Keli Gwyn
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Romance His Way

My guy doesn’t have the same idea of romance I do. Small surprise, huh?

For me, little can compare to an evening in front of the TV with a romance movie in terms of the ah factor. My guy indulges me and has watched many of them with me. There are even a few he has honestly enjoyed, such as You’ve Got Mail or Letters to Juliet.

Many a night, though, Gwynly dozes off while I sigh my way through yet another chick flick. He’s a good sport and doesn’t complain. See why I love him so much? πŸ™‚

We took a long walk this past Sunday and had a great time together. I surprised him at the end by asking him which of the action-adventure movies we own is his favorite. He didn’t have to think too hard. He’s a big fantasy fan and loves Lord of the Rings.

When I asked the question, I knew Gwynly would choose that movie. I also knew I could surprise him by offering to watch it with him.

You might be shocked, but I’ve never read the books or spent the many hours needed to view the three DVDs. All that has changed. Gwynly and I are watching the trilogy in one hour segments, and I’m enjoying the story more than I expected to.

What’s far more important than seeing the movie, though, is the time I’m spending with my hubby doing something he enjoys. I asked Gwynly if he thinks watching Lord of the Rings with me is romantic, and he said yes.

I learned something from this. Guys do romance. They just go about it differently than we gals do at times. When we figure out what our fellows consider romantic, we can reap the rewards by doing things their way for a change.

β€’ β€’ β€’

For those of you married or dating, if you were to ask your guy what movie(s) he considers romantic, which one do you think he’d choose?

Are you a Lord of the Rings fan? Have you watched it with your special someone?

Without any spoilers, I’d love to know: does LotR contain any romance?

Who’s your favorite character in LotR? I’m partial to Frodo so far.

Keli Gwyn


  • Anne Payne says:

    Awww…that’s so sweet πŸ™‚ My man definitely does romance! He’s kept the fires burning for 30 yrs πŸ˜‰ He’ll watch just about any movie I want, so I’m usually game to watch any he wants. My children got me started on LoTR and I’ve seen them so many times! Love them every time I watch them, and YES there’s romance! Aragorn and Arwen…sigh worthy moments, especially in the extended versions. And Samwise Gamgee at the end of the series, but I won’t tell with who. He’s my favorite character, Samwise is. I think he’s swoon worthy. Now, I need to go get my man and watch a movie!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Anne, how neat that you’ve enjoyed 30 years with your romantic hubby

      I’m glad to hear there are at least two romances in LotR. That fact alone will keep me watching. That and looking at the adorable young Frodo, although it sounds like he’s not the only swoon-worthy male character.

  • Jane Steen says:

    I like LOTR a lot more than my husband does. He likes classic film – I just asked him what he’d consider romantic and he said Casablanca.

    There is a little romance in LOTR (more in the movies than in the books) but the main relationship is the (entirely platonic) bromance between Frodo and Sam.

    My favorite characters? Aragorn for his storyline, Legolas because of the eye candy factor.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Jane, I don’t think I’ve ever watched Casablanca. Sounds like one I need to add to our Netflix queue. I’m curious to see a movie that a guy considers romantic and find out if I agree.

      Thanks for introducing me to the term bromance. I’d never heard it, but I like it.

      I haven’t seen Leglolas yet, since we’ve just gotten started with the trilogy. Something to look forward to. I do love me some eye candy. πŸ™‚

  • Keli, I’ve watched LoTR so many times I can’t even count them. My husband LOVES it and I like it too. We usually watch it around Christmas/New Year’s when we have some time off work. We do a marathon, watching them all in about 1-2 days.

    And yes, there’s definitely romance later on. πŸ˜‰

  • Loree Huebner says:

    We are a LOTR’s family. We read the books to our kids when they were small, and saw the movies too many times to admit to.There is some romance.

    I just asked Hubz, and he said Casablanca as a romantic movie.

    Galadriel is my favorite character, along with the Hobbits.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Loree, how neat that you and your entire family enjoy LotR. Gives you something special to watch together. I think it’s cool that you read the books to your kids when they were young. We read aloud as a family, too, when our college daughter was young. Although we made it through The Chronicles of Narnia, we never did read the LotR books.

