Monday, March 08, 2010

Love Talk

Being in love is a wonderful circumstance we are all grateful to find ourselves in. It is all at once a heartwarming, fulfilling, consuming, euphoric, promising and tantalizing experience. Love stirs us to be at our best and moves us to thoughtful, attentive action and deference. Being in love is seemingly effortless at times, especially in the formative days of a new relationship when one is all agush with admiration for the object of his affection, when one cannot ask too much of you and you cannot give too much of yourself. But the truth is romantic love is far from being an effortless adventure. As time passes and the newness wears off, it becomes apparent that intentional and continuous effort is required to nurture and preserve romantic love. Love cannot be assumed to be just simply “understood” between two people or even left to chance and nature’s course; it must be actively encouraged, reciprocated and reassured if love is to take root, grow deeper and endure for a lifetime.

Reassuring someone of your love involves both action and verbal expression. Showing your love is easily accomplished through various actions that are recognized as signs of love, like lingering in the comfort of a warm embrace, walking hand in hand, sharing a passionate kiss, or hundreds of other tender, attentive gestures that are given exclusively to our loved one. But such actions are not enough – one likes to hear that you love her, and probably likes to hear it often and in ways that have never been said before. Expressing your love with words in a tender, insightful and disclosing conversation or in brief yet meaningful phrases, are reassurances of your affection and commitment. Whether one sings another to sleep with a favorite love song or often repeats a little jingle that has special meaning, people in love find personal and intimate ways to verbally express their love for one another. It is that love talk, those little sweet nothing statements that are, when said, as profound and memorable, if not more so, as any gesture of love one might make, that this book is about.

We most often express our love by simply saying, “I love you.” These words, whether spoken or written, are not to be underestimated in their significance. These words are spoken in every language and culture and are longed for by everyone at one time or another in our lives. These words are used at pivotal moments in relationships, as when first telling someone of how important they have become in your heart or when wedding vows are exchanged. However, familiarity brings an unfortunate consequence and one day this phrase will no longer be as fresh and heart lifting as when it was first spoken. Not because “I love you” becomes less treasured or believable as an expression of romantic love, but because we tend to become less attentive to that which happens, or is said, all the time.

So what to do? The solution to this romance dilemma is simple – one must take advantage of the human desire for novelty. Our attention is peaked when we see and experience something for the first time. Likewise, our hearts are lifted when we hear “I love you” said differently, said not out of habit or expectation, but out of a desire to express this: “I want to tell you just how special and important you are to me, and I want to tell you in a way I’ve never said and you’ve never heard before.” Love talk must be not only sincere, but also creative, thoughtful and ever changing to make sure his ears receive your words with the desired enthusiasm and welcome effect.

Furthermore, not only must one think of and say “I love you” in different ways, one must learn to hear “I love you” when it is said, even if perhaps not exactly in those three words. Just as one has a responsibility to be loving and reassuring toward his partner, one also has a responsibility to recognize and be receptive to the many ways in which the partner might express her romantic love. Sometimes saying “I love you” comes easy, sometimes not. Sometimes saying “I love you” doesn’t seem enough for the moment and other words should be employed instead. Hearing these words and making known their tender effect are essential steps to giving your loved one the confidence that you understand him and value his efforts to express himself. What better way is there to let someone know you love the way she loves you?

Make love talk a part of your repertoire, a new step in your romantic dance. When you do, you will touch a heart in a way that it has not been touched before. When you do, you will see that love talk confers a unique message to someone who wants to hear just what love talk really is - the sound of a memory that will last forever.

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