Day 295: Keeping Romance Alive

August 6, 2012

For act 295, I read an article from Focus on the Family called “Keeping Romance Alive.”

At one point in the article, the author quoted Bill Maier, who was trying to identify some possible reasons why a certain husband wasn’t romancing his wife anymore. One of the possibilities that he identified accurately captures what was going on with me before 365 Acts of Love:

[It] may be that he is feeling fine and thinks your marriage is going great. In other words, he’s pretty clueless and hasn’t noticed anything wrong with the relationship. He loves you and feels warm feelings toward you, but simply doesn’t express them.

I’m so glad that you were able to bring this issue in our marriage to my attention and that I’ve since worked hard to express my feelings for you in ways that you appreciate.


Day 185: Love Coupons

April 4, 2012

At one point, I said my acts of love would consist only in accomplished acts, not promises to commit acts. I made that decision because of my failure to fulfill the clean-the-living-room-for-a-week act and because you haven’t cashed in those coupons for household chores. After some consideration, though, I decided to give the coupon thing another shot.

During our first or second year of marriage, we bought a book of “love coupons,” thinking they would be fun to use. You left the book with me and said that they were mine to give to you at my discretion. I put them away, fully intending to use them, but never did.

A few days ago, we were spring cleaning when I found that book. I thought it’d be fun to give you one of them as a sort of reminder of our newlywed days. Here it is:

We don’t watch a lot of TV, but the idea behind the coupon is that I want you to have an evening in which my attention is focused on you and nothing else. I hope this works . . .

Day 164: A Fresh Start

March 12, 2012

I’ve recently lost sight of project 365. Although I’ve consistently done acts of love for you, my mind’s been focused on work. This hasn’t been bad, but necessary. Still, I need to renew my commitment to 365. I’m doing so by taking you back to the beginning. On day 2, I committed to buying you flowers every week. So far, you’ve made sure that I’ve stuck by that commitment. On Saturday, in continuation of that commitment and as a symbol of the commitment I made to you through 365, I bought you flowers. Although it wasn’t an act extraordinaire, if I consistently buy you flowers, over time it will have a compounding effect on our relationship. So, too, will this blog, if I remain committed to it.

Day 157: Unchained Melody

March 4, 2012

We spent most of yesterday evening apart because I had to be at the office. While there, I bought one of our songs on Amazon: “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers. Then I texted you that “you should check our Amazon Cloud Drive for a special song from me to you.” You texted back: “Whaaat??? Thanks sweetie poo!”

Day 146: Hot Chocolate by the Kindle Fire

February 22, 2012

Yesterday I told you to wait in the bathroom for a few minutes while I prepared a surprise for you. (I’m not sure why I chose the bathroom. I guess you could’ve waited in the bedroom.) While you were in there, I made a trail of rose petals from the bathroom door, down the stairs, and out the front door to our patio table. On the table I set two cups of hot chocolate and our Kindle Fire, which was running a fireplace app. I then knocked on the bathroom door and told you to follow the rose petals to your surprise. You did and found me standing by the table inviting you to have hot chocolate with me. You accepted the invite (phew!), so we sat under the stars sipping hot chocolate and admiring how real the fire looked. At one point, you felt the Kindle’s screen and said, “Wow! The fire’s even warm!” I laughed and told you that the Kindle’s always warm when it’s on.

Maybe I should make some saccharine comment at this point about how you kindle the fire in my heart. Nah, I’ll refrain . . .

Day 61: Romantic Dance

November 29, 2011

For my 61st act of love, I wanted to dance with you in our living room to a song from our wedding: UB40’s “(I Can’t Help) Falling in Love with You.” I was actually nervous and embarrassed about asking you to do this, because the whole thing seemed overly sentimental to me. You kind of like things that way, though.

After setting up the song, I walked over to where you were sitting, put my hand on your shoulder, and just stood there. “Do you need something?” you asked. “Me? Uh . . . how are you doing?” I responded. “Good, thanks.” I continued standing there with my hand on your shoulder. “Hey . . . ” I said.  “Yes?” “Do you want to dance with me to one of our wedding songs?” You hesitated and looked confused, but said okay. You seemed a little embarrassed as well.

