Friday, June 26, 2009

Feeling the Looove by Risa Green

I stumbled upon this article today, and thought it was interesting enough to share with all of my blog friends. I think I'll give it a try...get ready hubby - LOL!

Feeling the Loove by Risa Green....

By all accounts, my husband and I should have been divorced three years ago. We met in college, then spent two years in a long distance relationship, and then I dropped my entire life and moved to a new city where I didn’t know a soul in order to be with him. With that kind of a story (Too young! Not reality! Asking for resentment!), the odds of our relationship lasting past year one of parenthood, let alone past the seven year itch, were totally against us. But, so far we have defied the statistics, and we recently celebrated our tenth anniversary. As I wrote in my card to my husband, I really do love him more every single day. (Okay. Maybe not every single day. There are definitely some days when I want to strangle him, especially when he obsesses over how many calories are in three Red Vines, or when he treats me like I am a total moron who is incapable of performing even the most basic things without him.) But these days are far outweighed by days when I really do like him a whole lot, and so if you were to measure my love for him every single day and then take a daily average, I am pretty confident that it would turn out to be a net positive.)

But still, loving my husband and, you know, loooving my husband are two totally different things. Love is what you get when you realize that, despite his flaws, there is probably no other man on the planet who you could tolerate on a daily basis. But looove is what you get in the beginning of a relationship, when you’re stomach does all kinds of flippy things and you just want to be with him all. the. time.

After more than fifteen years together, I feel lucky that I love my husband as much as I do. But do I looove him? Yeah, not so much. Of course, it happens, on occasion. A drunken night in Vegas, a surprise gift from the Barney’s shoe department. But those are few and far between (and, given the economic situation, even fewer, and even farther between). But is it possible to looove the man you are married to on a more regular basis? It turns out that you can. Well, sort of. Short of having an affair, you’re probably never going to feel that crazy, new relationship adrenaline rush ever again. But you can have spurts of something close to it. I’ve been doing a little bit of reading on the subject lately, and what I’ve discovered is that the looove feeling is created by doing things together. New things. Different things. Fun things. Things that you don’t do every single weekend, like going to the same little hamburger joint every Friday night and then walking across the street to the same theater to see a movie, and then afterwards going to the same ice-cream shop for a fro-yo. What? I’m just saying.

Our president, apparently, is aware of this. His little jaunt into New York for a night out on the town with his wife was way up there on the loooving scale. Say what you will about using taxpayer money to finance the First date night, but he scored a home run with that one, and in turn got the entire population of married women to collectively nudge their husbands. Because the truth is, we don’t need research and studies to tell us this. Deep down inside, we all know that in order to spice things up a bit, you just need to break out of your rut and do something new. The studies suggest that simply going to a different, new restaurant for dinner, or to a different, new theater, or ordering a different, new flavor can be enough to get you from love to looove. Because trying something different or discovering something new together reminds us, they say, of what it was like in the beginning of our relationships, when everything was different and new. But, somehow, I’m thinking that it might require a little more than a change from lo-carb chocolate cheesecake to low fat cookies and cream.

I have a friend who has been married for twenty years, and she and her husband do new things together all the time. A cooking class, a weekend writing workshop, a drive up the coast. She swears that this is the secret to a long lasting relationship. So I decided to try it myself. A few weeks ago, instead of our usual hamburger/movie/fro-yo combo, my husband and I went down to the beach and took a bike ride together (which we’ve never done), then went and had dinner at a place on the sand that we’d never been to before. It was romantic, and fun and exciting, and for a moment, I forgot that we even had kids and a house and a pile of bills sitting on the desk in our bedroom. For a moment, I felt like we were back in college again. (Well, at least, I did until I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror). But the point is, it worked. When we were riding, and he stopped to point out how the sun was setting behind the mountain, I looked at him in a way I hadn’t in a long time, and my stomach did those flippy things that I had thought it had forgotten how to do. And as we walked into the restaurant, he held my hand, and I was feeling it. I was feeling the looove. But then at dinner, as we sat there, talking about ride, he wondered aloud how many calories were in the bread sticks, and just like that, it was gone.