Archives For Valentine’s day

"Always do what your afraid too" by Nina Matthews Photography via

There is hope!

This Valentine’s Day something beautiful and wonderful and marvellous happened in our home – my Mrs. took over Valentine’s Day. I’m not being sarcastic and no I’m not trying to make some masculist statement about gender equality and romantic gestures. Rather, my wife’s efforts nearly brought me to tears as they marked another milestone in her climb out of the dark clouds of clinical depression.

Before clinical depression hit our home, I would have been one of those uninformed people that thought depression and deep sadness were synonyms. I remember saying things like “you’ve got a nice home, a good job, great kids, and a husband that loves you. What is there to be ‘funked’ about?” Being totally vulnerable here, I suspect that one of the reasons I pursued romantic gestures in our relationship so vigorously was that I felt I might be able to make my Mrs. “un-depressed” by providing her with happy moments. In retrospect, that’s a little like thinking I could cure arthritis in a joint by massaging it. My efforts helped with the pain of the symptoms, for a moment, but I had no hope of curing the disease. Continue Reading…

Long Distance Love?

February 6, 2011 — 1 Comment


I Love You Txt

How do you show love to your distant heartmate?


I was one of the original tele-commuters, traveling back and forth between Vancouver and Columbus, OH for work in the 80’s. I was never gone more than two weeks at a time, but at the end of those two weeks I was always ready to go home. I craved face to face communication; the kind of affirmative words that only a smile can convey.

Flash forward to today. The internet has been a blessing to many, connecting potential soulmates across the miles. However, I would be very surprised if one side effect of this has not been an increase in long distance relationships. Add to this overseas military deployment and there will be a lot of couples away from each other this Valentine’s Day.

I would love to hear your ideas about how heartmates can to bridge the gap this Valentine’s Day.  Here are a few to get things started.

Words of Affirmation
  • Plan a romantic txt barrage. A top 10 (or ?) countdown of the things you most appreciate about your heartmate.
  • Send a poem or loving message on the back of numbered postcards – one word at a time. Have your heartmate puzzle together the clues to rebuild the message. As an added bonus, have the cards form a picture on the opposite side.
  • @Teresacapocci  A Video SenT dirrecT2Phone Singing LOVE SONG!
Quality Time
  • @deepbluesealove I’ve done romantic movies w/LD BF on phone, both watching movie while talking on phone. Could have dinner/dessert/flowers delivered earlier. Ex & I were LD for years, we’d even decorate Christmas trees via webcam, etc. We also would make private chat rooms & play romantic tunes… Can watch movie at same time via X Box Live on Netflix, send movie invite.
  • @Teresacapocci  Show up at door Step Unexpectedly Holding a Rose in one hand & HearT in The OTher! BEST GifT “EVER!” … @Ugogurl It just might not be an option though… distance, expense, time, day of the week, no holidays.
Receiving Gifts
  • Many items can be sent. Subscriptions (flowers, chocolates, chips), if you can customize them, might leave a year long impression.
  • Mail order catalogs often allow you to gift items. I love the ThinkGeek catalog, for example.
  • @childsplayx2  I once sent GF’s roommate a gift to hide along with clues where to find it. Each clue led to another friend. We got married.
  • Gordon Simmons (Facebook). Contact the friends/co-workers of the person who will see said person (sorry, you didn’t say what gender) throughout the day and arrange to have them give a little “love momento” on behalf of the one who lives far away. Little cards, a flower, tickets to an event of some sort, a treat of some sorts, etc. Make the entire day special.
  • @Teresacapocci  Send Tix 4 <3 2FLYThere!
Acts of Service
  • Arrange to have a cleaning service drop in to give your heartmate a break from day to day chores. Could also arrange to have the car picked up and serviced.
  • Order a meal that will be delivered for Valentine’s Day dinner.
  • Send a pre-addressed box to collect your spouse’s receipts. Do their taxes.
Physical Touch
  • Send a gift certificate to a spa along with a “touching” note.
  • Mail something personal and tactile – a shirt, a stuffed animal, mittens – that your heartmate will be able to cuddle/use as a reminder of you.
  • Arrange for a surprise proxy hug to be delivered by a friend or relative that lives closer.







Dissecting Romance

In one sense, it’s not terribly romantic to dissect romance, but I’ve started doing just that. I want to help others learn how to create meaningful romantic gestures for their heartmate. And yes, I believe this is a skill that can be learned.


As I outline my thinking, I’d love your input. (I give my first talk on the subject in two weeks at a men’s breakfast, so I really need to get my thinking in writing!) This is my framework so far:

When constructing a Rated G Romantic gesture, I think I’ve decided that it basically comes down to what I am calling lenses & layers.

“Lenses” help focus the possibilities. They are about really “knowing” him or her. These lenses include your heartmate’s:

  • love language(s) – e.g. Words of Affirmation
  • tendency to be an introvert or extrovert
  • predisposition to be a risk taker
  • phobias – e.g. My Mrs. is phobic of “hanging rides.” A gondola ride would be no fun.
  • lifestyle choices – e.g. There’s no point taking a vegetarian to a steak house.
  • stature.
  • preferences – e.g. roses vs. orchids, rap vs. jazz, etc.

All romantic gestures must also me authentic, “martyr free”, within a budget and safe.

“Layers,” on the other hand, are general concepts that can be used to tweak any romantic idea that has made it through the lenses. They have the potential to take an ordinary romantic gesture and make it lavish. Layers that come to mind include:

  • illusion or surprise – more precisely, the unexpected.
  • allusion
  • firsts
  • bests
  • “returning to the scene”
  • taking risks
  • unique /once in a lifetime
  • the opportunity to laugh
  • excitement
  • sentimentality
  • creating a memory
  • themes
  • music
  • fire
  • water
  • location
  • timing
  • clues/contests/scavenger hunts
  • recruiting friends

All of these can be applied to embellish regular romantic gestures or layered deep for special days like Valentine’s Day, birthdays and anniversaries.

I’m just getting started. Can you think of any lenses or layers I should add to my lists? I am sure there are more. And come to think of it, “Lens” & “Layers” are sort of mixed metaphors. Anyone have anything better? My Mrs. suggested “lenses & frames,” like glasses, but that loses the alliteration. Any ideas? Maybe something about tools?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

Now that the site is up and running, I just had to write up our Valentine’s Day. The Mrs. and I had a really special day.

The day started with me giving my Mrs. the black fuzzy scarf I had been secretly knitting for her. I’d been sprinkling gifts throughout the week (flowers, a couple books on making handbags/purses, etc.), but the scarf definitely got the best response. It was simple, mostly because I had just rediscovered how to knit. I eventually had decided on a “no tassels” design to which I attached three heart shaped lockets with pictures attached. I also finally got to tell her about the knitting explosion in my class, so we got to share some laughs there. ‘A great way to start the day.

After lunch, the Mrs. did a little work over at her mom’s which gave me some time to Mapquest all of the sites, make up a romantic mix CD for the car, and get otherwise prepared for the day. This was our first attempt at a “surrender date” (i.e. all the decisions in my hands), so I wanted to be prepared if I was going to be responsible for everything.

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