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I was in a relationship with a woman, went out on several dates (more than 3), but, nothing exciting happened. We didn't break up, we just kind of stopped talking to each other. About a year later (now minus a week or so) she asked if I wanted to "hang out." I agreed since I still liked her and we went out on a long walk. It still didn't feel romantic at all.

How can I make our relationship more romantic this time?

closed as too broad by Ælis, avazula, MlleMei, OldPadawan, Anilla Mar 5 at 13:29

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    Was it clear that your dates were dates? Or is it possible you were just spending time as friends doing date-like activities, such as seeing a movie or having dinner togther? – Fodder Jun 28 '17 at 2:27
  • @Fodder This question kills me. The only thing I have to go on is that when I first asked her out, I specifically said "date." – 10 Replies Jun 28 '17 at 2:32
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    There are a billion things you could do. What you should do we can't tell you because we don't know you. You've given so little detail, and even if you added lots more detail, it still wouldn't be enough. How to change the entire nature of a relationship is just too broad for this site. – curiousdannii Jun 28 '17 at 12:19
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    @curiousdannii It actually seems to be the same type of question as interpersonal.stackexchange.com/questions/87/… both are "what should I do?" questions. Except this one was put on hold and the other was upvoted. We need to make some sort of decision bout this on the meta – 10 Replies Jun 28 '17 at 12:51
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    "What is the first step to get in touch with an out-of-contact friend?" is much tighter than "how to make a relationship more romantic?" This site probably does need a canonical "how can I determine if someone is romantically interested in me?" question, but it should be asked as a new question. – curiousdannii Jun 28 '17 at 12:54
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Just wait - a little.

It's been a year - that's a long time! It sounds like you guys were close but not incredibly close; you both might have changed in that time and still need to get to know each other again. She may still be evaluating whether or not she wants a romantic relationship, and you should do the same. She might just want to be friends again, or she might want more. Odds are good that her mind is not made up. She might be thinking the same as you, or not.

So let her make her mind up - or at least think things over some more. Go hang out together again; it seems like the walk went pretty well. That's a good sign. Maybe do something more date-like, like a movie, maybe with some other friends. Make it clear, above all, that you want to get to know her again. Then take baby steps. It's not the same as picking up right where you ended after Date #3. You're starting almost from square one.

It's also worth considering how things ended between you. You didn't break up, but things slowed down and the relationship sort of fell apart. It's sort of a weird situation, because it's not clear whether there was a romantic relationship at all, or if it stopped being romantic at any point. It's completely possible that she interpreted things differently.

Don't rush it. Don't assume that she is, emotionally, where you are.

Finally, you don't have to guess about things. I've had cases in a relationship where neither of us were sure of the status of things, and it wasn't always good. In retrospect, it might have been better to try to figure things out together and talk it out. The caveat here, though, is that the relationship was definitely romantic, and certainly larger than just a few dates.

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Talk to her about your relationship and don't feel like you have to make the relationship "more romantic."

There's a concept that polyamorous people talk about: the "Relationship Escalator." We're told (at least in the US) that there's a number of steps that a relationship should follow, from intimate friends all the way to old married couples. Society tells us to just sort of keep going in a relationship and expect those steps to progress and be upset if they don't, but that's nonsense.

If she contacted you after a long time, that suggests she's interested in spending time with you. Don't feel that escalating romance should be the goal of your time; the goal of your time should be to have a nurturing time together. Just ask her what she thinks about your relationship, tell her how you think about it, and discuss the ways it might evolve.

You don't have to make it a heavy, intimidating Relationship Talk. Some good small talk for long walks or chatting online:

  • "So, what made you reconnect after we drifted apart?"
  • "When we went out to the movies a bunch a year ago... were those dates?"
  • "What sort of things are you interested in doing with me in the short term?"

It will probably feel very silly to ask this sort of question, but you'll likely be glad that you did. Also, if you don't enjoy talking to her about this sort of thing, you're less likely to enjoy an extended romantic relationship with her.

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Your goal shouldn't be to make the relationship "more romantic." It should be to give it the best potential. That appears to be happening. The fact that the two of you got back together after a year is encouraging.

You've noted that there is no "excitement" in the relationship. There seems to be no "chemistry." That makes a romantic relationship hard, though not impossible. In the majority of such situations, something would have happened in either the first or second go-arounds. This is a different field, but a salesman once noted that 70% of his sales relationships began on the first call, 23% on the second, only 7% on the third or subsequent calls. He considered it an incentive to "cold call."

What's apparent is that this relationship, if it survives, will be a "long distance race." It's possible that one or both of you won't want to stick around. But "points" to you for trying and "double points" if you actually succeed someday.

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What you should do:

Forget that you asked her to a dance, she didn't want to go, and you were hurt. Forget that. Or at least pretend that did not happen.

I think your problem is (as my Mother said) no relationship stands still, they go forward or they go backward.

So ask her out, again. Someplace like a walk, ironically, or wandering a mall, or sightseeing, or someplace you need to drive awhile to reach. Ask her why the two of you trailed off and stopped seeing each other, and if that was your fault. Don't argue with her!

Scenarios: (1) She blames you, (2) She blames herself, (3) She doesn't know.

(1) [Blames You] Apologize as needed. Then "I wanted to be more than friends, so if you feel the same, maybe you could tell me where I went wrong, so I could try again." That should get her to tell you either you are firmly in the friend zone, or you are not.

(2) [Blames Herself] "I wanted to be more than friends, maybe the timing was wrong. I still feel that way, I don't know if you do. Should I try again?"

(3) [Doesn't Know] Blame yourself. "I really wanted to be more than friends, and I think I just did not know the right next move. I didn't want to make a mistake, and that turned out to be a huge mistake. What should I have done? Can I try this again?"

Again, accept and agree with her answer, even if it is "I don't really want to be more than friends."

"Okay, friend, at least I understand now. I've heard this place we are going prepares an excellent crow, I'm ordering that."

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