So what did you think of the video that I included last week? I don’t know how the rest of you are faring today, but I’m sure I’m up about 50,000 points just by writing this blog post (even if it is a week late :-) Seriously though, after Liz and I watched Mark wax eloquent about the disparity between men and womens’ “point system” I turned to look at her, fully expecting to see mirrored on her face the same sense of cynical disbelief that I felt. Only ONE point?! Come on! But instead derision, she was wryly nodding in agreement.
Now, as helpful (if not ridiculously unfathomable to a man) as it is to know the point system women use to judge romance (see the video), the core of romance is really the same as any other expression of love. I like how Mark Gungor said it at the beginning of the video. Essentially, he pointed out that acts of romance are usually simple, small kindnesses, motivated by love, to communicate love. Fill your week with them and it will have an effect. To be sure, you have to stretch yourself on the big days (birthdays, anniversaries, Christmases, Valentines, and Mother’s day). But most days, if you do one or two small acts of kindness a day, your wife will be pleased to consider you a romantic.
But is this the whole story? If it is, than one of the most romantic verses in the Bible could be Luke 6:31, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” Yet that doesn’t seem quite right, does it? It seems like romance, though it is not less than small acts of kindness to express love, must also be more than that. For instance, we can remind our wives to pick up a card for Aunt Susie’s after her gall bladder surgery and that reminder might be an act of kindness motivated by love, but one doubts that anyone would find the act “romantic.”
The missing ingredient to most of the failed romantic gestures is personalization. Consider the definition of “romantic” offered by the urban dictionary,
“Used to describe a thing, act or object that expresses and requires intimacy beyond what usually occurs in a relationship, highly subjective and eluding understanding outside of said relationship.”
Do you still feel like you’re not sure what to do next? That’s because what’s romantic for one person is not necessarily romantic for all. If you came to me asking for help, I wouldn’t be able to tell you with any degree of certainty what your wife would consider romantic. And if you told her you collaborated with me, she might begin deducting points even before you complete the romantic act. This is because being romantic is highly personalized (which doesn’t mean you can’t poach ideas, just that you have to make sure they apply to your spouse). Thus, though I might like to be given a turbo cooker (as seen on tv!!), that does not mean that Liz would equally thrilled with such a purchase. In other words, though Mr. Gungor is correct that acts of love might take “less than 10 minutes a day,” the acts must be tailored to your spouse for them to be effective. You have to know them—what foods they like or dislike, to which places they like to go, whether they like sports or the opera, and etc. If you really know someone, knowing how to love them comes easier. So you may want to make a LOVE MAP, (or at least talk to them every now and then :-).
So, to recap, being romantic means doing small acts of kindess that express love to your wife in highly personalized way. These acts do not have to take a long time, but they have to say “I love you” so that your wife can hear it. And you should strive to tell her in multiple ways – acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time etc. Mix it up. Try new things (and get feedback : -). Get those points building in your favor!
So either in the comments at the bottom of the post or on our Facebook page, wives, what are some things your husband has done for you that you find romantic? (Men, this is where the “poaching” comes in. :-)
And as for the answers to my home-made quiz, the answers (per Liz) were True, False, True, False, True, False, True.