Tis the season for love and romance, candy and flowers, pearls, diamonds and wild nights of passion. Valentine’s Day is coming! What does this all mean? My husband and I celebrated 22 years of marital bliss this past December 22. How do we keep this passion and romance alive, especially after so many years of marriage? Perhaps the answer does not lie in candy, flowers, pearls, diamonds, and wild nights of passion ? these things are nice, even fun and special, but do they make for the romantic tie that binds? My husband is very romantic. He is known for leaving me cards, complete with the mushy gushy stuff under my pillow when he travels. He takes me out on dates and delights me with gifts and flowers. But as I have grown in my marriage and grown to love Gary even more deeply I have found the “simple” everyday interchanges are much more meaningful and intimate to me and what I look forward to each day of my relationship with my husband.

Intimacy is the outcome of connection between two people. Romance is one avenue to connect with your spouse. There is a special occasion romance (Valentine’s Day and the trimmings) and there is the everyday “connecting” that we do with each other that cultivates the intimacy we desire the other 364 days of the year.

Have you ever thought that living with your mate, your spouse, is an absolute kick?! I know those spouses can be frustrating at times but think about it ? wow it really can be romantic! Gary and I have the opportunity to travel to fun places frequently and we do have romantic times away but it is the home and everyday stuff that keeps our marriage close. I have come to love the very things that make up my husband. The way he likes to “go over calendars” together. The way he collects everything. The way I can count on the fact that I will always be the one waiting on him in the car to leave. I adore how our cat Maggie always sits on “his” lap but only when he has his plaid robe on. I know my husband will call me everyday no matter where I am or where he is. I know the way he drives his car into the driveway and how he expects the garage door opener to work from halfway down the street or, if it doesn’t, he thinks it needs a “new” battery. He doesn’t drink plain old milk lattes anymore ? now he drinks “soy” lattes. He’s one in a million and he’s all mine!

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Being together in the “everydayness” of our lives can be highly connecting. Sitting together and reading the newspaper, going for a walk after dinner, running an errand together and holding hands in the car. Don’t forget to acknowledge each other ? the little way you say “I love you.” Say “I love you,” wink at each other, call on the phone to connect, sit and actually have a meal together. If you feel so inclined, light a candle!

Keeping the romance alive requires studying, learning, and coming to “know” whom you are married to and adoring them in spite of it! Growing love can never “depend” on candy and flowers, pearls or diamonds. It does require nurturing and cultivating. Does this mean you never need to give a gift or go out on a romantic date again? No way, baby! These things are important. What it does mean is that we must not take for granted what each day holds for our marriage. Each day of loving your spouse is the key to a lifetime of a satisfying and happy marriage. Happy Valentines Day!

Taken from liferelationships.com The Center for Relationship Enrichment, by Carrie Oliver. Copyright © 2007 Carrie Oliver. All rights reserved. Used by permission