Romance is Remembering

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Day Six: For you procrastinators,  free printable  adult Valentines via Camille Styles.

Despite all my posts about romance this week, the heart of intimacy really isn’t about the gifts you give or the how they’re wrapped. It’s about connecting with your loved one at a deeper level: and that means romance can take on lots of different forms. One of my favorites is something I call a “Remember When Walk.”

It’s nothing formal we do, although that would work too. But, sometimes when IZ and I are walking the riverfront, we fall into a pattern, “Remember when. . . ” one of us will say and then begin to share a memory that binds us. We ping pong back and forth, reweaving the connective threads of our combined story. After nearly 30 years of friendship and love, there’s a lot of story to recall. 

We remember the beauty: a baby born, a favorite trip to our beloved Santa Barbara, a cherished moment when we felt connected and loved. We recall the hard times: babies lost, moves and changes, the times when we felt most distant from each other. And we retell all the tiny little “inside” jokes that would make no sense to anyone but us –yet make us laugh, over and over again. 

Here’s the thing, though — sometimes, I don’t remember when. IZ will share something and the memory isn’t fresh for me. Or even recognizable! For whatever reason, what stood out to him about a particular time didn’t find its way into my memory bank. In the early years, this would have hurt some feelings. Especially on my part. Feeling like we should share the same memories, that somehow we might not be on the same page if we hadn’t prioritized the same set of moments.  But through the years I’ve learned what a gift it is that we are so different! In these rare moments, I get to see the world differently than I normally would: through his eyes, his memories. And his point of view never ceases to amaze me! 

We have both learned to ask the deeper questions, “What made you remember that?” “What about that moment was important to you?” Even “What on earth brought THAT up?” In the process, we’ve learned more about each other; because here’s another thing — it’s always MORE than the memory. There’s always another thread to the story, waiting to be told. Waiting to be remembered. When you look deeper and ask those questions, you learn something (often something new!) about this person walking beside you. Every time! What you learn becomes another reason to love this person walking beside you. And if you need a reason to fall in love again, remembering how you did so in the first place is an excellent way to begin. 

So, this Valentine’s Day–I encourage you to consider taking a long walk to remember when. No matter the length of your relationship or the depth, your story is one worth remembering, repeating, and in the end, rejoicing over. You found each other. And that’s something worth celebrating. 

Need some help? Here are some questions to get the ball rolling: 

  • Do you remember when you knew, for certain, that I was the one?
  • Remember our first fight? (have a good laugh at the hard times… or a good weep!)
  • Remember when we decided to have babies together?
  • What do you think has been the biggest obstacle we’ve overcome together? 
  • Remember our first kiss?
  • Remember when. . . (I bet you can fill in this blank!)

PS: sometimes, this is a lot of fun to do while holding hands. Which, as it turns out, is also a romantic thing to do! 

 

 

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