Marks Place


A little romance - it never hurt anybody. 

Its something that relationships need yet rarely thought about, or practiced. But it is so important, the lack of it is a sign that the relationship is getting stale, becoming taken for granted. I'm not talking about the giant - thousands of dollars present, or the bended-knee poetry - I'm talking about the little things, the things that show you are thinking of the other person, that you care. Whether your married for 50 years or just going together it doesn't matter.

Romance is very important - Billy Joel said in a song, "though you may not have done anything, will that be a consolation when she's gone." and its so true, it is very easy to let relationships drift along, everyone comfortable and let the people just kind of take each other for granted, get comfortable with each other and not think about it much. But then either one can get uncertain about how the other feels or one can kind of stop paying attention to the other and let the magic slip away or at least get tarnished a bit.

Some Ideas I have used

Presented here are some practical ideas, things I have done to try and keep the spark alive. Don't feel like I am trying to preach or brag, I have made mistakes in my marriage, really really big ones, but over the years I have really tried to pay attention to my wife, tried to make her feel special, tried to do the little things that can mean a lot.

Poems - if you have any talent at writing poetry, write a love poem - even a funny one, if not - check out a book and look for a nice one. The key is how its delivered, think of a romantic method of giving it to her. I have secretly written one on 20 feet of her adding machine tape so during the day it came out a bit at a time. I have placed it above her sun visor in the car so it fell in her lap during the drive to work. I have called her and rattled it off on the phone then hung up without ever saying my name.

Other ideas, mail a piece at a time. Put it on something, like a cake or puzzle or in her workout shoes. Spend a few minutes working on something she will like, its time well spent and it should be fun as well. 

Surprises - I love to surprise her, look for things that don't cost a lot of money or are in bad taste, remember that sex-oriented surprises are not romantic, surprising her by wearing no underwear or cutting up all her underwear or making a plaster cast of your thing is not romantic. Look for things that will make her laugh or smile. One morning I got up early and filled her car to the roof with balloons, each one blown up and then "I love you" written with a marker on them. She drove with them in the car for days, laughing at the strange looks she got from other motorists. I drew hearts on her side of the bathroom mirror with her lipstick, added a new one every day for a week to keep it fresh.

One Valentines Day I cut out about 500 2 inch wide hearts from construction paper and wrote messages on them and put them everywhere - bathroom, purse, cereal box, car, underwear drawer, any place where she might encounter them during the day. I've bought a bunch of cheap roses and tore them up to bits and laid them under her covers so we really did sleep on a "bed of roses". Another time I secretly arranged for the kids to stay at Mom's and booked a hotel, dinner and show. Then I told her I would meet her after work for dinner and we ended up at the show and staying at the hotel as a surprise.

On one of her birthdays I printed out a big heart graphic and wrote Happy Birthday on a piece of paper..doesn't sound very romantic does it...its not, but the presentation is how you can make her smile...I took it to the copiers and made 1000 copies, then as I was leaving for work I deposited them all over the floor in every room, I totally covered the carpet and chairs and table and counter, just about everywhere...that's what made it special, I wish I had been there to see her face, but I did hear her voice when she called.....and that made it all worthwhile.

We just celebrated our 18th anniversary and due to scheduling we had gone on a little trip (I surprised her) about a week before the actual date, calling that our present to each other. Well I wanted to get her a little something for the actual date as well, so I decided on a new flower vase and dozen roses. Pretty standard gift, but once again, its all in the details. I opened the vase and tied a red silk ribbon around it and stuck a couple of heart stickers on it. The I gave it to her all wrapped up with the warning not to open it until the appropriate time, "you'll now when its the right time". So she took it to work unopened (a great conversation piece for the office). I then arranged for the dozen roses to be delivered and the card said "Now its time"
with a small amount of work a fairly typical present became something memorable and romantic.
One Valentines day I opted for a standard heart-shaped box of chocolates...nice but not exactly memorable....but as usual its all in the details and the work you put into it. For this time, I decided to build a bit of interest and stretch it out a tad. I took 7 pictures of myself holding the box in some situation, then wrote a silly love message on the back of each and presented them to her each morning for a week before Valentines.  The messages were things like "I would brave the mightiest river for your love", "I would climb the highest mountain for your love" and "I would brave a runaway train for your love" and the big finale was me standing on my head in the driveway holding the box and the caption read (of course) "I'm head-over-heels in love with you"...When the box was finally delivered on Valentines itself, it was declared the "best chocolates ever eaten". Total cost, one box of chocolates and an hour running around to get the pictures taken.
I have posted some of the pictures on Flickr, you can see them here.

By putting a little thought and extra effort into even a standard gift you can make it memorable. On her last birthday I decided to give her flowers...a fairly standard birthday present, but by adding a little extra something it can be transformed into something romantic. Instead of a big bouquet of flowers, I opted for having 6 small bouquets delivered, 3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon.. it was a bit more than a big bouquet but not much, and by the 3rd or 4th delivery she was laughing and made it really special for her.

