When traveling I occasionally buy a glossy magazine and leaf through it on a plane. GLAMOUR magazine has this cute column at the very end “It’s OK…” Usually there is a list of about a dozen “OK” items, like it’s OK to indulge in this or that, it’s OK to feel irritated or cringe or fantasize about something unattainable. I noticed that this arrangement is very helpful and so I use it when trying to marshal my own thoughts and ideas on a subject.

Is it possible to maintain romance in married life? I have read really funny discourses which state that romantic relationships may last through the first three years, and then it is mostly mundane everyday often boring life when spouses do not even talk to each other. This sounds so wrong. Romance does not bloom by itself; it needs attention, patience and tender nurturing like anything else in life. I learned it from my own parents who remained very close for sixty years. Dad would bring Mom flowers and pay attention to her wishes; Mom would cook his favorite dishes and go to various events with him. They would take an evening stroll together, as we learned much later, to discuss and probably argue about our upbringing. They never argued in front of us so we believed they just never had disagreements. Mom would flare up and even throw some crockery against the wall but very rarely; Dad would keep silent and weather out the storm. As the saying goes men build houses and women build homes. It was very true about my parents. Though we live in a different era when practically all the wives also work, the principle is still here. It is up to the woman to create such a congenial atmosphere at home that the man would rush back home after work to spend an evening together.

Pay each other compliments. Even the most beautiful woman never tires of hearing those words from her husband. And if she is not the most beautiful woman in the world she is all that in his eyes. So tell her every day. What if he is not the kind of guy to whom compliments come easily? Why, just teach him by example: praise him for whatever it is he can be praised. “How thoughtful of you, I’m so glad you did it, You look great in this new suit, You are always so good at explaining things to kids…” The list is limitless. “How sparkling the sink looks, it must be because you are so strong, when I try to clean it I can never achieve this effect!” Et voila, you never have to clean the sink again. “It is so good you like maths, I could never help our kid with those tasks!” And he stops seeing those evening sessions with the kid’s homework as drudgery but rather as an opportunity to do good and to be praised for that.

Flowers work well and not only on anniversaries or birthdays. One does not need “things” to show attention and caring. Buying your favorite sweets or fruit, remembering at least ten per cent of what you told him at breakfast, going out spontaneously when the mood is upon you and the kids are grown enough to be left alone all contribute to the romantic atmosphere. Naturally there are a few props to be used at night, with a difference. A humorist once wrote that if you are over forty and he enthusiastically shows you a nice black lacy little outfit, you should save your money, order a pizza and watch a movie at home together. It is true and it isn’t. There is a joke about a young couple. He lived with his mother until he got married, and the young wife fretted that he always talked of his mother; the first phone call he made after work was to her. The young woman though how to make him pay more attention to her. So she went and bought a nice lacy sexy outfit and appeared in it before him when he came home from work. He grabbed his chest, exclaimed, “Oh my God, you are wearing black, has something happened to my mother?!” – and rushed to the phone. Moral: do not buy black, go with red. Do not do it every night, use sparingly so that the novelty and the surprise remain.

Statistics tell us that at least 85% of married people confess that they prefer to see the familiar face in their bed when they wake up in the morning. Indeed, when you wake up, look at the face resting on the other pillow. He is your number one person and you are his number one person. What can be more romantic than that!




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