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The (fine) Art Of Romance
The (fine) Art Of Romance
My romance skills have become somewhat rusty. That’s what happens when a tool isn’t used for an extended period of time. Now, here I am in need of all the romance I can conjure short of voodoo and I have to be careful not to overdo it as I have been known to do before. Since I am an artist I do tend to be heavy handed at times.
“N.” appeared out of nowhere. I was caught off guard and totally surprised. At first glimpse I noticed she was a beautiful lady but after a few conversations it was clear her ideal companion could never be the person I see in my mirror. In the past I have usually left it at that.
She kept coming into my thoughts. She was like that pleasant aftertaste from sampling a great cabernet which is unaffordable. It took a month or so for me to understand what was happening to me; I was literally falling for a lady who had essentially made it clear she was not interested in a romantic relationship with me.
Most states have laws concerning stalking, and, understandably, most crimes are not romantic anyway. I have my work cut out for me. To make matters worse, she is an artist and probably can see a hanging curve ball coming before it is thrown.
There are basically two types of romance; 1. The ‘pre-relationship’ romance is employed to get the total attention of a person and explore possibilities beyond dinner, dancing, flowers, candy, etc. 2. There is also the relationship romance which is equally important in keeping a couple’s love active and visible to others.
For my purposes I am considering the pre-relationship romance; well, maybe I’m not actually there yet but I can get there from here.
I have already, unwittingly, done the right thing. I didn’t keep contacting her to the point of annoyance. Well, I hope I haven’t. That isn’t ‘playing cool’ but is telling her I am sensitive to her initial perceptions about me and maybe they could change with time.
While that may be possible for her, I have to consider a few changes to validate her perceptual re-evaluation. This may include a haircut, pants that aren’t blue and have rivets, or simply listening more than I talk.
Once N. and I enter into this ‘second look’ zone the more tangible romance can develop. A nice dinner with conversation only is my current plan. This is a very important step which allows us to see each other, as well as be seen, in a social setting. Ideally, the restaurant should be a place where neither of us is well known; nothing is more toxic to a developing romance than to have acquaintances interrupt conversation. The restaurant should also be of high quality where waiters stay away after serving unless beckoned.
Arrival at the restaurant should be via separate cars; I don’t know her address and will not know it until she volunteers it. This gives her an exploratory comfort zone. Her comfort allows her to be receptive to romance.
A before dinner drink and wine with dinner is the cut-off for alcohol consumption unless one after dinner cordial is mutually agreed upon. Over indulging in alcohol is a romance killer.
Dinner conversation must be focused on her and where she is now; not her ex’s. Past relationships in conversation are a romance taboo. Overdoing the compliments can also be a problem and make her feel uncomfortable. One or two statements about how beautiful she looks will suffice.
While at dinner there is one thing which must be improvised according to how the evening is going; physical contact. Between the main course and desert (if ordered), a touch of her hand across the table tells her I am enjoying her company and would like to do so again. Eye contact at this point is extremely important because it speaks to sincerity.
My manners at this first dinner must be impeccable. If she needs to momentarily excuse herself, I will stand as she leaves the table and do the same at her return. After dinner I will walk her to her car if valet parking is not available. If a parting hug, or, better, a kiss, is extended at that time, it will be a very brief contact.
This last part is very important. Romance must have an open ended anticipation of what may follow the next time for A. and me. Savoring the evening after we have returned to our homes is also part of romance which would, hopefully, allow it to continue. I know romance is not a one night thing because it involves so much care to extend it as well as have it appreciated.
The next meeting with N. could be more informal; a short trail hike is how I would like to approach holding her hand. Anything to do with nature (well, most of nature) is a positive ambiance for romance. Getting away from urban noise and visual clutter will allow N. and me to really experience each other. I do know N. does enjoy painting in natural settings and is comfortable outdoors. That is one of the things about her which immediately got my attention.
That N. is an artist doesn’t mean she doesn’t appreciate the conventional things associated with romance; candlelight, flowers, soft music, etc. That I am an artist means I can accommodate her in creative ways; a candlelight picnic overlooking a city. Giving her flowers I have grown instead of what I can buy. Playing her music instead of putting on a CD is also a creative alternative.
Above all, I have to get her attention and that takes the ultimate, creative act I can muster. Keeping it will be another thing altogether.
8/11/2006 3:56 am
I think you are artistic enough to get the attention!|