Wednesday, February 9, 2011

All Things Love: Actions Speak Louder

While acknowledging your love for someone verbally is a definite must, the old adage 'Actions speak louder than words' applies as well. You can say something until your blue in the face but until you take the steps to affirm your words with actions, they can fall flat.

Which brings us to the funnest part of All Things Love week! The romantic gestures. Just a forewarning that although I've spoken a lot about that fact that love doesn't just have to be about a romantic involvement with someone, these actions are going to be more geared to the mushy kind of love because of Valentines Day. 

Guys, some women say that they don't like flowers because they always end up dying. For that I say, don't be dumb. Flowers are beautiful. Who doesn't want flowers? The only time that it is stupid to purchase flowers for someone is if you spend a un-Godly amount of money on flowers just for them to die. You don't need to spend a ton of cash on a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Another way to get around this is to purchase flower seeds or bulbs and plant them together. Watch them grow over time. Or pick some! It's a cute way to get around the money issue.

John of Young House Love seriously wow-ed me when Sherry posted that for Christmas, he was gifting her a bouquet of flowers every month for the next year. Keep in mind, that he didn't mean a huge $100 bouquet from a flower shop every single month. He meant a cute reasonably price bouquet from a grocery store or something to that extent. I absolutely adore this idea. I know that there at our local grocery stores, you can get a bouquet for about $5 to $10. So, in a 12 month period, you would spend $60 to $120 on a gift. Not only will she feel special every single month, but you also get the benefit of having fresh flowers in your house (if you live together.) Having fresh flowers/plants in your house has been proven to improve air quality and it boosts your happiness. Yes, that's what the study was on. Boosted happiness. Get over it. :)

That just reminded me. When was the last time I watered my plants? Uh-oh. 

Date Night
In our house, our go-to date night is dinner and a movie. Which is fine, since we love movies... and food. But sometimes that can get monotonous. Sometimes I wish Bryan would put a bit more effort into date night. Here are a few ideas to spice things up. 
  • Take your lady to dinner and a play. It's more captivating, more romantic and you support local theater efforts. Plus, it adds a little bit of cultural flair to your life. 
  • Take your woman dancing. When is the next rodeo? Or is there a local bar/club in town that has dancing nights? Is there a concert playing around town anywhere soon? Dig up some information, tell your lover to get cute and the entire time you guys are dancing, never take your eyes off her. Give her the full attention she deserves. 
  • Speaking of dancing, are the any local recitals coming up? Does she have a cousin, niece or nephew in dance? Find out when the dates are and make it a point to take her there. Is there a comedy club near by? Everyone loves funny. And even if the comedian sucks, it'll give you lots to make fun of, in a nice way of course.
  • If you want something more chill and low maintenance, grab a coffee and drive around. Look at houses, go out into the country and turn up her favorite songs. Take the time to learn some of the lyrics so you can sing them with her. Belt it out and have some fun. Stop somewhere in the country and dance with her under the stars. 
  • Have access to a projector? Grab one of her favorite movies and go set up a movie area on the side of a house or building downtown. (Make sure to get permission, if necessary.) Invite her friends and family or just take her favorite snacks and take a load off. Picnic sandwiches for dinner for a low budget meal. 
Remember, some of these plans can be easily switched out to be guy friendly. Girls, is there a truck show coming around? Take your man to it. Or get him two tickets so that he can pick a friend to go with. Are there any local sports teams that you can get tickets too? Grab a few beers and have him teach you the game (if you don't already understand the rules.) He'll love that you are interested and he'll definitely answer any questions you have. 

Make sure you tailor your plans to your significant other. If he hates water polo, don't take him to a match. If he hates the local basketball team, try to save up to attend a game of the team he prefers. If your girl doesn't like to dance because she's shy, don't take her to one. Take her to a coffee shop or a library or Target. It's important that you pay attention to the things she likes so that you can plan accordingly.

Small Acts
There are always small things that people have to do that they hate. Whether is a chore or an errand, everyone hates to do something. If you are wanting to do a small thing that is technically a big deal to them, here are a few ideas.
  • Does your man always have to get the oil changed in the vehicles? One Saturday, wake up early, take the car or cars to a local shop and get the oil changed for him. Let him sleep in or enjoy his morning while you do this task for him!
  • If you have a day off from work, surprise your man/woman with lunch. Food is always a good way to go. ;)
  • Leave a note on her windshield with a flower secured by her wiper. Girls love love notes. They also like surprised. This is a win-win. Girls, men like notes too. Sneak out while they are taking a shower and place a note on their dashboard where they will see it in the morning. Write something sweet (or naughty if that floats your boat.) 
  • Does your other half always get the mail? Mail him or her a letter so that it'll be there when they get it. Stamped and processed by the postal system. It'll show forethought and that you acknowledge the fact that they do this task every day. 
  • Bills. Someone has to pay them. If your lover does this tedious and stressful task, make it easier on them. Set everything up that they need. Organize all the bills and file everything away when they are done. Brew them a cup of tea or coffee or grab them a beer and some chips. While they are doing the bills, don't sit there and watch TV. Do something productive like cleaning the kitchen or a bathroom. Make them feel like they aren't the only one contributing.
Grand Plans
I used to commute to work every day. Anyone who is anyone knows that sometimes, this can get tedious. Even when you usually like the drive to clear your mind, sometimes you just don't want to do it. If your man/woman is a creature of habit, I always thought that it would be really awesome to do any of the following:
  • Have your friend drop you off half way through the commute at a stop-light or sign (make sure your friend waits there in case this ends up being the day that she has to work late or run an errand after work.) with a sign or some way to get his/her attention. Move her to the passenger seat so that you can drive her the rest of the way home. They'll be stunned that you organized such a simple task for her. 
  • Better yet, if they work far enough away that it's considered a commute but close enough that one of your friends could drop you off, let him/her find you leaning against their car with a treat (favorite soda, coffee or smoothie) and offer to drive them home. 
  • Guys, grab a blindfold and take her to the place you met her. Get mushy for a second and tell her what you first thought of her and what you think about her now. (Once, Bryan did this. He took me to the house where we met and we danced in the street. It was ridiculously cute.)
  • Take him/her to get a massage... or better yet, a couples massage! Its a great way to relax together. After, if the place is downtown, drink your water while walking around and window shop. Make sure to hold hands. 
  • Surprise her with a day trip to the coast. Make sure to go to a yummy seafood restaurant and go thrift store or yard sale shopping with her and don't complain when she wants to buy some crazy item, like new dining room chairs. Expect that it'll happen. Then, when you get home, help her paint them or stain them and go along with her crazy idea. You might be surprised when it works. :)
  • Ladies, take your husband to the coast and rent a quad for him. While you tan on the beach, he can go race around and do boy things. Even better? Rent two and make him teach you how to ride it. Then, spend the day riding around and exploring together.
Some of these things are costly... and some of them are free. But all of them will give you a return that is priceless. Keeping the romance and intimacy in a relationship alive is the most important thing you will ever do. If you don't have anything to bond you together, you'll just be two people passing each other in the hallway or getting ready side by side in the morning to live your separate lives. 


Love is worth putting yourself out there. 'Nuff said.


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