Define Your Romance and Live A Romantic Life

If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s possible to live a romantic life, here’s good news: Yes, you can. You don’t have to be in a fairytale. You don’t have to be a super model. You don’t have to be a rock star.

But you do need to commit yourself to change your life style, especially if your current life looks far from what you consider to be a romantic life for you.

You can’t just wait for something magical to happen. Let’s say you feel something romantic is missing from your life and you choose to do nothing about it and to wait for something that completely changes your life. This something might happen in a week, a month, a year, 10 years, or 40 years… or never. Do you want to play that game? All you need to do is to wait for something amazing to happen to you throughout your life, but you can do nothing but wait. No, thank you, I don’t want to play that game, because I believe it’s much more effective to be active and to work on creating the life I want to live.

In fact, I believe it’s fair to say that this something amazing is happening every moment, right in front of us. Or perhaps, right inside us. Unless you choose not to choose, we can choose what to do and, on a bigger scale, how we live.

Instead of waiting, you can define your romance and start living a romantic life on your own terms. It’s important to define your romance, because it’s your life and what a conventional image of romance (whatever that is) tells you may not be what you really want. Even if you do want to live the conventional romance kind of life, defining your romance will be a good exercise for you to reconsider how you want your life to look like.

I believe that there are some fundamental elements that make your life romantic, and I also believe that anyone who wants to live a romantic life should build up their romantic life based on these elements.

Generally speaking, it’s not what you do that makes your life romantic, but it’s who you are that makes your life romantic. For example, I believe you need to cultivate a great relationship with yourself and you need to be authentic and honest about who you are when you interact with others as well as yourself. Also, if you are romantically interested in women, I believe it is essential for you to be curious about women, to try to understand them and to celebrate them. Likewise, if you are romantically interested in men, again, I believe it is essential for you to be curious about men, to try to understand them and to celebrate them.

Beyond these fundamental elements, however, what kind of relationship you have, where you live, where you go, what you do and all other things in your life are up to you. Have you ever felt a strong emotion that you would classify as romantic? If so, what would make you feel that way? Is there any way for you to rearrange your life so you can feel that feeling more frequently than now? How do you want your life to look like?

By the way, you might be thinking, “Hey, that’s nice. But I’m in a relationship/married and I’m not sure if what you say applies to me”. It still applies to you, because being in a relationship is not the end of your journey and it’s a great opportunity for you and your partner to grow together. You can still define your romance and live a romantic life.

Or perhaps you might be thinking, “Well, I’m living a romantic life and I don’t need to define it again”. That’s great! I’m curious about your romantic life and how you define it. Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section.

For me, being romantic involves the following.

I will make sure that I’m a person who can notice and seize beautiful moments, which last forever in my memories as long as I’m alive. In order to be that person, I guide myself by curiosity, I do my best to be authentic and honest about who I am, and I live with the aim of witnessing and even bringing out the beauty in people I meet and in things I experience.

I also create a lifestyle that allows me to experience these moments more. This requires me to believe in my potential and in myself, to cultivate a great relationship with myself, to set a high purpose in my life, to keep learning and to provide value to others.

As I write this piece, it occurs to me that what I really mean by a romantic life is a life filled with love – love of knowledge, love of beauty, love of women, love of men, love of people, love of great conversations, love of loving, love of feeling loved, and love of whatever you do (for me, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu).

So, as of today, my brief answer to the question “How do you live a romantic life?” is: Know what you want in your life and take action to get it. Fill your life with love. Do it with love.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!

What is a romantic relationship?

What is a romantic relationship?

I got interested in this question recently and I want to share my thoughts about this question with you.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might be aware that I think a lot about living a romantic life, male-female dynamics, being an attractive person and things related to these topics; and also that my definition of being romantic involves such things as living your life on your own terms, making connections with amazing people around you, and celebrating what your life has to offer.

Given the way I see the notion of being romantic, my answer to the question above looks like the following.

For me, when you have a romantic relationship with someone, you share attitudes, visions, dreams, strengths and vulnerabilities with that person. Also, there’s some kind of mutual support between each other; you and the other person help each other grow. You are willing to learn from the other person and vice versa.

When we think of a romantic relationship, I bet we tend to think of the kind of relationship that involves a sexual relationship. But what I am suggesting as a romantic relationship doesn’t necessarily involve a sexual relationship. Sex is an important part of life, not only as a way of reproduction, but also as a way of giving and sharing great pleasure, and everyone should learn how to do it better, but at the same time, it doesn’t need to be a defining feature for a romantic relationship either.

