With Valentine’s Day approaching, who couldn’t use a little advice in the ways of love? Meet Paul Xanthopoulos, a "personal coach for the romantically challenged." As the official director of romance for the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix, he has arranged everything from diamond-studded desserts for private dinners to white doves for impromptu weddings. (800) 672-6011, www.royalpalmsresortandspa.com.
Q Can anyone really lay plans for romance?
A The element of surprise is key. When both people plan a romantic evening in advance, it rarely has the same special feeling as when one partner surprises the other.
Q Are women or men more romantic?
A Without a doubt, women are more receptive to intimacy. Men have to put aside a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be sensitive and romantic. Romantic things for men are big, elaborate, and expensive. For women, they’re simple: a moment in time or an evening when the man dedicates himself to her body and soul.
Q A romantic evening you’ve arranged?
A Last night we welcomed a couple who had been married for 37 years. The man had spent the previous week dictating to us all the things he felt the night required: a five-hour dinner, a roaring fire, 100 lighted can-dles around the patio’s perimeter, rose petals covering the floor.
Q Why bring flowers?
A When we offer flowers, we’re making a statement: "My love for you is as delicate as this flower. Treat it with respect." Be proud to walk into a room carrying a bouquet of flowers.
Q Any special tips for men?
A Be sincere. And for crying out loud don’t dress like a bum.
Photography by Laura Segall
This article was first published in January 2007. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.