If a time machine exists then take me back to my childhood when I first fell in love. Puppy love seemed so simple and blissful. Love was pure. Love was innocent. Love was invincible.
As years go by, we have more relationships under our belt and more wounds cut deep in our hearts. Gone are the days when two people enter a relationship with a blank canvas – no boundaries, no baggage and no complications.
Perhaps we can’t erase our dating history or go back in time to recreate the initial excitement of the first date, the first kiss and the first time we fell in love. But we could certainly recreate the experiences that ignited those feelings of passion, gratitude and happiness.
Here are 10 ways to incorporate those small yet meaningful gestures from our teenage love into the 21st century dating world:
ASK US OUT ON A DATE
During the courtship phase, we would appreciate it if a man took the initiative and properly asked us out so we know you are interested in a romance versus a friendship. “I want to take you out for dinner” is the not the same “Do you want to hang out or chill?”.
COME TO THE DOOR
Be a gentleman and come to the door instead of texting “Here” or heaven forbid, honk your horn.
“I really don’t want these beautiful roses.” says NO WOMAN.
Alright, a small handful of women may not care for flowers but a majority of us would love to receive a bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s Day, birthday and the random “just because” occasions.
ASK US TO GO STEADY
In the 1950’s, a man would give his fraternity club pin to his lady to declare his love and intention to be exclusive. Nowadays, if a woman is unsure of the relationship status then she would have to bring up the awkward “where is this going?” conversation. It would take out a lot of guess work if men would ask us to be their girlfriend.
PICK UP THE PHONE
Remember those long conversations about anything and everything with your sweetheart until one of you fell asleep over the phone? The introduction of emails and texting has made us much more accessible yet communication – or lack thereof – is still one of the top reasons why relationships end.
Texting is meant to convey a quick message but it continues to be used for lengthy, cumbersome and convoluted conversations that often result in misunderstanding and unnecessary drama. If you want to hear about your sweetheart’s day, pick up the phone. If you’re having a bad day and want support, pick up the phone. If you want to make plans, pick up the phone.
TISSUES AND TENDER LOVING CARE
Life is much easier when our partner takes care of us when we have the sniffles. Next time your partner is not feeling well, put together a care package of chicken noodle soup, orange juice, medication, box of tissues and a get well card. Bonus marks if you tell us that we are the most beautiful woman in the world even though we look like we haven’t showered in days because we haven’t showered in days.
WRITE LOVE LETTERS
Back in the day, love letters were written when computers and phones were non-existent. It was the only way for lovers to communicate during the war when pen and paper was one’s best friend. Create your modern-day love letter by sticking a Post-It note with a romantic message in random places like a drawer or suitcase. Or randomly mail a card that ought to surprise your significant other.
HAVING YOUR OWN SONG
There is truly something special about having a special song for you and your sweetheart. Perhaps it’s a song that you both love, a song that you both first heard during a special moment or a song with lyrics that capture the essence of your relationship.
CELEBRATING YOUR ANNIVERSARY
To avoid complacency and keep the flame burning, celebrate your anniversary every year. It’s also a great reason to have a romantic date night which can be easily overlooked as we get more comfortable with our partner.
BE HONEST AND HONORABLE
In our younger days, a guy would never pull a “fade” and not call you again since you’ll most likely see each other in school or in the same social circle. Nowadays, it seems like breaking up over text, email, Post-It note or pulling a Houdini act is an acceptable way to end a relationship. No one wants to have the awkward and uncomfortable conversation but man up and tell us to our face that things are no longer working out.
Because at the end of the day, we deserve that amount of respect after sharing all our heart and all of our love to you.
There is a hopeful romantic in all of us. After a few heartaches and heart breaks can cause us be jaded, but let the eternal optimist shine through.