Monday, September 3, 2012

The A-List: Romance

Let me start this blog post by saying that I'm not someone who has to be constantly validated in order to feel loved.  I don't fall apart if my husband doesn't call me 14 times a day.  I don't expect flowers or gifts at every turn. (I'm not going to say "no" to presents, because I'm not completely insane, I just don't expect them.)  I don't remember the exact moment that I first laid eyes on my man, and I'm sure that I don't have the date of our first date correct, either.  Larry probably remembers those little events better than me.  Also, since I'm a bit tactile defensive, I'm not a touchy-feely person, either. 

I still have a bit of a romantic streak in me.  Oh, it's not a big streak, but it is there.  Everyone wants love, no matter how they express it.  Here are my five favorites to bring more romance into a relationship.  Romance is not about the grand gestures, but the small details, like saving the last donut for your sweetie-pie, instead of scarfing it down yourself.  If you have any tips of your own, please put them in the comments!

1. The 'L' Word.  Some people use this word all the time.  Every five minutes they're saying that they love you, they love their dog, they love their mother.  Love is a wonderful emotion, indeed, but I have to wonder about a person who tosses the word around so casually.  Why are they saying it so much?    To quote a famous movie, I don't think that it means what they think it means.  Love is an important, momentous event in a person's life.  It's not ketchup, bought cheap, and applied liberally to cover a culinary flaw.  Don't say it if you don't mean it.

2. Think. The brain is the sexiest part of the human body, but it is not used often enough.  Think about the object of your affections.  Picture them in your life.  Use the "we" of a couple, not the "I" of the individual, when speaking of them.  Visualize the person you love as they are, warts and all, in your life, and think about all of the reasons that you love them.  Do this at least four times every day. Occasionally, you might want to tell your partner some of what you've been thinking, but it's not a 'have to' sort of thing.  Fantasize about them a little, too.  A little imagination goes a long way toward passing the time at staff meetings. 

3. Show Me.  One of my favorite lines from a movie is "When you gotta shoot, shoot.  Don't talk." It seems that there are people out there who think that all they have to do is talk about love.  No.  It's not enough to tell a person that you love them, you must show them.  The behavior must match the words.  If you love a person, then your behavior toward them should reflect that.  Telling a person that you adore them while sitting on the couch playing computer games doesn't mean nearly as much as telling them while holding their hand or rubbing their cankles.  If you're going to tell a person that you love them, then be prepared to show them. 

4. Pay Attention.  I listen to my husband when he talks. I watch what he does.  I pay attention to his likes and dislikes. If there is a particular food that my husband likes, I will buy it for him. When Larry looks like he needs some "alone" time, I give it to him. If he says that he likes a particular movie, and I know that movie is coming out on blu-ray, then I purchase that movie for him.  If it makes him happy, and it is within my means to do something about it, I will. No mind reading necessary, just a little attention.  Being considerate of your partner goes a long way toward making life smooth for both of you, even if all that means is remembering to leave the toilet seat down. 

5. Little Things Add Up.   Little, nagging, annoying things, like forgetting to put the lid on the toothpaste, that don't normally bother us, build up, and they can explode into huge fights.  Stress gets us all, and we have to fight back in order to keep our relationships on an even keel. There's a reason that successful couples have Date Nights, where they hire a sitter and spend time together.  Making time for your relationship is important, because most parents find themselves in a triangle--You-Me-Baby at some point.  Children were never meant to be the center of a marriage.  Marriage is a partnership, not a menage', but people get caught up and forget.  Date night is a structured way of re-establishing your coupledom. Make time for each other, even if you don't do anything more than watch a movie together after the kids go to sleep.  It's 'WE' time!  It's about remembering all those little reasons why you fell in love in the first place.

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