Other ideas Remember, you don't have to spend a lot, just look for some way to make her smile and remember how much she feels for you:

* Record your voice on her computer
* make a dinner with a "heart" theme
* how about flowers - sounds old-fashioned but how long has it been since you had a dozen roses delivered to her work so she can put them on her desk in front of everyone.

Trips - trips are always good, especially if you have kids/family. Getting away for a romantic weekend is one of the great pleasures in life. The real key is to put some effort into it. 

Let me describe the time I "kidnapped" my wife.

I secretly took a vacation day and called her boss and arranged a secret half-day vacation for her. I then pretended to leave for work, but waited up the street for her to leave. Then I went back home, packed suitcases and took the kids to Mom's for the night. I called her and told her we were meeting for lunch to go to a new place I knew of. Picking her up for lunch we drove for half an hour before she got suspicious, then I gave her a card with her answers in it. Answers to the obvious questions, "where are we going", "what about the kids", "did you pack", etc. With her in her work clothes we drove to a romantic bed and breakfast and spent the night. This worked out so much better than just deciding to get away, the surprise meant the world to her - it had been a tough week at work. Another time I arranged the hotel but didn't tell her where, so although we got ready together it was still fun for her as she didn't know where we were going.

Other ideas, look for fun things that don't cost a lot. The surprise is the key, not only does it mean that the two of you can't argue about how much it costs, but to see the joy in her face when she is surprised by a nice time is well worth it. Try to think of different things, like a afternoon at the zoo, or a bed/breakfast in midweek, a murder mystery dinner, surprise her with a trip to Mom's, a weekender to the beach or a "special" spot you haven't thought of in years.
Others Experiences and Ideas
Those are some things I have done and ideas. Hopefully I have sparked a few people to take a look at how much romance they have in their lives. I would love to hear what romantic things you have done for your special person. Anything you send me I will post here for others to see and appreciate. Below are my submissions so far:

I am a female and so this could actually work both ways, when the guy I’m seeing was in the hospital from a car accident I sent him a dozen red roses with one silk rose in it and on the card I wrote "I’ll love you until the last petal falls" well I have to say he still has that silk rose and we’re still happily together...... NACOLE
I'm a female and I'm kinda a romantic type. I had a crush on my current Boyfriend Marc. He was a jock loved by all girls and I was kinda popular. One day me and him kinda had a fight over something stupid. I was playing football with him, I was the hutter and he was the QB, I had taped a note on the ball right before I hutted it. It said "Marc I will always love u, forever and ever no matter how much we fight. Love always Mel." He came up to me and said he loved me too. We've been together sharing our love for 3 years now! ....TANNKIDS
I remember for a birthday present I was working in Brisbane and she was in Melbourne so I drove all the way to Melbourne without telling her and started leaving little poems around her house (I borrowed the keys off her sister) with rose petals dropped around each of them. I then went with her to work, in the boot of her car. She always put her bag and any other files, etc she needed for work the next day so she could just jump in and drive. So here I am in the boot of her car, I'm lucky it's winter in Melbourne, with balloons, flowers and all sorts. She gets to work in the city and parks her car goes for her stuff in the boot and out I come! She decided not to go to work that day and we spent the rest of the day living in the moment.....Al Gardner
When we first started dating, I would go out with my girlfriend quite often as we always had....Tim was often satisfied to just stay home as usual and watch TV. One night in particular, (a Friday or Saturday night) I was out at a bar with a group of girlfriends, we were having a blast, dancing, laughing, and then he crossed my mind. I called Tim to see if he wanted to come out dancing (which he doesn't do I found out later) anyway to make a long story short, he said he had a very bad headache, so after a nano second of hesitation I left my friends telling them I would catch up later, drove (straight I might add, I don't drink much at all ) the 20 minutes to his house, where I snuck downstairs, and started massaging his temples and shoulders while he slept. Kissing his forehead and pledging my feelings. He woke up and said it felt nice. I stayed on my knees on the concrete floor for almost an hour rubbing his neck, shoulders and temples.........Deanna
I was looking for a romantic way to propose to my girlfriend and here's how it went. It took a lot of money and preparation, but to this day, people still talk about it. She worked at the Gap, so I called her boss and cleared things first. (Her boss also spread the word so there were people at the store that weren't even working). So there she is about an hour into her shift and I pulled up out front in a nice Lincoln limo. Stepped out in a tux with a dozen roses and walked in and stood behind her until she turned around. When she did, she was a bit startled, but the look was priceless. I took her hand and said, "I think you deserve a day off" Her boss said "Go ahead" and smiled and laughed. Everybody was cheering and clapping. We went out to the limo where I had laid out an evening dress that she had been eyeing for a couple of weeks. We got in and drove off to much applause. I tried to keep quiet about where we were going, but she got it out of me. We were off to see Phantom of the Opera at the Panteges Theatre in Toronto. We arrived in style, had a great time at the show, then went to a nice hotel and spent the night. Then we took a train home......Mike


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