The reason why I believe a romantic relationship doesn’t necessarily involve a sexual relationship is because you can share attitudes, visions, dreams, strengths and vulnerabilities with another person and support each other without involving a sexual relationship. Having said that, however, I sense that a sexual relationship can help you create a greater intimacy with that person when it’s done right.

Now. I believe that cultivating romatic relationships with people you are curious about is a great way to live a romantic life, because by making deep connections with those people, you are adding beautiful experiences to your life and at the same time you are enriching their lives.

While it may be rare to find people who truly resonate with you (there may be as many as six of them), I believe the best way to find such people is… to start flirting.

The Art of Flirting

A while ago, I read the following tweet on Twitter and I think it’s a fantastic definition of flirting.

My definition of flirting is two people getting to know each other better and showing interest in each other – @AFlirtYourself

Did you think it was going to be something more complicated? Fortunately or unfortunately, it’s really simple.

All you need to do is to choose to be curious about people around you and to express that curiosity to those people.

You might be conditioned to be afraid of expressing your romantic interests and of being rejected. It’s natural, I suppose. But you should know that you don’t need worry too much about them. Also, you can simply express such fears to the person you like when you express your interests in that person.

In fact, if you live a romantic life in which you are curious about things and people around you, you express yourself, and you show up as your authentic self, it becomes impossible not to flirt with people you are interested in!

Of course, some of them may not be interested in you, but that’s not something you need to worry about. Showing up as who you are and expressing your curiosity are your primary tasks when you live a romantic life; responses you get from people you flirt with, whether they are good responses or bad responses, are not as important as completing those primary tasks after all.

Flirting initiates a romantic relationship with someone. When you continue flirting with that person – that is, you continue to try to get to know that person better and keep your curiosity towards that person always fresh and when it’s mutual, you are cultivating your relationship with that person. Flirting in this sense is, I believe, essential in maintaining a romantic relationship.

What do you think about these ideas? Is there anything that stops you from flirting and/or cultivating a romantic relationship with others?

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Photo: ralphbijker

On choosing to live a romantic life

If you celebrate whatever you celebrate on Valentine’s Day, you can celebrate it everyday. The very first step is to choose to celebrate. You can choose to live your life as a celebration of everything you experience.

Assuming that you don’t live your life this way, I bet it will take some time for this attitude to be completely part of you. The change is happening in me and I’m getting closer to that person who celebrates everything in his life, but I’m still working on it.

Be curious about things and people around you. Enjoy the sense of possibility – that is, you choose not to fear what might happen, but you choose to enjoy what might happen. It’s possible that things go wrong, but against all the evidence you can find for them going wrong, it’s possible that things go right.

On a personal level, at least, the question is simple: Which possibility do you want to happen? Once you’ve made it clear, you believe in it and take action so you can make it happen.

Yes. Make it happen.

If you want to live a romantic life in which you love and are loved, then you don’t need to wait for me to make the world more romantic. You simply choose to make the world more romantic for you by believing in the romance and taking action. Don’t be one of those people who keep wishing to live a romantic life, but actually don’t believe in the romance or take action to make it happen. Here’s a rhetorical question for you – do you really think those who believe they will lose even before they start fighting… can win the battle?

Some might say that you can’t force romances to happen, because that would be unnatural. I say they ain’t seen nothing yet. You certainly can’t plan that you will meet the right guy or girl for you at 4pm on Sunday next week. Or you can’t decide whoever you will meet at 4pm on Sunday next week will be the right guy or girl for you. But you can treat people around you as amazing people and be curious about them, for example. That way, you are more likely to meet amazing people and it’s possible that you will share some romantic moments with some of them. Choosing to live that way is something you can do. In that sense, you can make romances happen. Choose to live your life romantically – the world needs your courageous heart to be a lover of your beautiful life.

Does it sound simplistic? Maybe it does. But things can be this simple and there’s nothing wrong with them being simple. In fact, there’s no reason why we should make things more complicated than necessary when the simple will do.

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Photo: +mara

Curiosity meets romance: the art of being a hopeful romantic

The Art of Curiosity + The Art of Romance = The Art of Being A Hopeful Romantic

One of the greatest things I learnt from the Ars Amorata program, an online course on how to live a purposeful life as a man who loves and celebrates women, is the importance of curiosity.

This trait is so fascinating that I’ve been curious and thinking about it for some time. Recently, things have started falling into place and some fresh ideas came to me. I want to share these ideas with you in this post.

