Just Say It
We talked at length about how actions speak louder than words in Chapter 6. At the same time, words do speak at great volume. It's crucial to keep reminding yourselves that very few people ever tire of being told they are loved. In a romantic relationship, doing all the small and big things is a vital ingredient to a vibrant love life, but saying the small and big things also makes a difference. For example, think of how potent the following phrases are in a partnership:
“I noticed what you did”
“You look great”
“I'm proud of you”
“We make a great team”
These and many other little signals say, “I love you and you're important to me.” We all love to hear them. We all need to say them. Besides simple conversation, there are lots of times, places, and ways to pick out the perfect bon mot and spring it on the one you love.
The time to say something special should happen in powerful moments as well as in daily life. Your routine, as a loving couple, should include a few words of affection every morning, as one or both of you head out the door. Saying good-bye with just a bit of extra effort is a great way to start the day.
The right words can also spice up the rest of a regular day. Some spouses and lovers exchange e-mail. Others make phone calls. Clever couples exchange notes, which they stealthily leave in a briefcase or purse. The occasional small interruption to the drudgery of the day that a partner can make with a few pleasant words can really lift the spirits. Try it sometime.
Then, there's the all-important dinner hour. Recent research suggests that families who have dinner together enjoy healthier lifestyles, because they take the time to prepare and eat things like vegetables. There's also a mental health aspect to a meal. Pleasant company and positive communication help food digest and melts away the troubles of the day. Stress management experts have known for years that a supportive family can reduce the impact of the hectic lifestyle. Young married couples and seniors alike should make a point to share the day's events during the evening meal. We need to talk in order to stay connected. When it's done right, an enjoyable dining experience can be like the first step of an evening-long foreplay.
A sticky note is a romantic word quickie just waiting to happen!
Still, the most important time of the day to say something romantic is right before you fall asleep. We can't emphasize this enough. Whether it's after a round of rousing sex or just the end of a routine day, you should make one more contact with each other as night falls. Even those of you who have different bedtimes should make sure you say, “Good night” and “I love you” regularly. Anytime and anyplace are great times to say a few words of love and comfort.