That they’re usually employed to make up for something awful, or by people in the throws of infatuation. That said, the few that are undertaken soberly, with focus and pure intent, are the stuff that makes life worth living. That and Dippin’ Dots (Ice cream of the future!).
I used to be into grand gestures in a big way, which is how I scared off all of the girls I was interested in. Luckily, I was able to stalk one into submission over the course of the following two years. We were stuck in the same high school though, so I had a natural advantage. If I learned anything from that period, it’s that the type of guy that whips out a big romantic gesture thinks of love the way I did at that time, and I was a complete tool.
After seeing a lot of what long-term relationships can offer, I’ve become a much stronger adherent to the “little just because gifts” school of romance. Do little things more frequently to let your partner know you’re always thinking of them, or have at the very least set an alarm on your iPhone to remind you to pick up flowers twice a week.
Then when they least expects it, hit ‘em with the big flashy gesture maybe once or twice a year. Any more than that and they start to see it coming. And really, what’s the point of making your loved ones happy if you don’t get to see them gag comically on a drink?