There are many questions, comments and pressures that come with the title of “The Romance CEO.” The pressure being that, since I am single, people often wonder if every date with me has to rival an episode of The Bachelor. Perhaps, a helicopter ride to lunch or a horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets of downtown to a privately catered dinner. And, during dinner, Michael Buble serenades us with his hits. The answer to this is a categorical “Uhhhhh…NO!”
While these amazing dates make for great TV, they don’t necessarily define romance. We often hear the phrase, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” When it comes to romance, I believe that “the small stuff” is exactly what you should focus on. In a recent article, I mentioned Valentine’s Day being an important day. While you should do “something” for your special someone on this day, picking up flowers from the grocery store at the last minute, fighting crowds in a restaurant and grabbing a box of chocolates in the checkout line does not equal romance.
It’s what you do the other 364 days out of the year that count. The “for no reason” gifts and the “just because” cards are the manna from heaven. These are the nuggets that will have her or him bragging about you at the gym, at the watercooler and at the hair salon. Whether I’m meeting with a client, doing an interview or speaking to an audience, the one thing I always stress when it comes to a marriage proposal is that it has to be all about HER. The marriage proposal has very little to do with who is doing the asking and everything to do with who is being asked. When you are in a relationship, this should be your mantra every day of the year.
And, don’t worry that you’ll be taken advantage of. The favor will be returned. Haven’t you heard the expression “Do unto others as you would have done unto you?” This is so true in relationships.
During a recent trip to the gym, I got engaged (no pun intended) in a conversation with a fellow yoga buff after class. She’s a woman in her 30’s, but appears much younger. She is the type of person who lights up when you talk to her and thoroughly enjoy being around. She’s married with one child. So, I asked, “Do you have big plans for Valentine’s Day?” Without missing a beat, her huge blue eyes got bigger, her face lit up and with an overjoyed grin, said, “This is the best story!” She proceeded to tell me that this time last year, they were doing some major construction on their home, particularly, an outdoor patio. They finished late in the day on Valentine’s Day and were starving. Yoga Girl ran to Schlotzsky’s, picked up some food, returned home and they ate it by their brand-new outdoor firepit. Fast forward exactly one year to this Valentine’s Day.
“Do you have big plans for Valentine’s Day?” The plan was to relive last year. “We are going to pick up Schlotzsky’s again and eat it by the firepit.” And, when I asked what they were eating, she was ecstatic to share they get a large “Original” and split it. They have now created a memory and a tradition. Even though money is no option, this annual experience is now something that means the world to them.
So, I leave you with this thought… When you feel the pressure of “doing it right” or planning the perfect date, there is not a template. Take the pressure off and know that there is not a universal perfect date. What makes it perfect is that it is specific to just the two of you. With that said, the next time you go to plan a Valentine’s Day date, a birthday celebration, an anniversary, a weekend away or a date for no reason at all, ask yourself, “What’s YOUR Schlotzsky’s?”