“Oh, dear married friends, what if we quit letting movies and the internet convince us that we need a rose petal-filled bubble bath or a weekend in Europe or a candle-lit dinner in some fancy restaurant? We don’t need those things to be happy in marriage.”
A few days ago, we discussed romance on the podcast. A friend of ours posed the question, “Melissa, what is the most romantic thing Chad has done in the past year?” I sat there in silence, desperately trying to think of one huge romantic gesture that I could point to. I tried to remember if he had sent me flowers or had written me a song. I tried to recall some way that he had swept me off of my feet during the past year, and I couldn’t think of a single example. We moved on and finished the podcast, but for several hours afterward I was still troubled by the fact that I couldn’t think of any big thing Chad had done to romance me this year. Because I knew that I FEEL romanced. But, what exactly is it that makes me feel that way, even without a major romantic milestone to look back on?
And, then it hit me. What has romanced me this year isn’t flowers or nights out or even the beautiful diamond ring that Chad splurged on at Christmas (although I am never one to discourage or turn down diamonds). What has made me feel cared for this year is something that goes much deeper than gifts. Unfortunately, we women are so easily convinced that our husbands aren’t doing enough. We compare them to other men or to fictional characters, and we completely discount the ways that they make us feel on a daily basis. The truth is that while I was searching for some grand romantic gesture, I realized that one reason that I’m truly happy and feel loved and adored by my husband is that I decided years ago to try not to miss what’s right in front of me every day.
Like the way that he reaches over and grabs my hand when he’s driving. Or the way that he texts me What are you doonin? because that’s how Emerald used to say “doing.” The way that he saves the last of the whip cream for me. Or the way he picks up my favorite drink when he’s at the grocery store. The way he holds me close at night and makes me laugh even though I’m half asleep. The way he always asks if I’m getting sick when I clear my throat. The way he tells me that things aren’t as fun when I’m not there. Or the way he overlooks it when I snap at him for no reason.