I started the song. We approached each other, both of us smiling nervously. I took your hand and drew you close.  As I put my arms around you, you broke into laughter. “What?!” I said. “Sorry! Let’s try again,” you said. This time you contained yourself. We started dancing and it was so very awkward (which is not atypical–neither of us know how to dance). We tried to take it seriously for a few seconds until you said, “What is this? The Wonder Years at prom?” At that, we both burst out laughing. For nearly the entire song, we tried to reel in our laughter, but couldn’t. We switched from one awkward dance move to another, laughing so hard at times that we couldn’t breathe.

Finally, our laughter died down. You snuggled up close to me and put your head on my shoulder. I started stroking your hair as we danced and the music played “Take my hand/ Take my whole life too/ For I can’t help falling in love with you.” Then, your shoulders started shaking. “Is she crying?” I thought. They started shaking a little more violently. No, you weren’t crying. You weren’t so overcome by the moment that you couldn’t contain your emotions. You were trying to cover up your laughter! “You’re laughing!” I said. With that, we laughed uncontrollably until the song ended. “That was fun! We haven’t laughed like that in a long time,” you said. I agree. Although this act didn’t end up being as romantic as I intended, it was totally worthwhile.

Day 52: Intimacy

November 21, 2011

I decided that this post’s too personal for the blog, honey. If you want to see it, ask me.

Day 42: Baking Love

November 10, 2011

I increased my domestic skills yesterday by making chocoate chip cookies from scratch for the very first time. Don’t worry–I had “help” from our daughters. I don’t hate to brag, but the cookies tasted like gooey deliciousness. Perhaps it’s because I cheated on the recipe by putting in more brown sugar than suggested (3/4 of a cup is weaksauce). You’re welcome for that. Although making you cookies wasn’t the most romantic gesture, you definitely enjoyed me bringing you a plate full of warm cookies and a glass of cold milk. You should know that I made them for you and only you because I love you. I think that’s consistent with the fact that I ate about 12 of them.

Speaking of romantic gestures, now’s as good a time as any to tell you part of my reason for starting this blog. Obviously, my stated purpose is to express and increase my love for you. But, a key aspect of that is expressing my love romantically. About six months ago, you and I had a heated discussion. You maintained that I don’t do much to show you I love you and I maintained the opposite. My examples included things like consistently helping out around the house, being there for the family nearly every night after work and certainly every weekend, going grocery shopping with you because you don’t like to do it alone, working really hard to support our family, etc. I got frustrated because I couldn’t understand why those kinds of acts weren’t enough. “I’ve given everything for you and our family and I’ve loved every minute! What more could you want from me?!” I thought I had you. How could you argue with that? You said you appreciated those things, but that I don’t romance you–I rarely bring you flowers or tell you I love you or write you love notes or hold your hand or tell you you’re beautiful or take you on dates. To that, I didn’t have much to say; I knew you were right. Somewhere along our journey, I stopped romancing you. In spite of all I did for you, I took us for granted–I put our relationship on cruise control and focused on other things. 

After that conversation, I decided to change. But I knew that unless I did something systematic, the change wouldn’t last. For me, It’s easy to go all out on something for a few days or a few weeks, then to lose interest and stop. So, I came up with this blog–it requires consistency with its built in accountability. I’m happy to say that after 42 days, I don’t just see a need to romance you, I want to romance you. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 343 days. (Oh goodness! 2012’s a leap year. Let’s make it 344 more days.)

Day 21: Romantic Dinner

October 20, 2011

I kept my word and did something romantic for you yesterday. When I came home from work, I told you to just hang out while I prepared dinner. As it turned out, you almost had it finished. So I simply took over while you went on Facebook. I cleaned the dining area (which took some effort–our kids used it for their play area that day), set up the table for a candle-lit dinner, and put on some nice music. We ate roast, which you prepared wonderfully, and had a very romantic time . . . with our precious little ones dropping roast on the carpet, refusing to eat, and messing with the candle! Would you have it any other way?

Day 20

October 19, 2011

Wow! My loving acts for you get more and more romantic–last night I began organizing my book collection for you. Okay, that’s not romantic. But I promise that many romantic acts are coming! I know how much you’ll appreciate this act once it’s done. I have books stacked on my desk, under my desk, on top of the bookshelf, beside the bookshelf, under the bed, and of course, on the bookshelf. Many of these books I’ll never read. You’ve begged me for days (okay, months) to do something about them. Now, I am. I’m sorting through my books, trying to be realistic about which ones I’ll read and which ones I need to trash. I promise I won’t keep any more books than will fit on my bookshelf (and perhaps under the bed). You’ve graciously endured my bibliophile tendencies too long and it’s time for me to change.  May I bless you with this act and romance you with the next.