He pulls up in a shiny, freshly detailed car. He’s wearing a suit and has brought me a cheesy prom style collage for my wrist. I am all dressed up too and I have no idea where we’re going. He takes me to an amazing restaurant and then to do a perfect, romantic activity. At the exact right moment, he begins a beautiful speech about how much I mean to him, how much he values our relationship and presents me with a stunning necklace charm as a symbol of his love that I can carry with me always…..
This is the daydream I’ve secretly had for years. My Partner and I have been together for years and he’s never taken me out on a romantic date or really done anything that counts (in my mind) as a grand romantic gesture.
This had been bothering me. I like romance. I’ve done many such date nights for him. I’d been starting to worry, can we learn speak the same love language? Does a life with him mean a life void of romantic moments?
But then I reminded myself, I choose this person.
Okay. So I choose him, which means choosing all of him, including his style of creating romance. I remembered the concept that what you think is what you see. So. I set my daydream aside and I began looking for things, noticing when his actions are romantic even if it’s not that of my daydream.
I found the following examples, just in the past couple of months:
We were snuggled in the sun, reading, my head on his shoulder, my book on his chest. The wind kept catching my page and trying to turn it, before I could react his thumb slipped into place, holding my page in place until I was ready to turn it. He sat like that for an hour.
It was super cold out, I needed gas, he got out, pumped the gas for me and cleaned my windshields.
In Denver, I found an almond based creamer that was oh so yummy. I haven’t been able to find it since. Every food store he enters he checks the creamer section and sends me photos in hopes that he can find it for me again.
On his way into a restaurant, he noticed a guy struggling, alone in the rain to get a wheelchair out of a van. He stopped and helped him.
His place has a super big bathtub which I filled with steaming bubbles and settled in with my book for a good soak. Half an hour later I went to add more hot water only to discover only cold water left. Suddenly, the shower curtain opened a few inches and in came his arms with a pot of boiling water to add to my bath. He suspected I’d run out of water and had put the pot on to boil when I got in the tub.
He works at a church so we rarely get to attend a spiritual service together. Christmas is my favorite time of year. He worked it out so that he could go to Christmas and New Year’s Eve services with me.
We’ve been talking, abstractly, about buying a house so we can fill it with teenaged foster kids. I was mildly worried it was more my dream than ours. When we finally sat down to talk about it more seriously I discovered that he’s been working with a credit expert to raise his credit score and has already started a house savings fund.
He always gets editorial rights when I write about him. A week after I showed him the draft of this article, he showed up for a date night in a shiny clean car with a rose fulfilling on pieces of my daydream above.
The list goes on and on.
There are heaps and piles of evidence that he is committed to being my partner in life. He shows me in small ways every single day that he prioritizes our relationship.
What I realized recently is that my priority is having a life partner who is present, in it and committed to making an amazing life with me. My daydreams are not directly related to that. So I’ll stop having that daydream, it’s not forwarding anything for me or for Us.
In all areas of life, the juice always comes from knowing what your priorities are and consistently aligning your expectations, actions and focus to that priority. So, perhaps grand romantic gestures are more my thing to execute. Maybe I’ll have to do a little work to build a muscle around consistently noticing all of his small, thoughtful gestures. But this is all part of choosing him, of choosing Us.
I know I’m not the only one living a life driven by choice. So I’ve started a community of people who currently are (or are striving to) live life in this manner. Join us on Facebook at Choice Driven Life.