31 Days of Romance – Day 4

In order to make any new goal come to fruition, you must take action, you can’t simply sit back and wait for it.  Romance is no different, you have to make a plan and work it.

Romance Day 4

There have been many times in my life where hope and a prayer was the best I had in me….I couldn’t have formulated an actual plan to save my life.  Those cycles in life happen to everyone and we do the best we can to get through them.  I am thankful we have made it together long enough to come out the other side of many of those cycles and that we still care enough to actually come up with any kind of plan at all.

So, the plan – you can do this on your own or along with your partner.  There have been times in my married life where I wasn’t necessarily as nice as I could be, hard to imagine, I know. But the realities of life took their toll at certain points in our marriage.  Easy to pull back from romantic gestures and even simple kindnesses.  Sometimes it was me, sometimes him, sometimes both of us stubbornly refusing to give anything, because truth be told, we didn’t have any thing to give.

I am in a place now where I am 100% willing to own my part in the situation if there is lack.  I don’t mind stepping it up and taking that responsibility.  My experience has been, anytime I have put a focus on more romantic gestures, he always notices and reciprocates.  Please note, I am making an assumption that your partner is not a total jerk.  There is no simple kindness ever going to cure a total jerk of his jerkiness.  It goes back to knowing your partner.  If its on you, step up and do your part.  If you think they would be receptive to making a plan with you towards this common goal, do it together.

Here is an example of why planning is so critical to get the ball rolling.  When I was in the midst for my craziest work schedule, I had Friday nights off.  My kids were always engaged heavily in extracurricular school activities and seldom around on Fridays.  My husband would let me sleep as long as I wanted, after working all night.  Then as soon as I was up, we would head out for Date Day!  It was official, written in stone, rain or shine.  People were always surprised at our commitment and consistency to it.  We would turn other invites down for date day, we protected it.

Then a funny thing happened when I quit my crazy job, freeing up my time…we could make date day, any day, but did we?!  No!  It is so easy to let one day run into the next knocking out the chores of life and before you know it months have passed.  We are just now getting back to the official schedule.

So you need a plan.  Don’t go crazy though.  No need to fill it with tons of things.  Just get started with something you will stick to.  Put at least one or two things on your calendar and do them.

To make the best of this new plan, make sure you talk about it in a way that builds anticipation in your upcoming time together.  When its over, talk about it the next day.  How’d it go?  Are you both desperately out of practice or did you actually have a great time?  What can be done to make the next two things you put into the plan better than the first?

I also can’t stress enough, the benefits of letting your kids in on your schedule.  While the kids may be somewhat disgusted at the thought of mom and dad having any kind of romantic adventures together, it is an awesome example to set for them.  It will imprint on their minds in a positive way.

So what’s your plan?

31 Days of Romance – Day 3

Next step in the search for more romance in your life: know your partner.  Are they adventurous, laid back, over the top?

Listen to this romantic memory from Miss Aimee:

“He set up one of those pop up canopy tent things on the deck in the backyard and hung blankets and had throw pillows; made it all nice like a little luxury getaway in India.  Had candles everywhere and gave me a nice massage and foot rub and we slept out there…all this to tell me he loved me for the first time.”

Wow…can’t you picture it?  He bought freakin’ throw pillows for this woman!  A+ for him and his creativity and dedication to her!  Now if I was reading this and thought, “Oooh!  I want that too” and then looked at my partner, expecting the same kind of treatment, I might find myself in for a rude awakening if this is totally outside the reality of who he is.

Early on when my husband and I were first dating, he surprised me at the beach one day.  Showed up unannounced, where he knew I would be, with a bottle of cheap champagne in a brown paper bag, plastic cups and roses picked from his yard.  It makes me smile to this day thinking about it. We were broker than broke at the time, both of us, so I took no offense to cheap champagne.  I appreciated his gesture.

couple on beach

We spent the rest of the afternoon sneaking swigs of champagne under a beach towel and giggling conspiratorially.  We were the only ones in the world that day, much like Miss Aimee must have felt in that backyard canopy.  Did I get any throw pillows out of the day?  That would be making the assumption my husband even knew what the heck a throw pillow was back then!  Ha!  No, no throw pillows for me.

So while the details of Aimee’s Indian inspired getaway may have been outside the realm of possibility for my husband, he was still able to create a getaway that was representative of who he was at that point in time.  Neither one is right, neither one is wrong.  For me to have a level of expectation beyond what would be comfortable or natural for him would be silly.

