[Author, speaker, and pastor Steve Goodier wrote this wonderful piece. To subscribe to Steve's emailed inspirations, go to his web site, here.]
After careful consideration and endless debate The Perfect Man has finally been named: "Mr. Potato Head." He's tan. He's cute. He knows the importance of accessorizing. And if he looks at another girl, you can rearrange his face.
Jean Kerr quipped, "Personally, I think if a woman hasn't met the right man by the time she's 24, she may be lucky." We become cynical about love, don't we? We're tempted to believe that real love is a myth, a long-term relationship is a marathon and romance is for kids.
One person said, "Marriage changes passion...suddenly you're in bed with a relative." But does marriage have to kill romance? Is marriage really nothing but a long banquet at which the dessert is served first?
I believe in love and romance. I believe it is something that can last forever, if it is carefully cultivated. Here are some tips for keeping romance alive and for staying in love:
FIND time to date. Time to be alone and tell each other of your love. You spent time alone at first...why did you quit? My wife and I get away alone every week. Just to refocus on each other. And to fall in love again.
UNDERSTAND what delights the other and make it happen. "The romance is over," says Marlys Huffman, "when you see a rosebush and start looking for aphids instead of picking a bouquet." Does she like to be surprised by flowers? Does he have a favorite dish or activity? Does she enjoy spontaneous affection? Know what brings pleasure to your partner -- and delight him/her!
NEVER forget why you got together in the first place. When you focus first on his faults you're not thinking about his strengths. When you're busy pointing out her imperfections, you're not enjoying those qualities that attracted you to her initially. Choose to appreciate that which first drew you together and your romance will grow.
The first letter of these three tips spells the word FUN. Have fun together. Laugh. Go on outings. Plan time to enjoy one another. Remember, "the family the PLAYS together also STAYS together"!
A woman from Charleston, South Carolina was overheard to remark that it was her 53rd wedding anniversary. When asked if she planned a special celebration, she smiled and said softly, "When you have a nice man, it really doesn't matter." I suspect they learned the secrets of staying in love.
Just in case you're not presently with Mr. or Miss Exactly Right, there ARE some things you can do to bring romance back into your life. And though your relationship may never be perfect, it CAN be perfectly wonderful.