I like to think of romance as the morsels of chocolate inside of the scrumptious cookie—the optional, decorative bonus to a solid foundation. Everyone’s taste is unique. Some prefer to skip adding ‘extras’ altogether, but others love to pack their ‘cookies’ full of crunchy, creamy, ooey, gooey goodness, and, at its best, it’s complimentary as a whole to the relationship, and should, above all, enhance the love that already exists.
Romance is as varietal as the tasty pleasures one can pack into a little cookie, and everybody gives and receives romantic gestures differently. My husband and I attended a premarital retreat before tying the knot eight years ago, and one of the activities included taking the compatibility test to learn about our personal love languages. If you have no idea what that is, it’s from the book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman. (In summary, expressing love comes in a handful of categories: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Affection, Quality Time, and Gifts—most people respond well to a blend of these with one being a dominant preference). My beloved and I learned that we spoke the same exact blended language, answer for answer, so romancing one another as a way of expressing our genuine love for one another has always come easy for us…that is, when we remember to add it into the mix of our busy lives.
That’s the thing with romance…loving someone with all of our heart every day no matter what is one thing, but expressing that love in the many ways one can, is an entirely different matter. Like I said before, some people have all the time and talent in the world to pack their cookies with goodies, and some don’t. And some wish their cookies had more stuff ‘n’ stuff in them and do nothing more than slander his or her partner for being a bad ‘baker.’ Waiting around for your one true love to read your mind is a tried and true way to feel unloved even when you know that you are your partner’s one and only. I’m not a marriage counselor by any means, but I do know from experience that romance doesn’t come as naturally after eight years and two young kids later as it does during courtship. My tip…don’t hesitate to tell the one you love in a warm and caring way what you want now—not what you haven’t had in the past; we’re not picking a fight here—and then, give him or her time and space to get creative. The catch is that you should be filling that waiting time with your own offerings of romance that you know will mean something to him or her. Expressing romantic gestures can be as thrilling as receiving them.
Over a week ago, I sprinkled Post-Its love notes all over the kitchen in inconspicuous places, each expressing gratitude for the many acts of love and dedication my husband performs for our family, swelling his heart with love and understanding that his efforts have not gone unnoticed during the typical hullabaloo of our lives. It had been a while since I had stepped it up and added a little, giddy, romantic gesture to our morning routine. And the following week, he surprised me with breakfast in bed on a Wednesday, and, on Friday, he had my favorite coffee drink and a mini tub of gourmet ice cream waiting for me when I came home from work. I fondly refer to this as Foodie Romance, and, it works wonders on my heart. Because of his loving gestures this past week, inspired by the simple, yet, loving act I showed him, I’ve been walking on cotton candy clouds of romance ever since, scribbling away in my notebooks that I pile ideas in for future Rom-Com scenes by borrowing the ‘feel-goods’ from my personal life.
In fact, it’s what has inspired me to develop a Feature wrapped up in a recurring Blogging Event focused on romance. It’s just a concept at this point and still being shaped, but I’m toying with the idea of having a Post once a month that compiles blog blurbs submitted by the lovestruck at heart detailing the romantic gestures they’ve expressed or been the recipient of that they want to share with others. I would add pingbacks to their own blogs, and then, after showcasing the Post all month, I would retire it to a permanent Romantic Fodder page as a resource for my romance writing friends in search of real life inspiration, as well as, a place to refer to when needing to garner ideas for those who want to add a little something delicious to their real-life cookies. I will solidify my plans and set things in motion for March, and I welcome any suggestions to make this concept come to life in the best way possible.