      You’re the second person whose hubby said Casablanca is a romantic movie. I’m definitely adding to our Netflix queue.

  • I’ve never watched that movie! Good for you for doing it as it doesn’t appeal to me but if it did my husband, then I guess I would watch it with him. We take turns picking movies to watch and he will watch and cry through my romantic ones with me:)) For us romance is just hanging out and being together. We miss each other so much during the week. Yes, after 35 years I would rather be with him than anyone else:)

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Terri, I think it’s great that you and your hubby have such a wonderful relationship. There’s nothing like being married to your best friend. πŸ™‚

  • Jen J. Danna says:

    Aw… that’s really sweet of both of you, watching something that might not be to your personal taste because it is to your partner’s taste.

    That said, I LOVE LOTR. The whole family adores it. And yes, there is some romance, so you’ll like that angle of it. As far as my favourite character, that would be Aragorn, hands down. It’s all about the hair and the scruff and the leather and the sword. *sigh* Okay, I’m shallow. πŸ˜‰ He also had a great storyline, but the eye candy factor is an added bonus!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Jen, I’m eager to watch the character development in LotR. From what I’m hearing, it’s well done. When so many different characters are deemed people’s favorites, I know they’ve been well developed. Since I’m more about people than plot, this aspect of the story draws me in.

      OK, I’ll admit it. I enjoy eye candy, too. Sounds like this movie has plenty of it. Yum!

  • Cute post. My husband loves movies, any movie. He once watched all 3 LOTR movies with me and asked so many questions, I loved telling him all about one of my favorite stories of all times. πŸ™‚ Now if I really want to do romance his way, I’ll start asking him about diesel trucks or VW engines and he just lights up!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Joanne, I’m with you. Talking about my favorite movies with my hubby is fun. Ever since I began writing and studying craft, we’ve become more informed viewers. It’s neat to hear Gwynly identify the black moment or talk about how unbelievable a certain plot point is. He’s entered my world this way, and I love him even more for it.

      Like you, I’ve found that one of the best ways to enter my hubby’s world is to talk about cars–in particular his classic British sports car. Gwynly has owned his 1968 pale primrose (yellow) MGB roadster since 1970. I teasingly refer to “Midge” as his blond, whereas I’m his brunette. πŸ™‚

  • I know guys are romantic, the creator of romance is male! πŸ™‚ My hubby is very romantic. I write romance, but he might be more romantic than I! He enjoys chick flicks as much as he does working out or hunting. Which is funny to me, but it works. One of the things that really clicked with us is our love for the same kinds of movies. If I asked him which movie he wanted to watch that we owned, I’m not sure what he’d say because it would depend on his mood and usually it goes, “I don’t care, what do you want to watch?” Finally, after we go back and forth, I pick! LOL

    Lord of the Rings is wonderful! I loved it! Fun post, Keli!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Jess, I love the idea that guys are romantic because the creator of romance is male. So true, and yet I don’t think I’ve ever looked at it like that before. Thanks for sharing that insight!

      How neat that you and your hubby both enjoy romantic movies. To be fair to Gwynly, he doesn’t nod off all that often when I pop yet another romance in the DVD player. I just notice it when he does.

      And which of my bazillion romances puts him to sleep faster than any other? I’d have to say that would be Pride and Prejudice, the Colin Firth version, but it is l-o-n-g. I think Gwynly gets impatient with the obstinate Lizzie and seemingly hardhearted Darcy taking so long to realize and admit they’re in love. Apparently anticipation doesn’t go over with guys as well as us gals. πŸ™‚

  • πŸ™‚ Yay for LOTR! I understand where you’re coming from though, because I’ve watched all the Star Wars movies just to hang out with my husband and try to enjoy sci-fi the way he does.

    Yes, there is romance in the LOTR movies, moreso than the books, actually.

    Favorite LOTR Character: (This drives my son and husband crazy, btw) I love Boromir, and my second favorite is Eomer.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Erica, love is. . .watching movies that aren’t our favorites just so we can share the experience with our guys. So true!

