Rodney Chatman

Mr. Romance

This Sweetest Day, you can bring home flowers or candy. You can even bring home jewelry. But you won’t be “Mr. Romance.” Because Rodney Chatman, 44, of Bath Township, owns that title. A supervisor at DaimlerChrysler’s Twinsburg Stamping Plant, he earned the moniker this summer from Romantic Times Magazine, and will be featured on the cover of three Harlequin Romance novels. “A good body gets their attention,” Chatman says, “but women really love what’s inside.”

Photo by Jesse Kramer

So what does it take to be Mr. Romance?
They factored in a lot of things: your physique, your ability to interact with others, your overall demeanor.

What gave you the edge?
I think it was my personality. I was really helpful with some of the other contestants.

Nice. You seemed to be helpful, but you were using it your advantage.
Hey, Mr. Romance has to do what Mr. Romance has to do.

Did you have to dress like a Roman gladiator for the Harlequin covers?
No, just a suit and then jeans and a T-shirt. I have worn a gladiator costume for a calendar, though. I loved it.

Are you after Fabio’s job?
That’d be nice. He’s got me on the hair, but I’ve got him on everything else.

What makes a guy romantic?
It’s not the big things. It’s not the roses or the cars or the diamonds. It’s giving her a kiss on the cheek when she doesn’t expect it. Things like that.

Diamonds don’t hurt, though.
Absolutely. They’re really good when you’re in hot water.

How’d you learn to be romantic?
My dad. I watched the way he treated all women with respect.

Do you have any children?
Two daughters: 15 and 3.

I pray for their future boyfriends.
It won’t be pretty, I’ll tell you that.

I can only imagine your co-workers have, um, recognized your title.
You have no idea. When I won, my picture was plastered all over this place. And I can’t go anywhere without someone saying, “Let’s ask Mr. Romance what he would do.”

Some Sweetest Day advice.
Do something different. Cook dinner. Bring home different kinds of flowers. Surprise her. Think out of the box.

The perfect date is:
I cook dinner for my wife. We relax by the fireplace with some soft music and then, who knows?

No, not football.

The first signal a guy isn’t Mr. Romance.
Cockiness. Not treating others with respect. The way he dresses.

For all men out there, I’d like to say: This stinks. First you get them with the looks, then you woo them with the shtick.
It’s not shtick. It’s me.

Thanks. That makes it worse.

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