We’ve all gotten romance advice, right?
Please tell me I’m not the only person who others have felt the need to give unsolicited advice to on romantic matters.
I get it. I do. I’m not the most romantic person in the world. I might be romance challenged. Or romance illiterate.
(And yet I write Christian romance. Only by the grace of God could something like that ever happen!)
But anyway – I’m going to assume that this has happened to more people than just me. Humor me.
Keep in mind, when I talk about romance advice, I’m not talking about relationship advice. While romance is a part of that boy-girl relationship, the relationship has a lot of aspects that aren’t ruled by romance. So while the two go together, they aren’t exactly the same thing.
And, yes, people have given me relationship advice, too. I understand and can generally apply the relationship advice.
It’s that pesky romance advice that causes my brain to bend a little bit.
And keep in mind that romance advice can vary a little bit based on the gender of the person giving the advice. Let’s see if you can guess who gave what advice…
Dress sexy. (Um…do flannel pajamas count? Because when I work from home, that’s totally my work uniform.)
Put some makeup on. Even an old barn looks better with a new coat of paint. (I own makeup. That’s good enough, right?)
Be confident. Confidence is sexy. (I can do this in my flannel pajamas. But…does that mean overconfidence is super duper extra sexy? Asking for a friend…)
Make him feel special. (Which could probably be relationship advice, too, but in the context given, it was definitely romance advice. But they didn’t bother telling me HOW to make him feel special. I was supposed to figure that part out for myself.)
Use your best plates for dinner. Make the table pretty and just enjoy the time together. (If I had best plates, I would totally do this. 50+ years of a beautiful marriage was behind this advice. And the advice was more about making the time together distinctive and special more than it was about the actual plates.)
Give him your undivided attention. (I learned the processes of chemical mechanical planarization early in my marriage thanks to this tip. Twenty+ years later, I can still get by at company Christmas parties as long as I don’t spend more than thirty seconds in conversation with anybody…)
Speak his love language. (It doesn’t help that his #1 love language is basically a foreign language to me. More alien than Greek. I asked if I could just love him in my own language – it has to be better than nothing, right? I’m pretty sure that when I try to speak his love language, my accent is bad enough as to make me completely unintelligible. #romancefail)
I guess I understand why so many people have made a point to give me romance advice over the years.
If you haven’t noticed, a fair number of my female characters are romantically challenged, too. Thank goodness my heroes make up for it!
So tell me – what kind of romance advice have you received over the years? Anything really good you’d like to share? Or really awful? (I admit, the makeup one was definitely not the kindest advice I’d ever received.)
I do have to chuckle sometimes when people who aren’t in the position to know better give advice. You know – when someone whose child is three months old gives you advice on how to properly parent your second grader. Or when someone who has never had a serious relationship tells you how to keep the romance alive after a decade or more of marriage.
My grandmother used to tell me that advice is worth exactly what you pay for it. Then she would proceed to give me free advice. I miss her and her brilliant sense of humor. Regardless, though – we should take advice with a grain of salt. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. We’re all individuals with unique personalities and relationships.
But still…share your advice! I want to hear the best and the worst. 😊
Hi Heather from SW Michigan. This Oma, mom, wife has been married 49 years. As a pastor’s wife, I received plenty of free advice. Love is a choice. (Choice to be committed to the wedding vows – till death do us part.) Humor goes a long way. Don’t take life so seriously. On our wedding anniversary, hubby and I tease . He has been happily married 25 years & I have been happily married 24 years. LOL. Enjoy your weekend. Happy writing.
Heather Gray says
So glad you could join us today, Renate! All such great advice! Love *is* a choice, and our choice is reflected in our actions. So important! And we all know I’m a big fan of adding a bit of levity and humor to daily life. I’d say that’s one that applies with children, too. I tend to think that the humor bit applies to every relationship – romantic, parent/child, siblings, friendships, all the way down the line. Thank you for sharing!!
I’ve had the makeup advice too lol. Also, to wear my hair down rather than pinned up like I usually have it – unfortunately the reason I usually wear my hair up is it makes my husband sneeze! He seems to have some weird hair allergy as it’s exactly the same with our daughter’s hair, she finds it hilarious to make daddy sneeze.
