To many, Christmas is the perfect time of year. The snow, the candy canes and the magic that is the holiday season make this such a great time. Unfortunately, the same things that make it great, also make it a seriously hectic time of year. Everyone seems to be out shopping – all wanting that last gift, taking things out of each others carts, just being grinches to each other. Why would this not then, be the perfect time to bring out your inner romantic? But how do you add a spark of romance in such a crazy and chaotic season? I thought that throughout December, I would write a blog series on how to add that bit of spark on how to be romantic over the holiday season! I’d like this to be interactive, so as you have questions, comments or ideas – please let me know in the comments below. Romance Rookie is here for you, and I want to make sure you get what you need to build a better relationship with your spouse or girlfriend during this magical time of the year
To kick it off, let’s start with appreciation. Most of the time folks, let’s be honest, there are lots of thankless things that go unnoticed in our relationships. My wife works in the home, and does all the laundry, cleaning, child rearing – you name it – and the best part is most of the time it’s done when I get home. Now, I will say that we are a rarity in this world, and appreciate that many relationships are not this way. I have a fantastic wife, and I am very appreciative of the work that she does. The key here is that I make sure to tell her HOW appreciative, through both what I say, and what I do. A simple thank you is nice, but be specific with your comments:
- Honey, thank you so much for getting all the laundry done today. When it’s all done and and put away by the time I get home, it really gives me more time with the kids – and I really appreciate you helping me have a better relationship with them.
- Thank you for having dinner ready when I get home. Not needing to worry about cooking anything helps me focus when I’m at work and makes a world of difference in my productivity and I appreciate it.
- Honey, the house looks fantastic, i can really tell you spent all day on this and it shows – thank you!
A well crafted (and heartfelt) thank you does wonders to start a good solid emotional bond between two people (remember this in your professional life too – it’s called positive feedback and is exceptional in changing behavior!). In addition, you will see that as you appreciate each other more, you get closer and are more willing to do things for each other. Now, you may read the statements above and draw a blank on what to say, and that’s the point. You’re in a situation where you have not been thinking about it so it’s difficult to verbalize. You have to think deep about what she does for you:
- Why do you appreciate her and the things she does?
- How does her action affect your life – and vice versa?
- What are you able to do, because of what she does?
- How much time does she invest that is transparent to you?
- What would happen if she wasn’t there?
A long time ago I read an interesting statement: You should meditate each week for 20 minutes – and just imagine if everyone in your life were dead. The reason? Because it helps provide some context around appreciation. It helps you visualize life without… well… everything. It lets you really put into perspective the things you have and perhaps take for granted. So you ask: “Wow, that’s morbid, how does this help me with romance, Russ?” and the answer is, it helps you appreciate what your wife does for you and how irreplaceable she is in your life. With that perspective, and a new found appreciation, it will lay the groundwork for the month. For now – take a moment and tell her how much you appreciate her. Tell her how much what she does makes your life easier and remember, this is a great start, but don’t over do it. Just like candy, it’s good sometimes but you don’t want to eat it all the time or it will cause problems.
Don’t “Thank” so much that it becomes normal – these moments are special, they should be savored and enjoyed. Pause, take a deep breath – and remember, it’s not the words, it’s the thoughts, the heart, the feeling, the emotion and the connection that you share. Like a great steak – it’s not the slab of meat that makes it special- it’s the moment, the taste, the smell, the warmth and the company you carry.
[Image via Nightrose]