You need to get a book or something to teach you a little about portrait lighting. Subdued lighting in real life and subdued in photographs are two different things. The low mood lighting you see in real life, whether its candles or just low light are not very appopriate for portraits. Firstly the film needs enough light to capture the subject, and secondly you need to place the light correctly to enhance the subject. If you want the final portrait to be moody that is done partly in printing the picture darker. If the portrait is to be in color you have to match the color temperature of the film with the color temp of the light. Strobes are matched to daylight( normal) film and tungsten film is matched is matched to normal light bulbs.(not fluorescent).
So my advice: Get a light source, place it at roughly at a 45 degree angle to the subject, higher than the height of his face. Get a piece of white foamcore or cardboard and place it close to the other side of the subject to bounce some light to the shadow side of the face. Then practice.
As for the candles save them for a romantic night with your significant other.