Joint Perspectives with Arden Leigh
Keeping Romance Alive Post-Valentine’s Day
Welcome to Joint Perspectives! This is the first of many interviews where I sit down with sexuality professionals and/or cannabis professionals, we get high, and then we discuss whatever issue the interviewee feels most called to comment on that week. For the day after Valentine’s Day, I decided to start with my dear friend and respected colleague Arden Leigh. As I’ve mentioned, Arden is a professional seduction coach and author of “The New Rules of Attraction: How to Get Him, Keep Him, and Make Him Beg for More.” After getting a nice buzz on with some Ice Queen from my W Vapes golden gram, we opted to talk about keeping romance alive the other 364 days a year, rather than spending it all on Valentine’s Day and ignoring the need for romance the rest of the time.
Q: How do you keep the romance going strong throughout the entire year, rather than just focusing on Valentine’s Day and one or two other sporadic special occasions throughout the year?
Arden: I like to focus on three aspects: Thoughtfulness, surprise, and presence. Do something that’s unexpected. Half of romance is the fact that the person is just walking around thinking it’s an ordinary day and they walk in the door but you’ve surprised them with flowers, or they woke up and you were already making them breakfast or bringing them breakfast in bed. Those things aren’t particularly creative, but adding the element of surprise to it is what makes people feel like you were thinking of them in advance. The idea of thoughtfulness is not making your gestures the typical thing that you’re “supposed” to do but actually tailoring it to the person involved. I had a client once share that when his wife buys a new pair of shoes and it’s clear immediately that those are the shoes that she’s going to wear until they have holes in the soles, he goes out and buys the same pair of shoes and hides them. Then, a year or so later when the shoes are no longer sold in stores because they’re last season and his wife is lamenting that she needs to go get her shoes fixed or that it’s time to throw them out, he pulls out a box that has a brand new pair of her favorite shoes in it. That idea of being thoughtful and thinking of something that your partner will really like or use–combining thoughtfulness and surprise together like the shoe example. You can do something thoughtful. You can do something surprising. But if you really want the one-two punch, do both. I think that’s the formula to romance.
Q: What about people who don’t like surprises? I’m thinking of my introvert friends here. How do you romance someone who gets anxious when unexpected things happen?
A: You can start by just asking your partner what they want. But really dig deep–ask interesting questions. Instead of asking, “where would you like to go on vacation,” you could start asking “where were your favorite places to visit as a kid.” In essence, instead of expecting your partner to do the work for you, really being present in a conversation that helps them find what they feel is romantic. Ask them outside the box questions and really be present with their answers so that you can piece together an experience that makes their eyes light up. “What would your dream vacation be and why?” but it’s not about the vacation, it’s about the details. Their response might be Bali, but you can gently press them to share more. They might say that they like imagining the two of you at a beachside restaurant holding hands, drinking fruity drinks and feeling the sun on your skin. Maybe you can’t afford to take them to Bali, but if you get clear on the feelings they’re trying to evoke, you can recreate that in more manageable ways. Presence is also about being with them (in person or emotionally) to share the joy with them in the moment you’ve created.
That idea of being thoughtful and thinking of something that your partner will really like or use–combining thoughtfulness and surprise together like the shoe example. You can do something thoughtful. You can do something surprising. But if you really want the one-two punch, do both. I think that’s the formula to romance.
Q: Any parting wisdom that you want to share?
A: After you incorporate all three of those things: thoughtfulness, surprise, and presence, remember that there’s one more vital component. For instance, you leave a cute note some place your partner will see it as they’re on their way out the door. Then when they receive it, they send a text saying “thanks for the note, I love you.” It’s about being able to receive. It’s not enough just to do for people, you have to be good at receiving yourself. Make sure that both people understand the meaning of doing these things for each other and take time to appreciate one another for it.
How do you keep the romance alive throughout the year? Share your ideas in the comments!