Some people think about romancing their partner when a special occasion is quickly approaching, a sexual drought needs to end, or a relationship mistake needs to be remedied. But real romance isn’t based on a reactionary deed requiring a Goggle search for some romance tips; it’s based on knowledge, love and spontaneity.
My maternal grandparents were married for 59 years and knew the meaning of love, romance and devotion. I’m so thankful for the roadmap they’ve laid and the wisdom they gave. For a time during my young adult years, my family shared a home with them so I saw their relationship up close and personal. (Being the youngest of three children, I was known for finding places to sit with a book and not move until…ah, how should I say this? Well, until I found myself carefully listening to privileged adult conversations.)
Often I overheard the way my grandfather and grandmother spoke to each other when they thought no one was around. Their voices held a quiet tenderness that I never heard them utter around the family. Grandpa knew how to make my strong, feisty grandmother turn into a bashful young woman that covered her face when she blushed. And when she sat next to him and lean her head on his shoulder, he cupped her hands tenderly when he brought them to his lips to kiss.
One day my grandfather became keen to one of my favorite ‘book-reading’ spots and promptly asked me to join him on the front porch. And with my mother busy working and my siblings away from the house, I couldn’t give one excuse not to do what he asked. So I sat next to him as he watched his neighbors walk past our property in the Florida sun.
“You know, there’s better light out here for reading, Girl.”
“Yes, Sir. I know.” I stated humbly as I studied his profile.
“This is where you should read so you can be comfortable and enjoy the breeze. I read my newspapers right here every morning so if it’s good enough for me, it’ll be fine for you. Understand?”
“Yes, Sir. Are you going to tell Mom?”
I watched as my grandfather processed the question. We had a close relationship and spent every afternoon talking about whatever he cared to share with a middle school student. He knew his daughter’s new job was stressful and the last thing we both need was to hear her lecturing me during dinner at the family table.
“No, not today, just tell me why you didn’t excuse yourself or make your presence known?
“I just wanted to see how you and Grandma get along. She’s always watching Victor and Vicki on Young and the Restless, and talking about soap opera characters with her friends, so I wanted see if you two were like that.”
“Umph. Well, how we do?”
Looking puzzled I said, “You guys are nothing like the show.”
My grandfather laughed and then gave me a lesson on relationships I’ll never forget. He said romance isn’t a special occasion thing, like some present you get on Valentine’s Day. It’s more like a vitamin. You need some romance every day for a healthy relationship. And just like our bodies can’t exist on one vitamin, our relationships can’t last on one type of romance. Sometimes it’s a romantic gesture, other times it will be a romantic act, and other moments may require that you change your tone of voice or the way you look at the person you love. The key is to remember that romance is the only emotional vitamin you can’t consume on your own. No way. Your partner has to diagnose and dispense what you need, and you in turn must do the same. It’s the only way the relationship can thrive.
So, think about making romance a daily part of your interacts with your mate. And don’t let what is written in romance novels or what is acted out in romantic movies supersede the beauty of real-life love and genuine devotion. Get to know your loved one and find out what they consider romantic. And once you learn the things that make them happy concoct a 'romance vitamin' that they’ll want to take every day…only from you.
Enjoy this summer everyone and makes some wonderful memories.
RIP Grandpa, I know you and your bride are dancing up a storm in Heaven but there isn't a week that goes by that I don't rely on your wisdom. I'm truly blessed and I wish you a very Happy early Father's Day.
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