Thursday, October 22, 2009

Once Upon A Woo

I remember a time when my husband and I were courting (it's a fairy tale time, go with the lingo!) and he'd write me beautiful poems and love letters. If we were ever apart for a mere few hours, I'd receive a little note expressing how much he loved and missed me. While days apart almost drove us to madness, the little papers hidden and tucked away to find later were a saving grace.

No wonder when you first begin dating someone, you feel almost on a high. They are extolling your many virtues (and ignoring your many faults) on an around the clock basis. Ones self-esteem can't help but rise when your hair is compared to the dancing flames of a roaring fire, or your eyes the colour of emeralds.

On the show, "Newlywed, Nearly Dead" which I never, ever watch but happened to glimpse last night, the counsellor advises couples to "Renew the Woo." In last nights episode, he told them sex was off limits for a week, and they had to slow dance instead every evening. It seems so trivial a task, but really, how many of us take the time to even hug our partners longer than a minute between routines and children's needs, in a day? I know for me, it's almost a perfunctory quick embrace before I'm on to the next item on my daily list.

All of us crave physical touch, maybe some less than others. I, myself, am not a huggy-kissy type at all. (well, except with my kids) We all like to hear compliments about ourselves and we all like to feel valued, appreciated and loved. There is nothing worse, psychologically, than being rejected by those you love. The feeling of being taken for granted is one I see discussed repeatedly over and over and over again on every parenting website I'm on, and every dialogue between girlfriends I have.

So, why do we give up wooing each other? It doesn't take a lot of time. It doesn't break the bank. I'm not talking big expensive gifts and lavish spoiling. I'm referencing that moment where you feel someone took special notice of you-the way you smile, the glint in your eyes, the way you bite the inside of your cheek when you are nervous. That moment where you feel someone knows you and has studied you in a way others miss. When someone else confirms what we should all already know-that we are special and unique.

I don't mean empty words or false niceties either. If anything, I'm a realist. I don't want someone just saying nice things to me to blow smoke up my butt, nor do I like to feel like I'm being manipulated with sugary offerings. Usually for me, those have the opposite effect than desired. No, I mean real, true expressions of what it is about the other person that makes them stand out to you above and beyond the tireless drudgery of the every day.

Let's just face facts, here. We are lazy. We get complacent and careless in our love relationships, the same as we do in friendships. Somewhere down the line, hopefully, and if we are lucky, the light comes back on that we have been neglecting the one person who we should be admiring for their sheer staying power, let alone the daily things they do to make our lives easier or happier.

No matter how long you have been partnered, take some real time today, and preferably every day, to truly LOOK at them and notice some small detail that you love that maybe you haven't told them in awhile. Hold hands. Slow dance. Embrace for a long, long time.

Renew the woo.

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