“N” Is For Not Your Preference

For our Romance acrostic:

R” = “Relationship
O” = your “Other half”.
M” = “Memories
A” = “Action
N” = “Not About Your Preference

Years ago I supervised about 40 people spread across 8 departments – all direct reports.  Can you imagine?

Honestly, that first year was tough. Seemed like someone, or an entire department, was always unhappy. I’d think about how I’d want to be approached to resolve the issue, then take action. No matter what I did, someone was upset with me. And they had no problem talking with my boss about it.

Starting my second year, an insight arose from this constant chaos. It was a simple idea, yet it gave me an invaluable insight into successful management.

The epiphany – each person is unique. I began modifying my approach to each employee according to their uniqueness. What might work with me didn’t necessarily work for another.

I told you it was simple. Yet what a difference.

How do you prefer to be romanced?

Your sweetheart gives you a charm for your bracelet, it commemorates something special between the you of you like a vacation memory. How romantic.

You find a special, romantic gift for your sweetheart. Your sweetheart’s response is tepid, unenthusiastic. How can your sweetheart not find it romantic? After all, getting a gift is so romantic – to you. It your preference.

And where’s your focus?

Your sweetheart’s preference is probably Not Your Preference. Again, your sweetheart’s preferred way of being romanced could be different from yours. Romance is Not About Your Preference.

Take time, listen and watch your sweetheart’s response to your romantic overtures. By paying attention, you’ll learn how your sweetheart prefers to be romanced. With that knowledge, you can romance your sweetheart with his/her preference – which is Not Your Preference.

Focus on your sweetheart’s preference It’s Not About Your Preference.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

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Bucket List Romance

Everyone has a “bucket list”, things they’d like to undertake in the coming years.  What about your sweetheart? What would your sweetheart really like to achieve or experience? What would it take for your sweetheart to be able to accomplish something on the list?

While it may seem like an unusual Romantic Interlude, facilitate your sweetheart’s realization of a bucket list item.

Careful though. Don’t take over. Tell your sweetheart you love him/her so much you’d like to assist her/him accomplishing one bucket list item. Let them lead. It’s your sweetheart’s goal. And do it cheerfully.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

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“A” Is For Action

For our Romance acrostic:

R” = “Relationship
O” = your “Other half”.
M” = “Memories
A” = “Action

In order to have romance in your relationship, you must take Action.

Many years ago, I developed the Romance Triangle.

Side 1: TIME. In order to romance, you must make time

  • to learn to romance,
  • to consider ways to romance your sweetheart, and
  • actually romance your sweetheart.

Side 2: PREFERENCES. You know I write extensively about learning how your sweetheart prefers to be romanced. This is important because there’s often dissonance between how you and your sweetheart prefer to be romanced.

You feel romanced through touch. You may think your sweetheart feels romanced when you hug him/her. However, if you spend time learning your sweetheart’s preference, you discover she/he prefers to be romanced through words: spoken, written or in a song. That’s vital information.

Side 3: ACTION. Learning about romance, learning your sweetheart’s romantic preference and taking no Action is like getting a diploma in underwater basket weaving. It’s just as useless as knowing about Romance without taking Action.

In total honesty, for 3 days I grappled with the idea of writing another Romantic Memo. A personal situation is challenging me at deep levels. I wonder, what is the “right” thing to do? Feeling totally drained, I’ve even wondered if these Memos serve any purpose.

So I started drafting this Memo. After typing the word Action, I pressed the CR key and – kazaam!

Instead of waiting for things to resolve themselves, I must take Action.

Sometimes you’re not sure what to say or do – concerned your Actions could be “wrong”. But it’s better to take the wrong Action then no Action. Because taking no Action means no Romance. But taking Action means you have the chance to truly romance your sweetheart.

For me, taking Action lifted the burden. I still continue learning.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

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Homemade Picnicing

In this time of “social distancing”, crafting a Romantic Interlude takes more creativity or thinking outside-the-box. Dining out may not be an option and sitting close to that many other people may be uncomfortable.

Time for a Romantic Picnic.

If you have a backyard, deck or front yard with a bit of grass, create a picnic for your sweetheart. You can make the food yourself or get some take out.