The focus of this post is curiosity applied to romance – I believe there’s a strong connection between these things.

In my view…

  • Curiosity brings romances to you.
  • Curiosity helps you make deeper connections with people you find attractive.
  • Curiosity helps you become more attractive as a person.

Let me explain each one in turn.

Curiosity brings romances to you

A romance begins when you are (romantically) curious about someone. There’s something that fascinates you about that person, and it makes you curious. You don’t know what that is and can’t quite figure it out. So, your curiosity stirs up your desire to know that person better.

So, what now? You can talk with him or her and discover who he or she is.

When you interact with that person, make sure to let him or her know that you are curious about him or her as well.

I believe this “letting them know” part is crucial. It can be subtle or direct, but do make sure to convey your curiosity to that person. What you are conveying, essentially, is that you find that person interesting and you want to know more about him or her. When you do it correctly, this can become a powerful compliment you can give to that person. (If you don’t do it, you might end up letting that potential romance go… as this short video illustrates.)

Yes, I know what some of you are thinking.

“But, I can’t find people who I can be curious about! I’ve got higher expectations and standards!”


I see your expectations and standards are high, but why don’t you choose to be curious about others? Not just about those you find attractive, but also people around you. I will explain this idea a bit more later, but I believe that people who have genuine curiosity towards other people tend to be much more attractive than those who have no curiosity towards people around them.

Actually, I was once there. Don’t look for someone to notice you, but choose to be curious about others instead. It’s much more rewarding and fun.

Curiosity is like a seed and you need to cultivate your curiosity in order for it to develop into a full romance. But if you are never curious about others, then it’s hard for potential romances to grow further.

Curiosity helps you make deeper connections with people you find attractive

Curiosity is not just for igniting a potential romance and turning it into a substantial relationship.

Being and staying curious about your partner is essential in maintaining a great relationship with him or her as well.

The following quotes express what I want to say about this idea.

The quality of your relationship does not depend on the clear communication between you and your partner, but on your willingness to understand each other.” – Hans Comijn

Love is three quarter curiosity.” – Giacomo Casanova

I believe curiosity towards your partner is a fuel for your willingness to understand him or her. Being in a relationship is like going on an adventure together; it’s not about one chasing the other, but about finding treasures and growing up with one another.

Stay curious, and try to understand your partner in this journey.

Some of you might have noticed, but I’m fond of this Casanova quote. I’m still wondering what the other quarter of love is, but let me mention something – I believe the opposite of love is not hatred, but I believe it’s indifference. When you are no longer curious about your partner is when your relationship is coming to an end.

Oh well. Where’s the passion gone…?

Don’t let that happen. Stay curious. Keep seducing your partner by being curious about him or her! Keep that fire burning. Yes.

Curiosity helps you become more attractive as a person

The kind of curiosity I’m talking about here is more general and broader than the kind I was talking about in the previous ideas. Let’s talk about something much, much broader. It’s curiosity about what your life has to offer that helps you become more attractive as a person.

Let this kind of curiosity guide you in your life! You will be more active, enjoy your life, and grow significantly as a person. There’s a lot of talk about passion, and I’m inclined to think that curiosity is an essential ingredient for passion as well. Be curious and be passionate about your life. Living your life this way will make you much, much more attractive as a person.

People who have no curiosity about how they live are boring. OK, that sounds like a big statement, but hey, how can bored people be interesting? They don’t live an active life, they don’t try anything new, they don’t interact with others, and they are stuck with their routines.

Remember Neil Pasricha‘s TED talk that I introduced in a recent post? In that talk, Neil talks about how to have an awesome life and he identifies 3 key traits that make your life awesome: attitude, awareness, and authenticity. We can apply this curiosity business to these traits as well.

You can have the attitude of curiosity that you choose to be curious about what your life has to offer. By being curious about it, you’ll be aware of what’s happening around you. Your curiosity is unique to yourself – embrace your curiosity, because that’s an authentic part of you. I’m even happy to say that you are what you are curious about.

Now. Let me go back to something I said earlier… that people who have genuine curiosity towards other people tend to be much more attractive than those who have no curiosity towards people around them.

What does that mean?

I’m still brewing this idea, but I want to share it with you and want to hear what you think about it.

So, there has been a lot of talks about how to attract men or women. These talks give you tips, but they are usually about manipulating or tricking others into liking you. Even something like “presenting your best self” can become a manipulation or a trick when there is such an intention, although it is a great piece of advice when you do it naturally.

