Romantic Behavior 12-Change Happens

The world of reading is changing quickly. Kindle is the e-book reader available from Amazon. According to the newsletter by John Kremer (book marketing guru and author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books):

 “=> 44% of Kindle owners make more than $80,000 a year (Nielson)

=> 83% of their parents would allow or encourage their children to read books on an e-reader (New York Times).

=> 27% of Kindle owners have Master’s degrees or doctorates (Nielson).

=> For every 100 hardcover books Amazon is selling, it sells 143 Kindle ebooks (Jeff Bezos).

=> Some publishers are now considering including advertising in their ebooks (Wall Street Journal).”
Whatever format you read, investing the time to improve yourself is yet another way to earn it. There is some comfort in familiarity, as demonstrated by the Billy Joel song, “I Love Your Just the Way You Are”, but don’t you prefer having a partner that has grown in the same direction with you? Changes can break the monotony of having the “same ol’ thing” yet not all changes are good. How your love evolves great impacts your relationship. Determining shared goals for you and your partner increases the likelihood of you both meeting each other’s needs and continue improving your value to each other. Whether we like it or not, the world changes (even for the Amish or Australian Aborigines) and we decide how much we wish to change. The world of reading is changing; how will you adopt in your love life?


Romantic Behaviors 10-There's No Place Like Home

Research has shown that due to the current recession, people are changing the way they perceive their homes. Rather than taking extravagant vacations, they are traveling closer to home–getting to know areas they used to just fly over. People are taking shorter, weekend “get-aways” rather than yearly trips of a week or two to more exotic places. Many people are fixing up their existing homes rather than buying larger homes with higher tax liabilities. People are also preparing for retirement differently by saving more (understanding that Social Security may not be available when needed.) Due to advances in medical science and more education about healthier living habits, people are planning to live in their own homes later in life rather than going to retirement communities. People seem to enjoy their independent living, even as they get older. 

For current enjoyment and future planning, you can fix up your home together. Whether you pay people to do your “honey-do” lists or you dust off some skills not used in a few years, find ways for you both to plan and implement home improvements while increasing the value of your home at minimal costs. My wife recently saved over $10,000 by designing and sewing new curtains for our home. I received some passionate smiles and kisses when I surprised her by mounting the curtain rod brackets (since I’m not Mr. Handyman, she was quite surprised). Her smiles and the twinkle in her eyes were definitely worth dusting off my old tool belt and remembering how to plug in the hammer. ;0) 

This can create short-term excitement as well as long-term pride of ownership. Finding joint products and reminding yourselves of possible teamwork can really reinforce your partnership.

Romantic Behaviors 9-Get Healthier

One way to romance each other is to make future plans and goals together. Choose to do things together. This reinforces your desire to stay with one another. This is both comforting and reinforcing.

To take things a step further, take action to make sure you are around to fulfill that commitment. Our way of life can be filled with health obstacles–poor diets, eating at the wrong times of day, sedentary lifestyles, and encouragement to always have more. My wife and I are both overweight and have lots of reasons to explain such. Last year when my doctor told me that since I was now over fifty years old and borderline diabetic and elevated (but not high) blood pressure, I could either lose twenty pounds or he could put me on medication. I was quite motivated to lost the twenty pounds, and did so within the month. However, at 5’10″ tall and 248 pounds, I was still overweight. I realized that I was setting myself up for failure. Though my wife didn’t complain about my spare tire, she would probably prefer my not only looking better, but also being healthier so that we could plan more time together–not for next week or next month, but for decades to come. She is a wonderful cook, so her preparing meals is one of her favorite ways to show me how much she loves me. Conversely, I love to take her out to nice dinners to spoil her. These are wonderful ways that we each try to “earn it” but it has become out of balance. We need to focus more on exercising to allow ourselves to be around for each other in the long term. Today she joined Jenny Craig and also paid for me to join. We will now have prepared, measured meals to limit our caloric intake. What a wonderful way for her to show me that she loves me!

For years I have chosen to multi-task for my exercise. I walk our dog, while listening to podcasts about publishing or audio books about business or relationships, while pumping two ten-pound weights for 45 minutes. In this manner I get a lot done, but my wife is even more important to me. I have now invited her to join me. I’ll pull out my headphones and talk with her on our shared walks. We may keep up the same route that allows me to walk our dog off his leash, or we will sometimes choose unique and more scenic routes to mix things up. This will also allow for a time for us to focus on each other while catching up on what is new with each other. What a loving way to share time now and to also become more fit to make sure we can be there for each other in the future. It’s estimated that we should walk 10,000 steps per day. Are you close to that goal? How could you share time with a loved one while also preparing yourselves for future fitness together?

Romantic Behaviors 8-Support and Encouragement

Here’s another anonymous e-mail for your enjoyment…

“A real man is a woman’s best friend.
He will never stand her up and never let her down.
He will reassure her when she feels insecure and comfort her after a bad day.
He will inspire her to do things she never thought she could do-to live without fear and forget regret.
He will enable her to express her deepest emotions and give in to her most intimate desires.
He will make sure she always feels as though she’s the most beautiful woman in the room and will enable her to feel confident,    
     sexy, seductive and invincible.

No wait… Sorry…

I’m thinking of wine. It’s wine that does all that.

Never mind.”  ;o)

Good partners support each other and encourage the other to be the best they possibly can. When partners help each other become stronger, the partnership is made stronger, which helps make each partner stronger. When you help your partner become even better, you indirectly help yourself become better. You can build each other up or tear each other down. Which do you do more frequently? Is that in the best interest of your relationship?

“Earn It” at Work

This week is the opening of the National Football League, which shared an optimistic view of human nature. There are many stories of players that haven’t lived up to their potential then fade away into obscurity. There are also stories of professional athletes that work hard to achieve success, sign a profitable contract, then fail to produce at the level that earned them millions of dollars a year. There are stories of players that make several million dollars a year then complain that they don’t feel the love from their teams. There are so many of these stories that we sometimes become tolerant of their pity parties.

Yesterday, a very refreshing story shined above all others. Mike Williams was a highly praised, nationally ranked, wide receiver while at USC (the University of Southern California) where he caught 176 passes in two seasons. He was drafted as the tenth overall pick in 2005 by the Detroit Lions, then traded to two other NFL teams where he caught a total of only 44 passes in three seasons (according to a USA Today article). He was out of the NFL mid-way through the 2007 season having blossomed to 270 pounds (quite heavy for a speedy receiver).

Last November, Mr. Williams approached his college football coach from USC, Pete Carroll, who is now the coach of the NFL Seattle Seahawks. The player asked his coach for another chance and proved his commitment by losing almost forty pounds. Not only did Mike Williams make the team, but he played in yesterday’s season opener and caught 4 passes for 64 yards. Rather than taking his career for granted, he refocused, redefined himself, and dedicated himself to re-earning his professional football career. As he said of the coach to whom he must feel indebted, ‘”It’s more of a ‘go prove it’ type of thing,’ Williams says of his connection with Carroll.”

Isn’t it refreshing to hear of a success story once somebody decides to “earn it”?