Romance & You (Or…How to Enjoy Delicious Self Care)
The most important relationship you will ever have while you’re here is with your sacred and delightful self. Romance is a way to look at life and a way to experience it that invites love into a relationship – even one with yourself! Here are some ways to invite romance into your life. I’ve divided the suggestions by different definitions of the word “romance”. Choose a few ideas that sound like fun and add them to your life soon!
- Write yourself a love letter. What do you love about yourself? What nice things do you say to others that equally apply to you (but you never say them to yourself)? What praise do you long to hear? Give yourself this gift of love and then mail it, sealed with a kiss!
- Care for yourself with abandon! Get that checkup you’ve been putting off. Take a dance class. Give yourself time to go on a photo shoot or paint in the garden.
- Say only kind words for a whole day – to everyone, yourself included. At the end of the day how do you feel? If you forgot to be kind at some point – be kind to yourself about that too.
- Look for love all around you – you’ll find it. Is a gorgeous sunset a love letter from God? How about the care a cook puts into a meal made for you, is that love? A hug from your son, a text from a friend, the smile a stranger gives you – all love.
- Look at yourself in the mirror, blow kisses, tell your beautiful reflection that you love her.
Idyll (a pleasurable or romantic interlude):
- Visit a beautiful flower or botanical garden.
- Take a walk in a lovely place. Soak it in. Saunter, really enjoy yourself.
- Tour a romantic home (or get Romantic Homes Magazine). How can you make your home more romantic? What’s a romantic home to you? Cozy and sensual, lace and white paint, pink and flowers, velvet and shiny wood, candles and a deep tub? Create romantic home experiences and vignettes for yourself.
- Visit an art museum and look for the romantic paintings. Which ones make you feel deeply that life is beautiful?
- Go to a farm market and revel in the colors and fragrances. Buy a beautiful apple – a symbol of love!
- Indulge in delightful daily rituals like a cup of tea and 20 minutes of quiet, time in nature, a gentle yoga practice, meditation, or connection with a lover or friend.
- Set your table beautifully for a meal – even if it’s just you eating. Put on music, really relax and enjoy your meal. Create a little romantic interlude!
- Take time for yourself: make something, take a class on something you love, play an instrument, etc.
- Enjoy a spa day. It could be at a spa, or you could do it in your own home. I like to give myself an afternoon off each week (sometimes on the weekend, but preferably during the week if I can) to relax, give myself a spa treatment, and attend to my favorite rituals like journaling or creating something.
- Make a romantic music playlist – beware the sad romance songs, unless that’s what you enjoy. Find songs that make you feel loving, passionate, flirtatious, pleased, empowered, sexy.
- Read novels or memoirs that tell a story of love that’s uplifting and fun, they don’t need to be about a typical romance, but they may.
- What are your favorite romantic movies? Make a list and stream them – it could be a marathon! Or watch one a week for a romance injection. Some of mine are: Roman Holiday, Indiscrete, While You Were Sleeping, The Holiday, Mamma Mia, Waitress, Amelie, Moonstruck, About a Boy, Emma, and The Philadelphia Story.
- Write a poem about some delight or passion. Try a Haiku if you feel concerned about your poetic ability. (Here is a how-to link for Haikus)
- Write a 6 word memoir. Make it juicy, hot, romantic, sensual, passionate, or loving.
- Rewrite your sad story (the one you keep telling) as a romance. Often old romance stories were adventure stories as well. Sad things happened, there were villains, and there was excitement, but love and good won out in the end. How can you spin your life experience as a romance? It’s really fun to try this and can make you see your life in a whole new light.
- List your passions. Do you have any? I used to think I’d given all that up to become an adult, but they began to show up little by little as I coaxed them out of hiding. There are often “rules” we start to believe that say we can’t have our passions, or they’re childish, or dangerous. Don’t listen to that voice! We’re going for romance and passion is invited.
- Look at your passion list then take a small step to engage in one of your passions. Love baking but don’t want to eat it all yourself? Find friends, family, neighbors, etc. who you can delight with your excess deliciousness. Then bake away!
- Is there something you love to create? A painting, photograph, jewelry, a lovely home, etc. Set aside time to indulge in this beautiful and messy interest. Making things is creative, and sensuous, and life affirming. All good for you! You can make it for you or for someone you love. Perhaps it could become a passionate new income stream.
- What’s special or meaningful to you and expresses your passions? Treasures you’ve collected on travels? Photos of loved ones? Your favorite jewelry? Display these or take time to enjoy them regularly: wear them, share them, play with them.
- Compliment yourself wildly. Tell yourself how fabulous you are. Wink at yourself in the mirror. Laugh at your own jokes. Flirting is playful, light fun. You can share that with yourself.
- Take yourself on an ideal date. This is probably not dinner and a movie, though it could be. Go on a midnight cruise, skinny dip on a full moon night, wear that sexy dress, take a rumba lesson.
- Flirt with a new love interest. Is it birdwatching? Pottery? How about learning Italian cookery? Give it a whirl, see if there’s something exciting there.
- Actually flirt with someone, the UPS guy, the cute barista. Keep it light; flirting is fun, free, and no strings attached.
- Try the library…really. It’s a great place to find new interests to flirt with! Look for new authors or books full of beautiful images of gardens, fashions, interiors, or art. Browse for new interests. Or you could even look for romance novels. Try the old classics. Here are some of my favorite classic romantic(ish) authors: The Baroness Orczy (The Scarlet Pimpernel), Elizabeth Von Arnim (The Enchanted April), Jane Austen (of course…), Alexandre Dumas (Count of Monte Cristo, Three Musketeers), Miss Read, and Georgette Heyer. You could also read the romantic poets like Robert Burns, John Keats, Thomas Moore, and Elizabeth Barret Browning. Have fun!
An attraction or appeal to the emotions and/or senses:
- Buy a gorgeous plant or flowers for your office, home, or both; extra points if they smell heavenly.
- Eat your favorite foods, take time to really enjoy them. This is a special romantic treat, indulge!
- List some simple, luxurious pleasures you enjoy and then do those things with joy, regularly.
- Leave little notes around to discover each day. They could be poems you love, or notes of encouragement to yourself, or beautiful images.
- Wear sensual clothing – clothing that feels really good and looks great on you. Maybe it’s a bit flirtatious or luxurious. That shirt that’s amazing, but too good to wear – put that thing on! Enjoy being a Romantic.
- What appeals to your senses? The smell of coffee in the morning? Singing birds? Ocean sounds and smells? Add that to your life in some way. Give yourself gifts of the senses: beautiful views, delicious fragrances, luxurious textures. You can even fake it and enjoy it. I don’t have a fireplace in my current home, and I love the ocean, but I live in Iowa. So, I bought a DVD with bonfires on the beach – just high quality images and sounds of fire and ocean. Yummy!
- What experiences create positive emotions in you? Do those things. Make a list.
- Set up a romantic haven for yourself in your home: a comfy chair, soft throw, beautiful lighting, flowers and a candle, fresh bedding, a favorite book to read, love notes, etc.