But, why should we try to attract others anyway? Well, maybe that’s because we want them to like us… and that’s because we like them, right?

What I want to express here is: Why don’t we get attracted to them first? I can’t draw a precise line between being attracted and being curious. I don’t know what differentiates them if there is a difference between them, but I assume they are essentially the same. Or at least, it seems to me that being attracted involves being curious.

Before waiting for others to notice you and be curious about you, why don’t you actively seek for something interesting about people you find attractive – actually, people in general – and try to find out why they make you curious. This attitude will help you interact with them better. Why? If you treat them as interesting people, it’s very likely that they will respond you as interesting people. It’s simple as that. And we all love to be treated as someone interesting.

Another idea I have is that by being curious about that person, you are almost making an instant mini-connection with him or her – you’ve just established that you share the same interest with that person. I’m pretty sure we’re all interested in ourselves and your curiosity towards that person connects with that person’s curiosity towards himself or herself.

I firmly believe that similarities between you and others will bring you guys closer and connect with one another. So, this similar interest can help you get you and that person closer.

One thing to note in relation to these ideas is… you must be genuinely curious and genuinely attracted to people you find attractive. If you have hidden agendas or don’t express your intention clearly, then you are likely to lose something genuine from the way you behave around them.

Really, really try to understand them, rather than just being nosy or halfheartedly curious.

By the way, if you haven’t looked at the previous post that collects 15 quotes on curiosity, here it is.

What do you think about these ideas?


I hope this post has given you some insights. If you liked it and thought it was thought provoking, do share this article with your friends. That’s how you can support me and I’d really appreciate it. You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or e-mail, too. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!

Photo: Alain Wibert

Connecting 4 dots: how to live a romantic life and make the world more romantic

This post is for those who want to live a romantic life and to make the world more romantic. I’ll give you a brief outline of how you can do that by minimizing stuff, maximizing experience, living your life as your art, and finally, making the world more romantic.

From one idea to four steps: How I got there

In the middle of 2010, I realized a higher purpose of my life -  I want to make the world more romantic. This is one of the big things I want to achieve in my life, because I see it’s how I can make the world a better place. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may know what I’m talking about. If you are new to this blog, you may not see what I mean. Keep reading on and you’ll know it.

Around the same time, I figured that I want to live my life as my art. That’s another ambiguous idea, especially when you try to understand what exactly it means.

These ideas get along with one another pretty well, because living your life as your art is, in my view, what it means to live romantically. If you live romantically, you are making the world a little bit more romantic. So, there you go.

Living my life as my art is how I make the world more romantic – this has been the core theme of this blog, and writing about it helped me clarify what’s involved in living your life as your art.

How do you live your life as your art? Wait, what exactly does it mean to live your life as your art? I’ll give more detailed answers to these questions, but for now, let me say this – living your life as your art means living fully, and you live it by maximizing experience.

In order to maximize experience, you need to get rid of or stay away from distractions, blocks, and clutters. In other words, you need to minimize stuff.

Through clarification, I came to realize that this project of making the world more romantic consists of the following 4 steps.

  • Minimize stuff
  • Maximize experience
  • Live your life as your art
  • Make the world more romantic

How They Are Connected

Before I explain what’s involved in these step, I want to draw connections between each step so you can have a better grasp of the big picture. The first step is to minimize stuff. What I mean by “stuff” here is everything that creates distractions for you. By eliminating such distractions as much as possible, you’ll have a good foundation for the second step: maximizing experience. If you choose to live your life as your art, which is the third step, maximizing experience is a great way to do so, because living your life as your art involves meeting amazing people as well as having wonderful experiences. Once you’ve completed this step, the fourth step – making the world more romantic should be easy enough for you, because you are already being romantic by living your life as your art and what you can do further is to connect with other amazing people who live an amazing life; that’s how we make the world more romantic.

First Step: Minimizing Stuff

How do you focus on what you want to do when there are so many things that keep you away from what you love and what you want to do in your life? You could try by using various methods to manage clutters and to make sure you focus on what you want to do.

But that’s like fighting a fight you can’t win. Instead of wasting your time, energy and resources, avoid fighting and move on.

For a quick start, you can start eliminate things you have. Do you need that pile of documents? No? Get rid of them. Have you worn those clothes recently? No? You can get rid of them too.

