In 1975 Paul Simon released his hit song "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover." I recently looked up the lyrics and discovered something I'd failed to notice in 1975 when I was hummin' along. The song is about a woman giving a man advice on how to extricate himself from his current relationship. The song ends with said woman kissing him and suggesting that they sleep on it, a suggestion that leads him to conclude that she's probably right—there must be 50 ways to leave your lover. Hmmmm... sounds like that woman had her own agenda!
If your relationship hits a rough patch, it's tempting to focus on the 50 things your partner does "wrong" and the 50 "reasons" why things are falling apart. If we apply Newton's law of physics—a thing in motion tends to stay in motion in the same direction unless acted upon—it's easy to see that such negative thinking will lead to pondering which of the 50 ways to leave your lover is the way to go.
In today's crazy busy world in which electronic devices control our lives, it's easy to sit in front of the TV, each with a laptop or iPhone, and be completely not together while in the same room. We have careers, charity work, kids to ferry about, pets to walk, gyms to visit, parties to plan, aging parents to care for. We have so many demands on our lives and our time that it's easy to let our relationship take a back seat until, one day, we find ourselves humming Paul Simon's song.
I got to thinking... if there are 50 ways to leave your lover, there must be at least 50 ways to love your lover. If you did just one every day, your relationship couldn't help but be more emotionally intimate. Your relationship, like all dynamic things that requires care and feeding, would flourish. So, here's my suggestion—regardless of whether your relationship is cruising or has hit a speed bump, make a list of 50 ways to love your sweetheart and then do one (or more) every day. Even better, make your lists together and give your sweetheart ideas on how to love you. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Turn off the TV and play gin rummy.
- Call your sweetheart at work just to say, "I’m thinking about you."
- Slip into your sweetheart's shower.
- Give a back rub.
- Send your honey a flirty text message.
- Surprise your sweetheart with his or her favorite dessert.
- Give a hug for no reason at all.
- Tell your sweetheart how happy you are to have him or her in your life.
- Hold hands as you fall asleep.
- Give a compliment.
- Surprise your sweetheart by doing one of his or her chores.
- Pull the photo album off the shelf and take a trip down memory lane.
- Touch your sweetie's cheek.
- Tell your sweetheart what you love about him or her.
- Make your goodbye kiss 10 seconds longer.
There are everyday demands on your time and energy that you just can't avoid. Sure, on Saturday you may skip your shower and on Sunday you may skip your morning run, but we all have responsibilities and obligations that sap the vitality right out of us. Don't make the mistake of putting your relationship last.
There are 50 ways to love your lover. Right now, right his minute, think of one and then just do it!