I’m just thrilled to have Chris from the wonderfully romantic new site two infps here to conclude our Romance week. Simple yet profound advice. Please enjoy.
Think about this word for a brief moment: Romance.
What were the immediate thoughts you had when reading that word? What images are conjured in your mind when you consider what romance is? What manifestations pop up in your head?
If I had to guess, it would be one of two general ideas. The first and most likely one will be very dreamlike interpretations, with any of the following objects coming into your mind: silk sheets, roses, a picnic blanket and basket in a field of flowers, soft jazz, candles, a view from a beach of a sun setting, or something that is… well, romantic.
The second type of thought might be from those who are hurting after one or more relationships that went south, and perhaps the word romance has a negative connotation for anyone in this position. To those of you out there, I’m sorry and I genuinely hope the hurting stops soon.
However, when this word is brought up, I don’t feel that many people consider daily romance enough. Relationships are not built on the one big romantic Friday or Saturday night each week, even though those nights are quite important. Rather, a solid and strong relationship is built of day-to-day or semi-regular actions that are done because of romance.
This is an important distinction to make: Romance should be the catalyst, not the end result. Too often we want to ‘create’ romance or make it even better by applying little tips, and we view it more as an adjective to describe an event rather than as the motivating force behind that event. In reality, romance is the expression of love.
Now of course there are a slew of easy to apply actions that you can take to show your partner that you love them. Some perfectly fine examples include being complimentary, having manners, showing gratitude, and asking your partner if you can get them anything while you are up grabbing a drink from the fridge. I never skimp on any of these romantic gestures and they are yet another ingredient to a really successful relationship. Do not ignore them or take them for granted, ever.
What I’d like to discuss today though is an action that my girlfriend, Laura, takes that sometimes causes me in the moment to shake my head in disbelief of her actually being real and not some fictitious, imaginary girlfriend. Luckily my family and friends have met her and they assure me she is real.
Let’s talk about something that is extremely common among couples: Seeing each other for the first time at the end of a work day. For me personally with my job, I can be gone from 8 to 10 hours a day in a completely different town. I’d venture to guess most people have to deal with the same kind of hours apart.
When I come home, after taking only a few steps in the door, I’m usually greeted with Laura rushing up off the couch or in from another room and practically jumping into my arms. From there I get a gigantic hug with her face buried against my chest that doesn’t let up for a good minute until she pulls away just enough to bring her face up to mine to start kissing me. This is not a recent occurrence for us, nor does it happen intermittently.
How could this improve your relationship if every day your partner rushed up to you and held you for a few minutes as if they had been without you for a week or a month, and not just less than a day? What would it mean for you to hear each other say “I missed you SO much!” and absolutely mean it as if their day was saved by your very presence?
I’m not trying to be negative about any sign of affection and even quick hugs are better than nothing, but I truly feel you should allow your romance to flow out of you in everything you do with and to your partner. In that first moment as she comes into my arms and squeezes me, my entire day of working fades away, and I wonder how I could possibly be so lucky as to have someone who shows me they need me in this way.
With only 2-3 brief minutes, I get a daily affirmation that I am the most important thing in her life. This is a moment that is all too often wasted by couples giving brief greetings that soon quickly morph into bitching about how work went that day and how annoying it is that Sally from Marketing never brews another pot of coffee when she drinks the last cup.
Remember that actions speak louder than words. So I would implore everyone, find just 3 minutes in your day to not just say “I love you” but to truly show it. Imagine what it will mean when you add up just this one action day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year? I will tell you, it means the world to me.
To come full circle, when I think about the word “romance,” it is these times that pop into my head. The common thread among what I shared above and other memories like this is they are always an action from one of us showing the other how much we love them without any reason or occasion besides celebrating our love. They are not always times that are romantic, but they are filled with so much shared love and true romance that they are my most cherished memories.
Take 3 minutes a day to show your partner how much you miss them when they are gone. They will start to become the best 3 minutes of your day.
Christopher Thomas shares writing duties with his better half, Laura, for their blog Two INFPs. So if you enjoyed this article, he’d love it if you checked out his other thoughts on relationship advice over at TwoINFPs.com. He’d also like to hear from you directly, so feel free to send off an email or connect with him and Laura on Twitter. He’s going to stop typing in third person now.
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