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Romance in Marriage Begins in the Mind
The most powerful romance doesn't begin with physical action, but rather with mental contemplation and expectation. It starts with a simple idea or fantasy that develops into closer intimacy between two connected partners. Having a satisfying romantic relationship with your husband or wife takes some thought and leg work, but it doesn't have be burdensome. In reality, becoming a romantic person can be fun, exciting and fulfilling for you and your spouse.
And if you're truly committed to making it work, romance will become second nature for you. All you need is:
# a willing heart to invest the time,
# access to a computer,
# and maybe a little creativity.
If you're a little skeptical, don't worry, I started with only one of the three too. Here are three keys that have worked for my husband and me.
1. Romance of the mind begins when the sun comes up, not after it goes down. If you want have a successful romance with your husband or wife, start the day thinking about what your partner likes or wants most. Maybe it's a specific request, a deed, or a special gift. Doesn't have to be fancy, but it does need to be relevant to your relationship. Drop hints throughout the day to build expectancy. Some suggestions are short and sweet (or sexy) notes, photos, or voice/text messages. The idea is to show that you're listening, to give your honey a sense of desirability and to build up his/her receptiveness for affection. (Notice I did not say sex per se.)
2. Romance of the mind is ritualistic, not boring or repetitive, but endearing. I recently read an article about couples who love having fun with each other. (http://women.msn.com/a460717.armx?GT1=6920) The one thing that they all had in common was that they had certain rituals that they enjoyed doing together. When you have a certain ritual that you and your partner share, it gives you something to look forward to throughout the day, week, month or year.
Something my husband and I do to wind down our day is chat over tea, coffee, or chocolate (in the winter) and smoothies (in the summer). Sometimes we have music in the background, sometimes not. Sometimes it leads to more, sometimes not. But this practice has gotten us through some tough times spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally and even professionally.
3. Romance of the mind is well-planned but has a feeling of spontaneity. One of the movies that I truly enjoyed this year was Hitch. He had a way of making romance look easy, but he wasn't perfect. He planned, but he wasn't rigid. And when his plans fell apart, he could go with the flow. If only we all could be so talented. I'll let you in on a little secret: the good news is that we can.
Just plan around what you and your wife or husband like doing. If you like elaborate evenings for two, go for it. If you love to travel, there are plenty of romantic places to see. If you like staying home and playing board games-- there are plenty of nice (and some naughty) ones out there. Just plan and see where you'll end up.
When we lived in Brooklyn, my husband and I used to plan walking dates in Prospect Park (the Central Park of Brooklyn) or near the water along lower Manhattan. We'd have our meeting time and place, but no specific agenda in mind. Sometimes we heard musicians. Sometimes we just enjoyed nature. One time we even had an unexpected fireworks show. It was spectacular against the purple glow cast on the water. I was certain that he knew about it. He denies it to this day.
Hope this post inspires you to make an effort and draws you closer to your spouse.
About the Author
Keishia Lee-Louis is the Editor of http://www.Married4Good.com (Launching November 2005). Her work has appeared on iVillage.com, BibleResourceCenter.com, and in numerous other publications. Currently, she is writing a book on marriage and relationships(Spring 2006). If you'd like to see more of her work, visit http://married4good.blogspot.com