A Practical Guide to Romance
Romance may be one of the MANY impractical things in the world.
But whether it is or it isn't, it is one of the great joys and necessities in life.
I must admit that I am a romantic. Sometimes I it seems as though I feel more than the average person. I'm moved by otherwise ordinary things, and I'm perhaps too sentimental about everyday moments.
But my view of romantic relationships has become more practical with Michael - and surprisingly, it feels incredibly close to what I've always idealized. There was so much I needed to learn about growing in a healthy and mature relationship. And as someone who appreciates practicality, I feel the need to share some of my learnings for the romantics out there wanting a practical point of view of love.
What I learned in my first two years with Michael
1. Love makes life easier
It doesn't make life easy.
Life can be messy and unfair.
But love (and not just the romantic kind) can make all of it easier. I've experienced this with Michael, and I've had the privilege of seeing that in his friendships, family life, and everything in between. It's through this that I've realized that there is nothing more important and timeless in life than love. When we try to replace this part of our lives with wealth, status, power, and accomplishment - we'll always come up short.
As imperfect humans, we absolutely need the unconditional support of one another and there is no greater way than love.
2. Celebrate everything, often.
Michael and I love celebrations. We love a good toast and the stuff that goes into the toasting glasses. It's Thursday, cheers! We just ate asparagus and chicken, celebrate with ice cream! We love reasons to go out to new restaurants, splurging on a good bottle of wine, and inventing occasions to skip town for the weekend for a getaway.
Keep making up holidays and celebrate as often as you can - because life is short and the wine is good.
We're millennials. We like experiences more than things.
But our favorite memories are of us doing things that may be completely ordinary. Even if those things are seemingly normal, the fact that we did them together make them spectacular. I love sharing trips to Costco, chopping up vegetables, and folding laundry as much as celebrating our close friends' weddings together, traveling the world, and spending precious time with our extended families. No matter what we're doing, we're always happy to be doing it together.
4. Be the leader of the fan club
I try to go to as many soccer games as I can, and he never says no to as many social engagements and ladies brunches as I can plan.
Compliment and support each other publicly - it goes a long way. Finding new things to do together is important, but supporting the interests of your partner can be that much more meaningful.
5. Tell it like it is
I filter my conversations with people very carefully until I come to an extreme place of comfort. This can take years - and it has not served me well in the past.
In a relationship it's important to talk about things as they come. Letting things build up because you're too busy, or the timing is not right can be toxic. Talk often and talk openly (with kindness). For the first time I can tell it exactly how I feel it.
And if you're wondering why I'm so focused on a list that may feel prescriptive when love should feel spontaneous, it's because I know that sometimes, even something romantic requires practicality to go on.
My relationship with Michael is one of the most important parts of my life. Why wouldn't we fight to keep it one of the best parts?
Carry on romancing, my friends.