Now, for the fun. Include some fruit or dessert you can feed each other. It’s a great way to end the picnic and can lead to giggles, tickles and laughs. Remember, enjoy your sweetheart’s company.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

You’re welcome to quote from or share the contents of this blog provided you credit the source. Thank you.

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M is For Memories

For our Romance acrostic:

R” = “Relationship
O” = your “Other half”.
M” = “Memories

Name something you and your sweetheart did this last year you thought was romantic. Something you’d consider the relational highlight of the year.

  • Was it something your sweetheart said to you?
  • An event or maybe just an evening together?
  • Maybe a unique gift?

And as you consider the last 5 years together, what Romantic Memory stands out?

  • What made it memorable?
  • How did that affect your relationship?
  • Do you think you’ll ever forget it?

There are a couple reasons Romantic Memories are important to our relationships.

Firstly, Romantic Memories are usually created from an intimate, intense, unique experience, unique to the two of you. While others may have been around, the memory you and your sweetheart share isn’t shared by anyone else. It brought you closer and is part of the fabric of your relationship.

  • Around 100 people crowded the Eiffel Tower’s third level observation deck that November evening. We gazed down on the City of Lights from 900 feet. I put my arms around my sweetheart and held her close. In that moment, our world shrank to 2 people creating a Romantic Memory – a Memory permanently etched in my mind.

Secondly, Romantic Memories are anchor points.

There’s not a relationship I’ve known that didn’t traverse rough seas in moments of anger or hurt. At times you question your desire to continue together. It’s not always pretty.

Yet in those questioning moments, a Romantic Memory created years ago surfaces to remind me how much my sweetheart and this relationship mean to me. It becomes the lifeline anchored to that Memory which see us through that storm.

Whenever and as often as you can, continue creating Romantic Memories with your sweetheart. They could save your relationship tomorrow.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

You’re welcome to quote from or share the contents of this blog provided you credit the source.

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Thanking Your Sweetheart Around The World

For 8 years, on the fourth Thursday of November, I’ve written a Romantic Memo encouraging you to pause and express your appreciation to and for your sweetheart.

Before continuing, let me express my appreciation to you for letting me into your life, to share what I’ve learned and to encourage you to create more romance in your life.

Do you ever wonder if your sweetheart tires of your “thank yous”?

Maybe an odd question. Yet, if you frequently express your gratitude, you may wonder if it may sound to your sweetheart like a trite expression you repeat. One of my college professors would call it, “a polite sneeze” – expressing meaningless words.

Maybe it’s time to say “thank you” differently, unexpectedly, and create romance along the way.

Countries around the world set aside a given day or season to prompt people to stop and say thank you, reminding people they have much for which to be thankful.

Here are some examples:

  • Canada, 2nd Monday in October.
  • Liberia, 1st Thursday in November.
  • Norfolk Islands, the last Wednesday in November.
  • China and Vietnam, 15th day, 8th months of the lunar calendar.
  • Germany, 1st Sunday in October.
  • Grenada, October 25
  • Japan, November 23
  • Leiden, The Netherlands, 4th Thursday in November
  • Brazil, 4th or last Thursday in November
  • Palestine, 1st Friday in November
  • United Kingdom, close to the autumn equinox in September

How do you use this information to romantically show appreciation to your sweetheart? Surprise your sweetheart by celebrating an unexpected day of thanksgiving.

Choose one (or more) of the days listed above. Invite your sweetheart out and celebrate your thankfulness. Find ways to tie the outing to the country celebrating thanksgiving that day. Do it with food, a gift, a note in the appropriate language. Let your imagination run on this one.

By creating an unusual thanksgiving celebration with your sweetheart, you’ll create a memory the two of you share.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Robert, a hopeless romantic.

You’re welcome to quote from or share the contents of this blog provided you credit the source.

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Strolling Along

This Romantic Interlude is probably more aimed at the guys.

Invite your sweetheart to walk the mall with you to “get some exercise”. As you walk (maybe holding hands), purposely stop in front of a couple stores and comment on what you see in the window. Maybe it’s an outfit, a piece of jewelry, a vacation spot or stuffed toy. Ask your sweetheart what she thinks of what’s in the window.

