I wrote this post last year and somehow, it got lost in emails and never got posted. Fortunately, what women really want for Valentine’s Day hasn’t really changed, has it?
So here is my list:
- We want to be heard and listened to and asked. Day after day, we can easily slip into patterns of functionality that may work, but that don’t lead to joy and happiness. Especially around midlife, a time when we ladies are reexamining everything and exploring new thoughts, new dreams, new desires—it’s like it’s our last chance for living—we want you to hear us as we speak new thoughts for the first time, and listen to us as we struggle to express oddly shaped dreams we are not even sure about. We want you to ask us what we really want. This is why it’s important to go out to dinner—not to impress, but to get undivided attention. And it’s not just about us; we want to know what’s going on with you, too.
- Thoughtfulness. Roses and candy are fine, but if we are trying to eat healthier or live a more ecofriendly life, the consideration to buy organic means you are thinking ahead, not just grabbing something at the last minute. But even more important is sharing your thoughts. It doesn’t have to be a poem, but a declaration of deep love lasts so much longer than a bouquet.
- Romance in action. Forget the grand gestures. A little action snuck in between the minutes of our day works even better. No, I’m not talking about a quickie; I’m talking about doors being opened, PDA, gropes in the kitchen (especially gropes in the kitchen!), cleaning up after oneself when you know it matters. Notes! Emails! Smiles. That’s the good stuff.
- Passion. It annoys the hell out of me that the media portray women my age as being desire-less and not interested in sex. Yeah, why is that?! If this were really true, then romance novels wouldn’t be the most read type of book. Talk about passion! Sex! Wowsa. Passion is primal. I believe we suppress our desires for a lot of reasons, but none of them are good reasons—and if you are not feeling it, I think that demands your deep attention. Deep, deep down, we all want it, right? Right?! Bring it on.
- Connection. Real connection comes from sharing, sharing interests, hobbies, dreams, passions. Keeping that connection alive over the years as each person grows in different ways can often be a challenge, so it’s worth making a special attempt to stay connected. This means stuff like doing things you both enjoy together. Staying open to talking about what’s really going on, not just daily schedules and details of home-keeping. Obviously, our kids keep us connected, too—our little valentines! But they can’t be the center of everything because eventually they want to go off and find their own valentines, as they should. True intimacy happens in the smallest moments of sharing disappointments, fears, hopes, dreams, and our deepest desires, knowing we are safe and loved.
I don’t have all the answers, just a few tips. I’d love to hear what tips you all have!
In the meantime, happy Valentines Day!