“I Love You! What’s Your Name Again?”

Working in a business that promotes romance and intimacy, you would think I were some die-hard romantic. I will be the first to admit that movies like the Wedding Date and Sleepless in Seattle have always hit a chord, and there is nothing more romantic than a Kenny G. CD and a glass of wine with the one you love. Yet, one thing that is so important when it comes to romance and especially relationships is the practical side of love. You might think to yourself where in the world is the romance in being “practical”?

However, like two sides of a coin, answering the tough questions and being honest with one another will do more for long-term romance than you could ever know.

So often we see couples rush to the altar, head over heels in love, but they haven’t even sat down to discuss something as simple as basic whether they want to have children or not. Communication is EVERTYHING in relationships. It is so important to learn everything about your partner from something as small as their favorite color to how they manage their finances. This creates a united front that the two of you can rely on when you come against the inevitable hurtles and obstacles that will confront you over the years.

I once had a friend who was born and raised in the city; she loved the easy accessibility and the hustle and bustle that the city life provided. When she pictured her life five years from then, she undoubtedly saw herself somewhere in this demographic. She incidentally fell in love with a ‘country boy’ who loved the simplicity and isolation that farm life provided. They dated for several years even though the vision of the future they each held was about as compatible as oil and water. Needless to say, in the end, even love couldn’t help them find a happy medium.

Other issues include lifestyle (Do you want to have children? How do you plan to raise them? Do you see marriage in your future? If so, when? What is your religion or take on spirituality, and how will that be passed on to your children if you do have kids?); finances (Who is the saver? Who is the spender? Will you have joint accounts? How will you handle debt?) Friends and family (Do you enjoy each other’s circle of friends? Do you get along with each other’s family?); intimacy (Do you share similar tastes or chemistry in the bedroom? Do you communicate openly and honestly about intimacy roadblocks? Will you work together to renew intimacy after the honeymoon is over?).

You may think that asking serious questions like this is as about as romantic as a 100-page thesis in Grad school, but believe me, you will be glad you did it. Just like a romantic fire needs practical resources like wood, kindling and pokers to keep it going, romance needs its own support to last long throughout the years.

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