Client: I don't need corporate America to tell me when to buy flowers for my wife. That is manipulative and I'm not buying into it.
Me: I can see your point. When was the last time that you bought flowers for your wife?
Client: Last Valentine's Day. I bought into their scheme.
Me: So you didn't get her flowers at any other time during the year?
Me: and your wife loves getting flowers.
Me: Well it sounds like you might need a push from the Valentine's Day corporation to get flowers to your wife.
Client, thinking it over....considering....: ah hell doc, do you think Giant has sold out of roses by now?
Me: I think you can probably figure something out.
n the spirit of Valentine’s Day and a more heightened awareness of romance; I thought that a few words on this elusive concept would be appropriate.
So, here are 5 thoughts on romance
- Romance looks different to everyone. For some, putting gas in her car is as romantic as buying flowers. For others, cooking a meal at home in your pajamas is as intimate as a candlelit dinner. The important thing is to know what romance means to you and to your partner and step up accordingly. There is no need to roll your eyes at him when he gets you a card with a sweet, perhaps, cheesy sentiment inside. No need to act bothered when she requests that you go to a restaurant that requires a tie. This is a time to be responsive to the romantic requests of others-go for it.
- Romance isn’t for just one day a year. The beautiful thing about romance is that it includes effort and desire. Two things that everyone wants to feel they are worth. It does not need to be grand gestures all the time, but small gestures for your partner that remind him or her that you care about them and desire them are necessary throughout the year.
- Romance is about intimacy -- this can include sex but doesn’t have to. Intimacy is that feeling you have when you are seen by another person in the most accepting and honest way possible. It is to be known by someone, understood and embraced. The embodiment of intimacy can range from laughing with each other until it hurts, holding each other, a simple touch, seeing each other across a room and knowing what the other is thinking, cooking a meal together, sex (in whatever form you enjoy), pulling her close while waiting in line at the market…whatever it looks like it involves engagement with another person –it is dynamic.
- Passion and romance are two separate things. Romance is deliberate, an effort to elicit a desired emotional response in someone. Passion is less organized. Both are important and both take different types of motivation to maintain. Passion can be cultivated by having an openness and willingness to take advantage of opportunities to engage with each other in a heightened level of arousal. Romance can be nurtured through efforts to send a clear message of desire and love. It is has a layer beyond affection-a hint of vulnerability in revealing your desire for another person.
- Every relationship needs some romance – it does not matter if you have been together for 5 years or 50. What romance in your relationship will look like will evolve and change – this is vital. Romance can be familiar gestures or surprising efforts – all of it is good. The most profound impact of romance is that it makes you feel wanted. That loving you is a choice that your partner is making over and over again. It is feeling wanted and desired that keeps a relationship alive. So if you know what your partner finds romantic, do that. If you don’t, ask. Romance does not lose its meaning because you talk about it. I have told many many of my clients that you can either be surprised or satisfied when it comes to romance, but rarely both. So ask for what you want. Don’t expect for your partner to read your mind and don’t expect that his desires from 4 years ago are the same now. Make the effort and recognize when an effort is made. Show your partner they are worth it.