Heather Gray says
Hahaha! I can just picture your daughter growing up with the “superpower” of making Daddy sneeze at will. ^_^
When we were newly married, my husband had a particular hairstyle that he liked me to wear. I liked the style, too, so it was no problem to accommodate his wish and please him in that small way. As I got older and had children, though, the texture of my hair changed, and that hairstyle has been forever vanquished by those changes. Thankfully, my hair isn’t why he fell in love with me…
I’m totally at a loss! No one has ever given me romance advice, nor have I given it. Honestly, to me a romantic gesture at this stage of life would be for him to take out the trash, take care of the yard, something practical that I don’t like doing or having to deal with!! But, since I’m single, I’m stuck doing it!
Heather Gray says
Oh my word! My husband and I were in this marriage class one time, and the question was asked, “What makes your spouse attractive to you?”
And my answer? “My husband is at his sexiest when he’s mowing the lawn without complaining.”
After everybody got done laughing, one of the other husbands in the class asked, “So what exactly does he wear when he’s mowing…?”
I’m with you – taking out the garbage or mowing the lawn or doing something else *with a good attitude* is super romantic!! (I suppose that goes both ways, though. I pack my hubby’s lunch each day…that’s romance, right?) ^_^
Definitely it is!! Honestly, even taking the laundry out of the dryer and folding it would be romantic!! Cleaning the kitchen, just about anything!! IF it’s done without complaining!!
Elizabeth Litton says
I’m not sure if this is really romance advice, but I’ve been told (numerous times actually) that I should go to Bible College because it’s a good place to find a husband. In my head I think, “Pretty sure that’s not the reason I should be going!!”
Heather Gray says
ROFL! I used to hear the joke about someone going to Bible college to get the M-R-S degree. I’m with you, though. That’s not quite the *right* reason to go to any college, let alone a Bible college! ^_^
Hi Elizabeth! In the 1970s folks in my home church said I went to college to get my MRS. degree. I did meet my husband my junior year in college, but because of that remark, I graduated with my degree in teaching and taught school one year before hubby and I married. Have to love those Christian folk.
Merrillee Whren says
When I was in college I heard that same statement about getting my MRS degree. It wasn’t given as advice, just a statement. It really irked me. I was nearly 28 before I got married, and I wasn’t in college. That was back in the 70s when most of the women I knew got married in their early 20s or younger.
Lori Smanski says
welcome today. this is a fun post. yes I agree we need to take advise with a grain of salt. I have had many people give me advise on parenting. And I did take it all with a grain of salt and I took it all to the Lord and my mom. Mom seldom gave me advise unless I asked for it. I always knew she was there in my corner with me. She told me that I need to first seek the Lords answers about parenting than reach out to trusted people. And that is what I did. I took the rest with a grain of salt and then took it to the Lord and a trusted person. Both of our two kiddos have grown into responsible and compassionate young people that the Lord can be proud of
Heather Gray says
Amen! God definitely gives the best advice. Dare I say it, His advice is perfect. :-)
You’re also right that it’s important to choose the right people to talk to when seeking advice. You don’t ask someone who has three divorces behind them for marital advice, and you don’t generally ask someone whose children can’t stand them for parenting advice.
Thank you for visiting the blog today!!
Andrea Conner says
Loved reading this post!
Heather Gray says
Thanks for stopping by the blog today, Andrea! :-)
Alicia Haney says
Hi, I enjoyed your post. Some advice would be give each other some space, spend time together , love unconditionally. Always talk things out especially if something is bothering you.
Heather Gray says
I like how “give each other space” is immediately followed by “spend time together.” ^_^ Talking things out is so important, too – you’re definitely right about that! Communication breakdowns lead to so many relationship issues that could have been avoided if the parties had just talked – and listened – about how each person feels or what they think. Good advice!
Debra Pruss says
I have to say that the best advice I can give would be to become friends with your mate before they become your mate. We have been married for 34 years. We have never had children (do pets count….). We have lived on and off with my Mom due to numerous situations including being her caregivers before she finally had to go into a nursing home. In the end, there is just the two of us to continue our lives together. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.
I am single never really had a real relationship. but being single I get the advice as to why I am single (well I use to) It would be why are you still single. then you get the Maybe your standards are too high (I thought ok so that means I am meant to go out with the first drunk or (insert overseas from a poorer country) cricket fan who wants to go out with me then sorry I will keep my standards high).
I had the if you dressed better and wore make up you would have a better chance. If you go to the pub (or insert other places full of alcohol) you would find someone.