Take time to get something from the food court or a restaurant. Make it casual and relaxing. The goal is spending some laidback time together doing something she enjoys. Romancing with the gift of time.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

You’re welcome to quote from or share the contents of this blog provided you credit the source.

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“O” Is For Other Half

R” stands for “Relationship” in our Romance acrostic. Continuing on:

O” is for your “Other half”, the second letter of Romance.

When you think about your Other half, is this the picture which comes to mind?

Women sitting in the living room enjoying multiple concurrent conversations. Into this rollicking party walks pensive, tentative Jerry.

The room quiets and Dorothy steps out from behind the floor lamp. The memorable moment in the story happens. Jerry tell Dorothy, “You complete me.” (“Jerry Maguire”, ©TriStar Pictures 1996)

But that’s not what I mean by your Other half.

Thinking of your Other half as completing you means you need another person in order to be a person yourself. And your Other half’s never-ending responsibility is to make you whole.

YUCK! Who wants to be in that relationship?

The Other half in Romance is about your sweetheart, not about your sweetheart completing you. It’s about focusing on your Other half.

Many people approach Romance projecting onto their sweetheart their preferred way of being romanced. Maybe romance to you means a sapphire or onyx pinky ring or some other little gift. The assumption is their sweetheart likes to be romanced with gift after gift after gift.

This result is an accumulation of under-appreciated gifts and no sense of romance.

When you focus on your sweetheart and tuning in to your Other half’s romantic preference(s), truly romancing your sweetheart, your Other half, becomes more probable. How does he/she prefer to be romanced? Instead of gifts, you may discover your Other half would rather spend time together fixing a meal or taking a walk. Your Other half prefers romancing with the gift of your time.

Concentrate on your sweetheart. In the “R” of Romance (Relationship), focus on your “O” (Other half) and her/his preference, to truly create more Romance with your sweetheart.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

You’re welcome to quote from or share the contents of this blog provided you credit the source.

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What Do You Remember

You’ve probably been confined to working from home for the last couple months, never leaving the “office”. And the ceaseless quarantine creating family togetherness can strain any relationship.

Put an appointment on both your calendars for 4 o’clock some afternoon. Let nothing prevent either of you from participating in this meeting.

At the appointed hour, invite your sweetheart to put on some comfy walking shoes and walk the neighborhood for 30 minutes.

After a couple minutes walking, quietly and without comment hand your sweetheart a card with an important date from your relationship. If your sweetheart remains silent for a minute or two, ask, “what do you remember about that date?” Enjoy the ensuing conversation.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

You’re welcome to quote from or share the contents of this blog provided you credit the source.

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“R” is for Relationship

Big “A”, little “a”. What begins with “A”? Aunt Annie’s alligator. A-a-A.

If you have or had young children, you may know “An Amazing Alphabet Book” by Dr. Seuss. During my kids’ early years, I read that book so many times, I can quote the “A” verse from memory. Did you?

Big “R”, little “r”. What begins with “R”? Rosy’s red rhinoceros. R-r-R.

However, in this Romantic Memo it’s – Big “R”, little “r”. What begins with “R”? R-O-M-A-N-C-E. (Hopefully Dr. Seuss will, in the name of romance, forgive me.)

The “R” in our romance acrostic is for “Relationship”. The Relationship between you and your sweetheart forms the foundation of your romance. And Romance is built on the Relationship Triangle.

Side one of the Relationship Triangle is Personal Honor. To have a great relationship, you must live with honor. You do what you say you’ll do, no matter whether or not your sweetheart or anyone else is around. You can be trusted.

Side two of the Relationship Triangle is Mutual Respect. To have a great relationship, you must respect your sweetheart and your sweetheart must respect you. You hold your sweetheart in high esteem. You avoid saying things or doing things which belittles or devalues your sweetheart – even in those moments of public or private conflict.

Side three of the Relationship Triangle is Shared Love. To have a great relationship, you must love each other. Each wants what is best for the other, wants the other to succeed and cares deeply for the other – all without expecting reciprocation.

Without the solid Relationship Triangle foundation, your relationship falters, romance loses momentum, and “we” become hallow and die.

Create a strong Relationship Triangle, your “R” in romance, and that Romance will in turn strengthen your relationship.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

You’re welcome to quote from or share the contents of this blog provided you credit the source.

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