on her and letting her know how great your night has been. If this is too much pressure then consider a post dinner stroll and a stop at a favorite coffee shop where you can share a desert or some ice cream before heading home.

A romantic dinner is not a means to an end and a gentleman should NEVER consider that the woman owes him anything other than courtesy. However, let's be real. You spent this time and effort in an attempt to show the woman you care about how much you love her. If you do this, the "ending" of your night will be a happy one.

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