I would like to speak for a moment to anyone out there who is currently in a relationship. Man or woman, straight or gay. If you have somebody in your life who you love, listen up. It seems to me that the art of romance is quickly going the way of the do-do. In this hectic, noisy, high-pressure world we live in, we seem to Tweet instead of talk. We update our Facebook status instead of making real connections to real people. Mostly we just begin to accept all the electronic noise in our lives as reality.
Our kids today grow up with divorced parents, and the first relationships they develop happen via text message and Facebook. “Hanging out” and “hook-ups” somehow replace the traditional “date” and somewhere in all of that romance is tossed aside altogether.
I would like to talk today about romance. Not just the obvious romance with red roses and chocolates, but the not so obvious, every-day kind of romance. The kind of romance that reminds your partner every single day why you are together in the first place. The lost art of romance that can make your lover swoon – not from some silly act, but from the absolute conviction that they are the center of your universe.
Somehow most of us have simply forgotten how important this can be. We allow ourselves to drift apart. Even when in a “relationship” we somehow forget who this person is next to us. I think it’s important to remember why you are together. It is more important still to make sure your partner remembers.
Here are some suggestions:
- Hold hands. This is something that is not done enough. The simple act of holding your mate’s hand bonds you together in an intimate way. It fosters not only communication, but a connection – real and tangible – to your mate. Try it.
- Call your mate to tell them you love them. For no reason, at random times. Just because. Pick up the phone or send a text that tells your mate you are thinking of them. I just scrolled through the last several texts I sent my wife. (I’m even mushier than I thought). One of the last ones said only “I love you to the moon and back. Two times.” It will make a difference in their day.
- Be chivalrous. Chivalry should not be dead. When you are walking to the car, open the door for your mate. When leaving the house, hold their coat for them. When walking down the street, always walk on the street side. Always open any door for them and let them walk through first. It reminds them that they are special to you.
- Hug. The hug is one of the best things ever invented. Too often we forget the simple things like a hug. Walk up to your mate, wrap your arms around their waist and give them a good, warm hug that lasts at least thirty seconds. Do this at least once each day.
- Always pay for everything. It’s not about the money. Paying for dinner (or whatever) shows your mate that their time with you is worth anything. That you will happily pay for the meal to share their company. It shows them they are valuable.
- Lean in for a kiss. Suddenly and without warning. While watching TV in bed at night, lean over and kiss your lovers cheek. Or at the grocery store, right there in the produce section. Make sure they know you love them, and that you are attracted to them.
- Go for ice cream. When it’s ten o’clock at night, and your lover has a craving for ice cream, and there isn’t any ice cream in the house – get up, put your shoes on, go to the store and buy his or her favorite flavor. This applies to anything else they might want or need as well. Do this without complaining. It will show your lover that there is no end to what you would do for them, and that you will always provide for their needs.
- Be honest. This sounds obvious, but can be harder than you think. It first requires trust. You must trust your lover. If you truly trust that person, than there will be nothing you can’t say to them. No secret they can’t know. You will find that you can share all your deepest secrets and feelings with your lover, and they with you. This builds a bond that cannot be described, but must be experienced.
- Lift and reach. Lift the heavy things, and reach the high things. When your lover has a heavy load to carry, don’t offer to help – pick it up and carry it for them. When something is out of their reach, get a ladder if you have to and reach it for them. This sounds trivial, but is another way to remind your lover that you would do anything for them.
- Don’t forget to date. No matter how long you have been together, don’t forget to still act like you are dating. A spontaneous dinner out at a romantic restaurant. A sudden walk in the woods or on the beach. A concert or fun event you might both enjoy. Remember what it was like when you were first dating, and never, ever lose that feeling.
- Shower together. This is something that most couples do not do. My wife and I have showered together every morning for more than fifteen years. There is something about standing naked together under the shower. An intimacy that is not about sex (at least not always) but is more about trust and a bond between you. It is a real and tangible way to remind each other that you have no secrets. That you accept each other for who you are.
Mostly, always stay focused on making your lover happy. Whatever that means. Whatever they need to be happy, give that to them. Strive every day to shape the world in such a way that it becomes a paradise for your mate. Even if you don’t quite succeed in this endeavor, it will matter that you tried. It will provide that indelible proof to your lover that they are important, that your life with them is important.
And finally, don’t forget that you have an ally. You have a partner in crime who wants to be there with you. Share with them. Let them into all your trials and tribulations. They may not be able to make everything better, but they will be there with you, holding your hand, and facing whatever comes.
Now go find your mate, and tell them that you love them.
For no reason at all.