In addition to physical distractions, there are mental distractions as well. It may be trickier to get rid of mental distractions than physical distractions, but it can be done. For example, you can write down whatever that comes to your mind for 3 pages by handwriting every morning. This exercise is one of the core exercises in Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. If you keep doing it everyday for a few months, it can help you dump your mental distractions.

If you don’t have to manage your physical or mental distractions, you’ll be able to have more time, energy and other resources for what you love. This alone can be a great motivation to minimize stuff. But what we want to aim here is more than that. We want to maximize experience.

Second Step: Maximize Experience

There could be various ways of describing why one wants to maximize experience, but I believe the fundamental reason that underlies them is to live the best life one could live. You want to live fully, don’t you? I do.

How can we maximize experience? I think the following are essential:

  • Know what you want to do: Knowing what you want to do gives you a direction. If you know it already, that’s great. You can focus on it. If you don’t know it yet, don’t worry. You have plenty of time to figure it out, but make sure to start working on it right now.
  • Be curious: Curiosity is one of the best things you can have when you maximize experience. Curiosity helps you be open to wonderful and beautiful experiences life has to offer. Also, I believe the desire to satisfy your curiosity is a great motivator for what you do. So, it’s important to develop your curiosity. This is especially true if you’ve lost your curiosity somewhere along the way while growing up.
  • Celebrate: Live to celebrate your life. Whether to celebrate it or not is a choice you can make. Everything and everyone will enrich your life one way or another if you choose to learn lessons from them. If you live with this attitude, your life will be richer than now.

Third Step: Live Your Life As Your Art

I like this art metaphor, and it’s because I want to see my life as something I create rather than something I have no control of. Also, I believe that amazing people I meet as well as great experiences I experience contribute to my art. In fact, I believe they are invaluable elements of my art. They give me stories, visions, sounds, and everything else that enriches my life. I want to create this artwork and share it with those who matter to me.

Most of how I create it is already covered in Second Step – by maximizing experience.

One extra thing you need to do when taking this step is to be aware of your creation. Some of you may not fancy living your life this way and may want to live it another way. That’s totally fine. If you want to live your life as your art, however, you can do it by all means. This attitude of living your life as your art will get you move into that direction.

This way of living will be much better when you connect with other people who have the same attitude towards living. Connect with them, and combine your art with their arts. It will become something greater.

Fourth Step: Making The World More Romantic

If you’ve completed the three steps above, I guarantee you that you’ve become the romance you want to see in the world. The world has one more person who lives her or his life fully and it has become a little bit more romantic for that reason.

Once you’ve got to this stage, I believe you’ll be able to start influencing others to live their lives fully. This will help making the world more romantic, too.


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Could there be a romantic monkey?

When I talk about making the world more romantic, I believe that some of you, if not many of you, probably think that I’m talking about what’s often depicted in the main stream media. An example could be a man behaving like a gentleman, caring a woman like a princess, carrying her bag, buying her flowers and chocolates and making everything sweet for her.

You may be glad or disappointed to hear that I’m not talking about romance in that sense. Of course, doing this kind of things is nice and sweet and I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do such things under any circumstance. I should let you know where I’m coming from.

I want to tell you a little bit about why the example above doesn’t necessarily fit with my idea of being romantic. If we look at what this man in the example does, we might conclude that he’s a romantic person. But is he really? What if he is simply following an instruction? We could teach a monkey to pass flowers to a woman, but I believe that it doesn’t make this monkey a romantic monkey. The monkey did it, because he was instructed to do so.

We could also look at the man’s intention for doing supposedly romantic things. Why does he do these things? I can’t list every possible reason here, but I know a few that I think are questionable as an intention. For example, he does it because it’s supposed to be romantic. And let’s not stop here. Why does he want to do what’s supposed to be romantic? I guess the major reason could be that he wants to impress the girl in the hope that she will like him.

So, he has an agenda and that’s why he acts that way. He buys flowers for her, because he is trying to make her like him with this gift. In a way, he is changing the way he is according to what she might like in his view. In other words, he is not presenting his authentic self. That doesn’t sound like being open to the world, because if he was open to the world, he wouldn’t have to change the way he is. He would instead choose to see what will happen to them if he shows up as who he really is.

I believe that if he has this attitude of showing up in the world with his authentic self, it will make him more romantic if he hasn’t already been that way.

I hope this entry clarified what I mean by ‘being romantic’. If you like this idea, you can help me make the world more romantic too – all you need to do is to show up and stand on this earth as who you are I don’t know if monkeys could be romantic, but I know you could!

photo: SpiritMama