Maybe since it’s Valentine’s Day or maybe because I also write romance, but have yet to release any true romance novels, or maybe because I’m a hopeless romantic in the truest sense of the term, whatever the case I thought it would be a good time to wax ecstatic about…you guessed it, romance.
Like I said, I have yet to release a romance novel, however, that does not stop me from having loads of romantic influences and opinions mostly on the lives of other people. So with all these thoughts and ideas racing through my head I figure the least I can do is offer a few tips and opinions when it comes to romance.
These tips are based solely on my own experience, or lack thereof, and ideas with a few worked out while standing on the outside looking in on the lives of my friends. Sometimes, it’s easier to see the logic in our lives when others point it out, but I digress.
My first tip is aimed at the Love Lost crowd. This group includes: the one that got away, the one that never was, the relationship you screwed up, the one person you can’t get over. You know who you are.
Here’s a brief example to set the tone: Casual friends living together become more than friends. Their relationship is great, open and straight forward, non-confining, but monogamous. Then there’s an issue, maybe an argument, maybe other friends are involved wherein one side of the relationship makes a smart-ass comment to lighten up the mood. This doesn’t bode well for the other partner who takes it personal and cuts off the relationship immediately, as in “get out” with little or no discussion otherwise. The person whose been cut-off can’t for the life of them, apologize enough or talk any sense into the party who has excommunicated him/her. Nor figure out why their comment was taken out of context when he/she is pretty much known for being a smart-ass.
My plan of Romantack (Romance + Attack):
* Note – the tips that follow assume you want this person back, if not romantically, then as a friend at the very least. If you do not wish to rescue the relationship then proceed to my book page where you can buy lovely stories not about romance.
1. Assess your skills. If you are highly skilled at anything artsy be it painting, drawing, sketching, writing, candle making, underwater basket weaving, etc., know this will be your strong suit and where you will be focusing a lot of attention. Musical ability also falls into this category.
2. Create. Use your artsy skills to create anything for said person who has cut you off. Keep a few things in mind: Was this person partial to a certain type of art you created? (a figure, a scene, style, song, etc.) What did he/she like that you could incorporate into your art? (favorite animal, place, etc.)
Example: If you are skilled in figurative art then I highly suggest you fill a sketchbook with drawings of your true love. Maybe place him/her in different scenes where you both were when together, happy, special places or some place you talked about going like Greece. Seriously, is there anything more romantic? Perhaps, but we’ll leave that for later.
3. Present art. You may find that trying this in person has dramatic effects and may be painful. Therefore, I recommend using the mail option. Either snail or email. Take a photo of said art and email it with a brief message, which I’ll go over later. If you absolutely must deliver this in person, then be prepared, not only to be rejected or met by someone else (Hey! It could just be a friend, don’t assume), but you must know what you’re going to say if anything at all. Believe me, sometimes no words speaks VOLUMES and if you’ve included a note then you’re good.
4. Messages. Is it just me or does everyone get sappy when given a love letter? No, it can’t just be me, so flex your fingers and get out a piece of paper. Yeah, it’s gonna be handwritten. Why? Because it shows how much you care, and that you care at all, especially when considering how little people write by hand these days with computers, cell phones, text to chat. Trust me, the person who receives it will appreciate the extra effort and am I the only one that finds handwriting sexy? The curly tails of some of the lower case letters, the way a ‘t’ is crossed or a letter is slanted. It makes me feel somehow closer to the person I received it from as if they’ve shown me another part of themselves. Maybe that sounds funny, but like I said earlier, I’m a hopeless romantic.
– Start simple, Dear *Name of Person* — Probably drop the cute nickname for this note. I don’t know, to me it seems like if you’re trying to tell him/her that you seriously care then “Dear Pooky Bear” just sounds too…cute. Like you’re still together and just had a little disagreement.
– Don’t sound like a regular letter, “How ya doin’?, How’s life?, How’s your cat?” This is a LOVE letter so you are professing love for this person. Use statements like, “I think about you everyday, the way you played with your hair while you read, your singing in the shower, the way you lit up whenever you saw a butterfly then closed your eyes and made a wish.” There are plenty of endearing things you remember about your true love, so let them know. Sure, some are overused and sappy, but you’ll get the hang of it after a few tries. Make it your own, change words, add words, then there’s the Internet if you’re still drawing a blank. 😉
– Don’t make it about YOU. Your focus should be solely on him/her, NOT on you and definitely NOT on what you think went wrong, who was to blame, how it should be fixed, etc. etc. If you’re going to place blame, place it on yourself. Something like this, “I blame myself for not listening more, being more attentive, being more appreciative.” I might steer clear of “I blame myself for letting you get away” since it sounds like the person was trapped…by you. Trapped is negative anyway, so something like “I blame myself for getting lost in my selfishness not realizing I was losing you, us.”
– Do keep it short. Unless you’re writing a story or poem, don’t go on and on about the relationship rehashing the past and how things were, even if you make them sound pretty – “I remember the times we ate ice cream at midnight. Chinatown was such a blast on New Years.” You hope the person hasn’t forgotten about all of the great times you had together and they probably don’t, but this operation requires you think ahead. You want him/her back because you see a future with them, one that doesn’t include focusing on the past. Keep that in mind when/if you get back together too. Forget the crap that happened in the past and NEVER bring it up again especially NOT during an argument.
Also, if you do write a story or poem don’t mimic your relationship in the story and change names then have the two characters get back together at the end. It might work, but depending on how you write and how soon you give it to the person, he/she may not be ready and alienated even more. Remember, your goal is to open up the communication train, not jump straight back into the relationship.
5. Skill challenged. If you made it this far you’re probably thinking there is no hope for you, but, alas, here is a simple way to start. Create a YouTube playlist of songs that are cool, express how you feel, use the words you wish you wrote. It’s simple. Sign-up for an account on YouTube then surf for songs. Under each video is the option to “Add to,” click on this and select “Add to New Playlist.” Each song after that can be added to the playlist you created by clicking the “Add to” option. In order for your true love to view this you need only go to your Videos tab click on the playlist you created then Share. It will give options such as embed, email, copy and paste URL, etc. Then send it.
Also, if you’re so inclined, creating a video for said true love would be romantic too. For the musically gifted how about a tune? My God that’s romantic! Maybe create a video collage using photos of your true love, places you’ve been, want to go,etc. Word to the wise, I wouldn’t post this on YouTube until you’ve sent it via email. I mean, yeah it’s romantic, but posting photos of your true love could go either way. Know what I mean?
I created a playlist with a sampling of love songs (“I screwed up/I can’t live without you” songs) to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. I tried to mix up musical styles because, let’s face it, guys don’t always like soft melodic, sappy love songs. I would suggest looking for songs that have the lyrics on screen to reinforce the message you’re trying to send and…do you really want your true love getting lost in the eyes of Adam Levine or Rihanna and forgetting the whole point of the playlist? Again, just my two cents. (* side note: some videos are prohibited from being played back in a playlist, go figure. So, double check the playlist in your account or send the link to your own email prior to sending to your true love.)
So, that’s it. My apologies for going on so long. Once again I’ll tell you, I am a hopeless romantic, which means I could’ve gone on even longer, but, alas, I’ve got books to write. 😉
* Disclaimer – The recommendations listed above are not guaranteed to work. They are only ideas that this hopeless romantic would cave under in the worst of ways. If nothing else, understand these are things my characters would do, say, write, act on, but that’s because I make them. 😉