I'm the girl who sits in front of the TV quoting Hugh Grant on a regular basis like I'm a Sleepless in Seattle character. My chick flick obsession means I have to periodically give myself a reality check to prevent myself from allowing these movies to become the guide for my romantic relationships.
Although romantic movies set unrealistic standards for the ways love should feel or be expressed, chick flicks have taught me several tools to enhance romantic relationships:
1. Send love letters
Writing letters is what allowed Joe and Kathleen's love to grow even when they hated each other. More commitment goes into written words than spoken ones, and the result is something tangible that can be kept and reread. Whether you go for a classic handwritten letter a la The Shop Around the Corner or use modern methods like email such as in You've Got Mail, writing letters can help you express yourself to your partner.
2. You jump, I jump
Once you're married, you are in it together no matter what. Maybe you don't have to jump to your death in freezing water, but the commitment to sticking together regardless of the circumstance should be cultivated when you're married. The more you exercise your commitment, the stronger your commitment will become.
3. Find your own way to say "I love you"
Find a way to say those three words that's unique to just you and your spouse. You could use the first word your husband said when you met, or maybe it's something like touching the other's ear, but find a secret way to say "I love you" that's special to just the two of you.
credit: 20th Century Fox, giphy
4. Have pillow talk (or pillow singing)
There's something comforting about letting your words flow in the dark after a full day. Sharing this time together can strengthen your relationship, even if you only have the energy to say "I love you."
5. Release your inner goof
It's the middle of the week and you're stuck in the day-to-day routine of waking up, making breakfast, showering, etc. but to keep your relationship thriving, it's necessary to let your inner nut out every once in a while.
6. Be your own person
It's important to have things in common with your spouse. However, relationships are valuable because they are a combination of two people with distinct talents and interests. Encourage your husband to be himself and allow your wife to do things she likes to do. Your individuality should enhance your relationship as each of you express yourself. At times you might have to see West Side Story instead of a basketball game, but these sacrifices will increase the quality of your relationship.
7. Aid each other's dreams
Lucy encouraged Jack to fulfill his aspiration of starting a furniture making business and Jack helped Lucy fulfill her dream by taking her to Florence. Whatever each of your personal aspirations are, find things that you can do to help your partner realize their goals.
8. Don't let people talk badly about your partner
Don't allow people to speak badly about your spouse - even in jest - and never speak badly of her yourself. It can seem harmless to release your frustrations to your sister but this is harmful to your wife and can even cause your own contempt to grow. Take issues directly to your spouse with the attitude of open communication. Your trust in each other will grow as you use language that builds each other up instead of words that rip each other apart.
9. Make the most of your time together
Just because it's cheesy to say, "treat every moment like your last," doesn't make it terrible advice. Have a running list of things you want to do (like be in two places at once) so you'll always have a great activity in your back pocket. This way your time together will be more valuable.
10. Fall in love again every day
Falling in love isn't a one time experience. Do the little things to fall in love with your partner again every single day.