      Oooh. Two more characters that are favorites. I’m so intrigued by the varied answers to this question. Certainly sounds like there’s something for everyone in LotR. I look forward to “meeting” Boromir and Eomer.

  • It’s great that you are taking the time to watch one of his favorites! I have seen little bits and pieces of LoTR, but I have never sat down to watch it from beginning to end. I used to devour movies, but since having our four kiddos I have a hard time focusing when I know there are so many other things to get done! Next to seeing to the needs of my family, the other thing that calls me away from movies is writing. I am also finding that if I have a couple of hours to sit down, I would rather do it with a good book in a hot bath (preferably when the kids are sleeping)!

    I am excited to ask my hubby what he would consider a romantic movie. What a great question. Thanks.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Gabrielle, I can understand why your movie-watching time is limited. Raising four kids must take most of your time. I think it’s great that you use what “me time” you do have to write.

      I’m with you. Reading in the tub is fun. That’s where I do much of my reading. I find it to be a nice way to unwind at the end of the day. Me, some Calgon, and a good romance novel. Aaahh!

  • Keli, what I know is that the greatest love songs of all time have been written by men. The best chefs who feed us, the best designers who give us lovely clothes, the best composers and the most prolific artists, all men who had the courage to be naked for our pleasure. I am not surprised by any romantic guy, on the contrary, I wonder why most of us take so long to see the romance in the “stuff” they do.

    I don’t want to give you a spoiler. The greatest fantasy writer of all time, Tolkein wrote the classic battle of good and evil, of love won and lost, of the most insignificant among us as the most brave.

    Let us know when you finish so we can discuss what grave lessons he wished we all learn πŸ™‚

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Florence, what a great reminder of how romantic men can be. One of the things I like about writing Victorian-set romance is that society in that day and age considered romance to be the territory of men and women alike. The etiquette books are filled with instructions on courting, proposals, how to write love letters, and more. I think it’s sad that men today often feel the need to hide their romantic sides in an effort to appear more macho.

      I do know that LotR has a powerful message. I look forward to seeing how Tolkein chose to incorporate The Greatest Story Ever Told into his epic tale.

  • Both DH and DS LOVE LotR–the books AND movies. I never could quite get as into it, but I’ve watched some of the movies with them during our family time. I get tickled just watching their reactions to certain scenes.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Cynthia, much of the fun of watching LotR with Gwynly is the fun he’s having explaining things to me as I experience one of his favorite movies and seeing him get into the story the way your DH and DD do.

  • Melissa Tagg says:

    I love, love, love LOTR. And yes, a big piece of that is my love for handsome Aragorn. There’s some romance, too. And maybe some platonic bro-mance too if you look at the friendship between Sam and Frodo. πŸ™‚

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Melissa, I’m eager to see what makes the character of Aragorn so appealing to so many. I can already tell just from the first hour that there’s going to be something special between Sam and Frodo and look forward to watching their friendship form and deepen.

  • I’m one of the few who hasn’t read or seen Lord of the Rings too. My hubby and I don’t watch a lot of movies together (mostly because he falls asleep 5 minutes in :)). If it’s an action movie, I tend to read while I watch. πŸ™‚

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Sarah, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who hadn’t watched LotR. After all I’ve heard about it, though, I figured it was about time. Based on the comments above, I gather I’m in for a treat. One thing I know is that Gwynly will be riveted to the screen on this one. πŸ™‚

  • You’re going to love it, Keli. I asked Ken when he came in from a couple hours of snow throwing and asked him what movie is his favorite romantic movie. He smiled and asked which one I thought it was – Doctor Zhivago and he said yes. It was our first official date. You gotta love him for not only remembering but for grinning when he said it.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Oh, Paisley, I love that your hubby not only remembers the movie you saw on your first date but that he grinned when he told you. He just earned some major romance points with that one, I’m sure. =)

  • my husband would want to go do something outdoorsy. i’m totally NOT outdoorsy, but for valentine’s, i bought a groupon that will set us up in a hotel on the sacramento river where he can go fish by himself one day (i will do the spa) and then we’ll float the river together the next day. he was stoked!! he finds it very romantic to be outdoors, in a philosophical way, i guess? like Walden – life in the woods.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Jeannie, my Gwynly is a outdoorsy guy, too. Normally he’d be up cross country skiing every weekend all winter long. He’s bemoaning our mild winter and the wimpy amount of snow in the Sierras. At least some fell last night and today.