So know your partner.  Be gracious and appreciative for the gestures they do make.  Recognize their attempts.  Don’t compare what others are doing to your own experience.

More than 28 years later, he still likes to surprise me with random treats (and the wine has definitely gotten better!).  This is his “style” and I love it!

31 Days of Romance – Day 2

So in terms of romance, you’ve decided you want to attract more of it into your life.  On Day 1 your first assignment was to start the conversation with your partner; what is romance to each of you, test the waters as to your partner’s receptiveness to the whole idea.

Flowers

Before we go any further though – we need to know one thing…how do you feel about yourself?  Let me set the stage for where I want to go with this.

Years ago we would go to Texas to visit my husband’s family.  My mother in law, in her late 70’s at the time, bless her heart, as the Texans say, would corner me anytime we went to go out some where and pepper me with beauty suggestions.  “You sure you don’t want to put some lipstick on before we go out?” or “We can wait for you hon until you fix your hair and put your face on.”  I was in my 20’s, from southern California, with a new baby and to be honest, didn’t give a rat’s ass what I looked like.  If I had pants and shoes on, I was good to go.  Her well meaning questioning only led me to rebel more!

Over the years I came to understand that being appealing for her man was an important objective each day for her.  She took it seriously, as many women of her era did.  I’m sure I appalled her a time or two with my no frills regimen!

Truth is though, my husband could have cared less.  He would have been oblivious to any primping of any kind that I might have done.

I was truly missing the point though…how did being plain Jane everyday make me feel inside?  Did I feel desirable or sexy?  Did I feel strong in our relationship?  Did I feel strong as a woman in this world?

Shocked by her old fashioned sensibilities, I assumed she put lipstick on an an effort to please her man, for him, for his sake.  Looking back on it now, I know she did it for herself, for her own strength.  It made her feel good and beautiful and powerful; and oh how powerful she was, a true queen in her kingdom.

So my question to you is, how do you feel about you?  Do you feel powerful in your daily walk?  Because I can tell you right now, if you are looking for a little romance to make you feel better about yourself, stronger in your world, stronger in your relationship, you are setting yourself up for some bitter disappointment.

Look at where you are in your life.  Are you happy with who you are?  You have to decide what makes you feel strong in your own skin and then do more of that!  For some it might be make up and a new hair do, for others it might be a new dress like I got, or new comfy sweats so you can relax!  Whatever it is, whatever you define it to be for you, work it out sister!  Add more of it to your life and you will see a shift in how the universe looks at you, after all, you don’t mess with a queen in her kingdom.

Romance – The Dress

I was at a conference recently and one morning, from the 5th floor I spotted a woman down below in the lobby in an awesome dress that caught my eye.  Black and white geometrical pattern, short black sweater over the top…I loved it!

pink bubbles

Once I was downstairs, getting some coffee, awaiting my next session to begin, who do I run into, but the woman in the cute dress!  I compliment her, her shoes are super cute too.  Unbeknownst to me, she is the speaker in my next session.

As I watched her for the next hour doing her thing, I began to think, I could totally rock that dress!

Now for many of you, this may not seem like any big earth shattering thought, but for me it was.  You see, I have spent the last nine years working in warehouses, my last experience being with Amazon.  Jeans, t-shirt, hair clip and off I’d go!  I had professional business attire, but did not incorporate dresses into my wardrobe.  We didn’t go out a lot on the weekends with the schedule I had, so it never really made sense for me to get a dress.  I also felt too big to wear what I considered dainty clothes.  I simply have not worn a dress in years!  My husband and I were trying to figure out recently the last time I wore one…sometime near 2003!

I was so inspired by the thought that I could actually wear this dress, however, that I Googled the darn thing on the break and found it online at Nordstroms.  I ordered it immediately!  It makes me laugh thinking about it.  I was almost embarrassed at ordering it.  I was really embarrassed when it arrived…I snuck it off to my closet right away where I could hide it until I had a chance to try it on when no one else was around!  It fits perfectly by the way!

Why after all this time would I feel so compelled to order this dress?   I spoke in a previous post about things my husband has done for me, especially in my jeans and t-shirt days, that I considered sweet and thoughtful, romantic if you will.

Well, that man has always loved me in a dress, he reminds me of this regularly; each time, of course, I roll my eyes and scoff at the suggestion.

Ordering this dress is my romantic gesture to him.  I may be out of my comfort zone, but he will love it…he will appreciate the thought.  I might find I actually might like wearing it!

He is gone this week on a fishing trip but we have date night planned when he comes back.  Will see if I am brave enough to bust out the dress!