By Richard E. Bleil, Ph.D.
This post may be a little too personal to be of interest to anybody but myself, but I want to throw it out there. First, a little bit of information. I married late in life, and the marriage did not last very long at all. This is, to this day, heartbreaking to me. None the less, I was, and still am, a helpless romantic. I’m of the mind that women should be treated as ladies, and during those rare times that I have a romantic relationship, I enjoy showering her routinely with creative romantic gestures. I’m not sure I recommend this; after all, I’ve rarely actually been involved. But, if you are reading this and are looking for an idea, hopefully you’ll get a few ideas. Some are fairly plain, but I have to admit that some of them are creative.
When I was married, I started purchasing flowers to be delivered to my wife on a monthly basis. I paid in advance, so if something should happen to me, they would continue for a while, anyway. I would write out cards for each bouquet, individually and by hand, at the time I purchased them, so even I could not remember what I had written.
When we decided to marry, I wanted to surprise her. We flew to Las Vegas where I had purchased a limousine to bring us from the airport to the hotel. This was a nice surprise for her since she didn’t realize I was doing it, however, that wasn’t the big surprise. I wanted to have something waiting for her, so I went to a card store, and purchased every romantic card that struck my fancy, around thirty of them in total. I wrote a sentiment to her, and mailed them all to her care of the hotel where we had reservations. They were waiting for her at the front desk.
You may have noticed that a lot of my gestures involve writing. Personally, I’m fond of writing (as you might have ascertained from my blog posts). I feel as though it is a way to connect on a very personal level, and, frankly, it’s probably easier to express oneself in written form with the chance to go back and refine than written. Probably one of my favorite gestures was writing love letters. I never kept a schedule since I felt it was more spontaneous to simply write when I was struck by the muse, but I would routinely write love letters, by hand, in calligraphy with a fountain pen. The letters had no purpose, no information save to express my feelings, and I tended to write them roughly once every other week. Quite coincidentally, I later read a study that suggested that, to keep a relationship happy, the minimum frequency of romantic gestures should be roughly every two weeks. If you’re looking for an idea, I highly recommend writing one. You’ll be amazed by her response.
Probably the grandest gesture I can describe takes a bit to provide the background. I had read a story that one can “program” their mind to wake up at any time they wish within about ten minutes (to do so, in bed, look at a clock to fix the current time, and repeat the time you want to get up three times). It makes for poor quality sleep, but it does work. So, by my nightstand, I put a newly opened pad of sticky notes, a pen, and tried to program myself to wake up at two, which was successful. Without turning on a light, I groped for and found the note pad and pen, and found a spot in the house where I would not wake anybody. Unfortunately, I could not turn on a light without waking my wife up, so I couldn’t even see if ink was flowing from the pen, but I assumed it was working normally. I wrote a different comment on each page (some romantic like “I Love You” and “Be Mine” and some silly like “You Give Me Diabetes”). Once completed, I snuck back into the bedroom, and placed the notes all around the bed, in the bedroom, bathroom, out of the bedroom and into the kitchen until they were all posted. The idea was that she would wake up surrounded by these sentiments. Taking the pages off did make more noise than I had anticipated and she woke up temporarily, but when she asked what I was doing, I made up an answer that satisfied her and she fell back asleep without being aware of my scheme. I must admit, this is one of my favorite gestures.
The point is that I believe that one should celebrate the special someone in their life. Yes, I celebrated her birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas and so forth, but it is a sad person that needs the reminder of a holiday to do something special. These things I did just for the heck of it, along with other tokens like small gifts, special meals and the like outside of holidays. If you’re looking for ideas, I hope this has sparked your imagination.