      Gwynly is glad I’m walking these days. He joins me as often as he can. I like that. It gives us time together and a nice opportunity to talk.

      I hope you and your guy have an awesome time on your Sacramento River getaway. What a thoughtful gift you gave him, one that shows how much you wanted to honor his interests and desires.

  • Marji Laine says:

    Oh this is a GREAT idea! I need to do this! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • candidkerry says:

    Sweet post, Keli. I agree, it’s so important to move out of our hobby and movie comfort zone to share that with our hubbies. πŸ™‚

    Trevor loves LOTR. He does NOT like to read but actually read the books a few years ago. They definitely rank in his top five favorite movies, along with the Bourne Trilogy and Spiderman movies. I really enjoyed the three LOTR movies, and yes, there’s a gentle thread of romance, starting in the 1st movie and finishing in the 3rd (as memory serves…;).

    We can’t wait until our boys are older and can watch them with us (and read the books).

    My favorite character is probably Sam because of his solid, faithful nature and loyalty to Frodo. It reminds me of my hubby. πŸ™‚

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Kerry, how neat that LotR got your husband to read. How fun it will be for your husband to share one of his favorite stories with your sons one day. Sam sounds like a great character. I’m looking forward to another installment of LotR tonight, so I’m sure to get to know him better.

  • Marji Laine says:

    I must admit, I’d intended to tweet your article and didn’t mean to post it on my blog. I’ve got to learn more about Hootsuite!

    Loved the article, though and hope to have it highlighted in my weekly paperli!

  • Sherrinda says:

    Awwww, how sweet! My sweet husband does watch romantic movies with me and took me to see The Vow for Valentine’s Day. πŸ™‚
    He loves to watch movies like The Three Amigos or Best in Show or Princess Bride. Funny and quirky. I will watch with him, but not over and over as he is want to do.

    Yes, I’ve seen LOTR and I absolutely adore Merry and Pippin!!! They are so funny and so cute. As for romance…yes, there is.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      How nice that your hubby watches romantic movies with you, Sherrinda. I want to see The Vow. From what I’ve seen in the previews, it looks great.

  • I LOVE Lord of the Rings!! Ryan and I usually watch the trilogy every other year or so. And we do the same thing you and Gwynly do. Watch in 1 hour (or so) increments!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Katie, watching LotR in increments is working for us. I don’t think Gwynly could handle watching more with me at one time since I’ve been making him stop all the time to explain who the characters and places are. We finished the first of the three movies last night, and I feel like I’m finally getting things down.

  • Darlene says:

    My husband and I have watched The Lord of the Rings movies together and we both enjoyed them. I am very lucky, my husband (who is English) loves the classics. He watches Jane Austen movies over and over with me as well as The Brontes, Charles Dickens and many others. He isn’t a reader like I am so it is so great that we can enjoy these stories, that I love so much, together as movies. We didn’t miss any episodes of Downton Abbey recently. These are our “dates” as we are both so busy.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Darlene, how fun to have an English hubby who appreciates English shows. There are many of them out there. Gwynly and I watch lots of BBC and other British productions. He enjoyed the first season of Downton Abbey with me, and we’re looking forward to getting the second one on Netflix as soon as it becomes available. As you can imagine, the wait is very long.

  • […] I like from other authors. My first was a total accident. I loved Keli Gwyn’s article about Romance for her husband, and I linked it. I thought I’d tweeted it. Suddenly it was at the top of my blog. Oops. I […]

  • I’m another one admitting that I haven’t seen LofR. Neither of us watches a lot of movies, but we both read constantly and like several of the same mystery authors, so share that. After 52 years of marriage even a quiet evening spent reading seems romantic. We especially enjoy taking the fifth-wheel out somewhere remote, sitting around campfires, walking in the woods. Obviously we’re not an athletic version of outdoor types. LOL!