The Romance Top Ten List

I was digging through my archives of things that need to be posted, and found this entry about romance that I wrote in February 1995.  Considering that Valentine’s Day is this week, I thought it fitting to post anew instead of burying it in the 1995 area of the archive.


Raymond Tucker, a professor of interpersonal communication at Bowling Green State University, did a number of studies on romantic behavior. In one study, he asked adults between the ages of 18 and 79 to complete an open-ended questionnaire on romantic acts. Participants were asked to list specific acts of romance and space was alloted for up to twelve responses. On average, men wrote in 7.8 responses; women averaged 11.8 responses. Here are the overall results of romantic acts that the study participants came up with, in order:

10. Touching (Hand on knee; pat on shoulder or hand; slight caress; petting; caressing; head in lap or sitting on lap; playing with hair)

9. Walking. (In the evening; at night; in the rain; in the moonlight)

8. Gifts (Expensive; diamonds; jewlery; candy; homemade, unexpected, or surprise gifts)

7. Sharing outdoor leisure activities (Picnics; beach; ice skating; skiing at night [“night skiing!”]; moonlight swim or drive; picking apples; fishing; driving to enjoy scenery; walk in the park)

6. The Hug. (In bed after the alarm goes off; unexpected)

5. Holding Hands

4. Talking (Honest conversation; soft and quiet; intimate talking; sharing life goals; being silly; joking; sharing memories)

3. Dinner (Dinner out; at home; making dinner for/with me; with candlelight; with music, wine, no kids)

2. Flowers (Roses, wildflowers, both giving and receiving)

1. The Kiss. (Mostly just “kiss” or “kissing”; several reported “unexpected” kiss; some designated anatomical parts)