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Getting a Second Wind at Romance
by Emily Sue Harvey

How many of us know that male and female ways of saying “I love you” can vary as widely as grilled steak to scrambled eggs? And both approaches are exquisitely profound. And how many know that as the years pass and the children marry and leave, romance can be even hotter? Hah! You didn’t expect that, did you?

It’s true. Romance can be just as exciting after you get your second wind. How to do that? I asked my husband, Lee, which memories of my love offerings through the years have really stuck. At the same time, as a love exercise, I replayed those moments when his tributes to me caused the moon and stars to glow brighter. How many of us know that it is this gender-uniqueness that gives romance sizzle and endless delights?

The phenomenon is universal,,,,and timeless. Despite cultural distinctions, boiled down to man/woman affairs, romance is a delicious gift. One that needs, from time to time, to be cultivated and nurtured.

How to Get A Second Wind at Romance:

Masculine Ways to Say I Love You:

1) BE THE PROTECTOR:
Nothing says to a woman “you are lovedapostrophe like her man’s protective stance. He is her rescuer by taking charge when things get rough. Like car trouble and a busted water pipe. And, in my case, helping balance the checkbook. Lee’s mind is more mathematical than mine is and he’s my walking calculator (while I’m his spell checker). At other times, during tragedies and loss, his presence is like that of a golden knight. Those strong arms and rumbling voice do magic to lift my wounded spirit. All these add up to a dynamic role: hero.

2) BE WILLING TO CHANGE:
My spouse grew up in an alcoholic home where chaos reigned. For years, he fought his demons of mistrust and anger. Because his love for me was so strong, he sought help in conquering those demons. Through counseling and therapy, he emerged a man’s man who knows who he is and isn’t threatened by anybody or anything. A man who can submit to such scrutiny and humility is, in my book, a real hunk.

3) VALIDATE HER:
Daily, my spouse let’s me know that I’m important to him. That I am not a threat to his sense of self and masculinity. That my love offerings to him don’t go unnoticed. He thanks me for every caring gesture. This morning, as I went about tidying up the kitchen, he sat down at the table and read from Proverbs 31, prefacing it with, “this is you,apostrophe and went on to extol the virtues of the virtuous woman. I grinned when instead of the wife sitting at her spinning wheel, he had her sitting at her ‘computer.’ Ahh. Modern day life. He tells me daily how “beautifulapostrophe I am and how lucky he is that I chose him. Several times a day, in fact. What woman can resist such affirmations?

4) TOUCH OFTEN:
How many of us women know that his touch is like no other? We need that masculine stroke, gentle yet territorial and protective. It’s the one that wakes up and finely tunes our sexuality. Makes us think “what a man!apostrophe Ahhh. Need I say more?

Feminine Ways to Say I Love You:

1) NURTURE:
Surprise! Sexual overtures did not lead Lee’s parade of memorable love-gestures references. Rather, he expressed appreciation for the nurturing role I play in his life. In particular, he enjoys the nice, clean home I provide for him. So all that mundane cleaning activity is not in vain, huh? My taking care to prepare his favorite foods gives him pleasure, as does his always having clean clothing to wear.

2) ENCOURAGE:
I was surprised when Lee told me I played a big role in the formation of his ethics. That my encouragement and validation, through the years, helped shape his ideals. I try to daily thank him for who he is and what he is in my life. Too, I express my joy that he chose me. I am humbled by the fact that this has such an impact on his life. I, too, have tried to change with time and circumstances. To be adjustable is a blessing, not only to my spouse, but to myself as well.

3) BE HIS PARTNER:
Another surprise: my taking an active role as his teammate is high on Lee’s accolades totem. That I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him in life, facing and fighting the same challenges is gratifying and supportive to him. The financial arena is one in which teamwork and common goals are essential, one we work at. Each partner is equal in power. We don’t have the same strengths but somehow, mystically, in the final analysis and resolution, they meld and blend until we don’t know where one ends and the other begins.

4) SEXUALITY AND GROOMING:
Aha. Here it comes. I was delighted to know that my grooming habits had not gone unappreciated. My care to keep myself clean, fresh-smelling, and attractive paid great dividends. Yep. It really, really did. It goes hand in hand with being sexually appealing, from both mine and his end of the romance. He, too, treasures my touch. Yes, he really, really does. After all, this is the bottom line in a passionate relationship.

Isn’t love fantastic? Romance can be renewed all throughout life. Yes, indeed, it can. All that’s needed sometimes is that second wind to spark it back to life!

About the author:

Emily Sue Harvey writes to make a difference. Her upbeat stories have appeared in dozens of anthologies including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Chocolate for Women, From Eulogy to Joy, A Father’s Embrace, True Story, Compassionate Friends Magazine, and Woman’s World. Emily Sue served as president of Southeastern Writers Association in 2008-2009. Peter Miller’s NY Literary and Film Agency represent Emily Sue. Her first novel, Song of Renewal, published by Story Plant, will be released in the spring of 2009. For more information visit http://www.renewalstories.com/.