My husband and I are just days away from our 26th wedding anniversary. How that happened, I haven’t a clue. Some parts were hard (seriously, can we just delete year 10 please?), some of it was a blur, but most of it has been really, really good. We learned early on, in the hardest ways possible that setting relationship expectations is the key to a healthy long term romantic relationship.
So recently he asked me what I wanted to do to mark the occasion and I told him to surprise me. Saying this is funny to me because I know him so well…not so funny to him. He has never been a good surprise and plan it all out kind of guy. He will jump in the car at a moments notice and go anywhere I ask, without me giving so much as a clue as to what we are going to be doing.
He is totally game for anything I plan, but can’t handle the pressure of being the one to make all the plans himself, for fear of disappointing me. I have no idea at what point I put this fear of God in him.
So a couple days later, he comes to me all worried like…you can tell he is flummoxed by the endless possibilities of all the things we could do. He just can’t decide. This off hand comment I made in passing, for him to figure it out, has been completely stressing him out for days.
I have written before about the importance of understanding who your partner truly is and setting your expectations accordingly if you want to encourage romance in your world, you can check it out here. I always want to encourage romance. I obviously needed to let him off the hook quick. He had convinced himself that, after all this time, I probably needed some large grandiose gestures made…he was temporarily forgetting who I am at my core. Time to level set…back to who we are.
Once I let him know he doesn’t have to plan the whole thing and that whatever it is, it certainly doesn’t have to be spectacular, he suggests we go to one of our favorite restaurants and people watch.
Our anniversary is on St. Patrick’s day, good Irish girl that I am and our favorite Italian restaurant, Anthony’s in Murrieta, turns into a green free for all on St. Patty’s Day. The regulars here go all out and it is hard to take your eyes off of them. They are outrageous and bold, in most cases pretty tipsy at some point in the evening. First time we discovered this, we sat in the bar for hours listening to live music and watching the craziness before us with dropped jaws and we giggled and shared secrets like young lovers do. It was awesome and simple and after 26 years, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do to mark the occasion this year!
Let me know what you think the key to romance in a long term relationship is…love to hear your stories!