Posted: 02 Oct 2012 06:20 AM PDT
A candlelit table for two at the best table in a fancy restaurant. Champagne. Soft music. Tender words The essence of romance, right? Maybe, but romance can mean many things. “Sexual attraction, suitable conditions for lovemaking, fascination and enthusiasm” are a few of the definitions in my dictionary. The trouble is, while many of us enjoy lovemaking we’re often a bit bewildered about how to actually be romantic.
The word 'romantic' can seem old-fashioned and strange; it makes us think of flowers, boxes of chocolates, and syrupy romance novels. Not our style, we think. Romance is one of the things that make life with a boyfriend different from life with, well, a friend. There’s a spark, a certain way of being with someone. Romance is a type of fun that is the fuel that keeps a relationship running. It’s more than simply being special; it’s a particular way of being special.
Romance does not necessarily mean spending a lot of money on someone. (It especially doesn’t mean spending lots of money on something he doesn’t really want just to try to impress him!) Think of romance as a way of letting your guy know how important he is to you. Romance comes from the heart. It can involve great big things, but romance can just as easily be the sum of lots of little things done with care and attention.
When was the last time you wrote your guy a love letter or bought him a romantic little card? Admit it: you like it when he sends you one. (Email doesn’t count for as much; and those tacky virtual greeting cards hardly count at all.) Taking time to put your thoughts down on paper in your own handwriting says that you are taking the time to do something just for him.
Little love notes hidden around the house can be a wonderful way to show you are thinking of him – especially if you hide them where he will find them when you aren’t around. Rick, a consultant who travels a lot with his work, often puts a little love note in his partner’s underwear drawer before leaving on a business trip, for instance. “You don’t need to be flowery and poetic,” he says, “although you could try that, too. Even a Post-It note on the pillow is a nice little gesture.”
Partners who have been together long enough that they no longer think of themselves as dating might try implementing “love nights” once or twice a week. Put it on the calendar and don’t let anything interfere – no work demands, no family obligations. Let your boyfriend know that he is your number one priority. Take turns telling each other what the other guy has done in the past week that has made you feel special, to feel loved by him.
Communicating this sort of love is important nourishment for a relationship, especially when you are both busy people.
You might also take time to let the other person know other ways he might communicate his love to you. Important: don’t be critical of one another. Nothing spoils a mood faster than feeling criticized.
[ Part Two - Continued Tomorrow ]
John R. Ballew, M.S. an author and contributor to GAYTWOGETHER, is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality. If you have any questions or comments you can submit them directly to GAYTWOGETHER or John R. Ballew, M.S. -www.bodymindsoul.org.