Yesterday I went to a Chat and Chew, where a question arose in our all female discussion: “What do you do to spice up your relationship?
This question hit me hard like a punch to my gut. I waited to respond–not my style at all–to allow my feelings to settle. What do I do to spice up my relationship? Do I believe it is important?
Yes! It’s oh so important, yet I don’t do much. I don’t surprise N with a romantic evening just for us minus the television. It has become so easy to come sit on opposite ends of the couch with all our technology between us and the large screen television on. Then change and roll into bed. What about affection or surprises? What about dinners and conversation? What about getting all dressed up for an adult evening? As I get older and my bedtime becomes earlier, I view going out for a romantic dinner or having to getting dressed up as a hassle. The truth is it’s more me than him. I’m such a homebody that it takes convincing for me to go out and stay out.
After you get married and begin living your adult day-to-day life, the romance and intense feelings and experiences slowly evaporate. Not to say that the love goes away, it is just more normal and comfortable instead of that-I gotta have you now or I may die- type of love. I love my husband, but today romance is when he cleans the house as a surprise for me. It used to be that he would plan an entire evening filled with exciting, unique events. It’s just different now that we are so comfortable. Work and other activities slowly have taken president over us.
So last night, once I overcame that awful feeling that maybe I wasn’t doing anything to spice up my life. It occurred to me that there is one thing: N and I travel together. This is our spice. Discovering a new city together. Looking up the nightlife, finding a random karaoke spot, eating really good food, driving out to watch a sunset. Although we may not have spice everyday, when we are away it sure is spicy!
While the ladies continued their discussion, I continued to search for other examples of spice in my relationship. Then it came to me: The Bachelor!
Every January when The Bachelor premieres, I am relieved and comforted. While as a woman I should be so against this show just based on principal, I really enjoy the journey that it portrays from beginning to end. There’s something special about watching others fall in love and rooting for it. Each week I watch wondering what the truth is behind the cameras. Although I am extremely aware that this show is masterfully produced and packaged for me almost exclusively, I allow myself to get swept away nonetheless. As I watch each overproduced extravagant, luxurious, once-in-a-lifetime date between the candidates, I plan my path of action. I watch reminded of the first days on my relationship with N. I watch the heartbreak reminded of my past heartbreaks. Each episode, a little more healed and a little more inspired.
I remember the first time I saw N in the hallway of our college dorm. I was blind and clueless, initially, but then fell hard and fast. We flirted on AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) late into each night. We spent many a night having long talks in our tiny dorm rooms, baking brownies on the 3rd floor for our hall, and many a drunken night almost kissing. Oh the angst! It was a journey worthy of a reality show–entertaining, romantic, angst, insecurity, miscommunication, and a happy ending. It’s important to note that I knew I was going to marry him at an early age, when I wasn’t even sure I believed in marriage. While he took a few years to agree to begin our relationship. (We each tell a slightly different version of the latter.) Ours is a love story that didn’t begin on a competition with extravagance, but did begin with simple romance.
It is during this time, when The Bachelor is on, that I begin to put together spontaneous ideas for dates with N. We go to a new restaurant that has been on our list for months. We go for a walk around a lake. We hold hands while walking around the mall like teens. Watching The Bachelor inspires me and I have become accustomed to this revival in my relationship during a time of the year that is oh so dreary to live through. So there it is, I am an educated woman who is grateful for the show.