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Healthy and Happy Love Relationships. Originally written in 1986, and a free online guide to time-tested attitudes & tips since 2001.

When You Mention "Romance"

When you mention "romance", most people will immediately conjure up thoughts and images of champagne in crystal flutes, moonlight walks on deserted beaches, tuxedos and evening gowns, candlelight dinners in chic bistros, eloquent poetry, bouquets of roses, daring deeds, and so on. Quite a list, and it’s very common to think in terms of the elaborate when romance is mentioned. But events don't have to be elaborate or melodramatic to qualify as “romantic”, in reality - you could be at home together playing around on the internet for the pure enjoyment of doing something you'll see as a romantic evening together. This is where common interests are effective ‘glue’ between you. Is it any wonder romance can fade once the relationship has been established? If those things are the stuff of romance; it would be a very expensive and time consuming thing to do on any regular basis.

The dictionary describes ‘romance’ as follows:

        a tale or novel of extraordinary, not real or familiar, life -- a fiction;         a falsehood -- a love affair -- denoting a language almost wholly         derived from Latin, as Italian, Spanish, French -- make up fanciful         tales -- make love... Looking at the definitions provided therein, it’s apparent there are two distinctions made. One pertains to "extraordinary" and "fanciful" -- the usual perceptions of what romance is. The other states quite clearly a "love affair" and to "make love", (sexual connotation aside). It’s this aspect of romance which is too often over looked; this aspect which pertains to the more `practical’ ways to be romantic on a day to day basis. Let me offer you a few ideas on how a person could be romantic in simple ways -- your own imagination can create many others for you. She could, for instance, place a perfumed hankie (one of hers, obviously) in his lunch box or briefcase; he could put a little "I love you" note, scented with his favorite cologne, in her pocket book. Both these things would come as pleasant and intimate surprises at an unexpected time -- best of all; they’re such simple little things to do! He could quietly do the supper dishes while she’s putting the children to bed, or occupied elsewhere in the house; she could have a hot bath drawn for him, after he’s had a trying day, to soak in before supper. He could, without being asked (again), fix something she needs repaired -- then tie a little ribbon around it and let her find it in due course; she could do the same for him. The list of possible ideas is virtually endless, just use some imagination! Something else you may want to institute is an `idea jar’. The idea here is to have an actual jar somewhere, and every time you think of something fun or romantic to do together, write it down and place it in the jar. These ideas may come to you as you’re cleaning the kitchen, mowing the lawn, or at any other time your mind may wander upon your mate. So, on the next occasion when you’re at a loss for something to do together, randomly pick one of the ideas from the jar. Also, this could be a great healing mechanism for those times you’ve had a disagreement. Make a pact with each other that at such times, once you’ve talked things through to a resolution, you’ll immediately pick one of the ideas to act upon. There can be no doubt that when you read the idea together, the `writer’ will be in mind of the good feelings when the idea was written, and the other will have a demonstrable example of the ‘writer’s’ thoughts about them.   This will go a long way toward healing the rift, and strengthening the relationship again. The element of `romance’ is once again present on account of the thoughts possessed for each other.
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Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. — James A. Baldwin