Forgive me if I sound sexist – I’m not; or if I don’t sound feminist enough – I am. But I also love romance and keeping the sparks going in a relationship, and I’m pretty darn good at it.
Case in point, I was at lunch with some of my girlfriends. My husband and I had been married a couple of years at the time, and one of my friends asked if we were still on our honeymoon.
“She’s always on a honeymoon,” another friend replied.
And it’s true, I am. Because, like any French woman, I know that relationships take effort and creativity. They don’t run well on autopilot.
French women are fiercely independent – they don’t need a man to complete them. The relationship is about pleasure – adventure and companionship, and yes, sex and seduction. She may be a wife, but she never forgets how to act like a mistress.
Here are a few of my favorite French girl tips for keeping things “sparky”.
I love flirting. A lot. Just with him, of course. The playful innuendo doesn’t end just because you’re in a relationship.
Life is serious enough all by itself – I like to keep things interesting.
Flirting is basically sending non-verbal signals that you’re interested, approachable and available – sort of seductive teasing. It flatters him, and it makes you feel sexy – win-win all around.
Here’s some fun ways to get your flirt on:
- “Accidental” touching, gently brushing his arm or touching his waist.
- Body language, leaning in when he’s speaking or turning toward him while seated in the car or at dinner.
- Making eye contact, admiring him, and maybe looking slightly mysterious.
- Sneaking in little kisses as you pass by, or at unexpected times.
- Sending flirty little texts (let your imagination be your guide).
- Pretending he’s your “boyfriend”.
- Suggestively inviting him over for dinner (knowing, of course, he’ll be home for dinner anyway).
Plan some romance
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to- day must-do’s and forget to put a little romance in your life.
You can have romance on any budget – a walk in the park, a picnic on the beach or on the patio, a candle-lit dinner at home, dinner at a nice restaurant, or a weekend get-away. Just be sure you put the cell phones down and stay focused on each other.
My husband and I have pretty crazy schedules and often feel like two ships passing in the night. But Sunday morning is “our time” – a long, early walk, breakfast at a cafe or on the terrace, then get cleaned up from our walk and back to bed to cuddle for as long as the world permits.
I just wish there were more Sundays in the week.
Don’t ask your mate if something makes you look fat – you and I both know there’s just no winning in that game. It’s up to you to spend the tortured minutes in your closet getting it right, and then walk into the room knowing you look your best.
You don’t need to share your insecurities about things he’ll probably never notice anyway unless you point them out.
The French woman may be just as confused and insecure as the rest of us, but she keeps it to herself.
And when it comes to being intimate, remember what Julia Roberts said in Eat, Pray, Love – “he’s in the room with a naked girl, he’s won the lottery.”
Look good for no reason
We buy makeup and nice clothes to wear around people who don’t know us and don’t care. But what about the one you love the most? Sure, you want to be “comfy” at home. But comfy can still mean cute.
Here’s an idea – put a little thought into a stay-at-home wardrobe. It could be jeans and a loose fitting V-neck T-shirt (not the give-away, crew-neck, oversized logo T-shirt), some Ugg boots and a sarong, or go gamine in some cute tomboy sweats – doesn’t matter as long as you’re putting a little effort into the overall effect.
Wear pretty lingerie. Maybe put on a modicum of makeup – a little mascara and some extremely kissable gloss. Be the woman you’d want to cheat with, not cheat on.
Remember when you and your partner first got together? How you were interested in finding out about each other’s every thought and feelings?
Do more of that. Communicate creative ideas, goals and dreams. And listen.
Tell him the 5 things you admire most about him (who wouldn’t want to hear that?)
Treat your man like a dog
I know, but stick with me.
There’s a movie from the 60’s called “If A Man Answers.” Chantal (Sandra Dee) and Eugene (Bobby Darrin) are newlyweds. Chantal is worried that Eugene is starting to take her for granted, so she goes to her mom (who’s French, of course) for advice. Her mom confides in her that the way she’s maintained her loving and affectionate relationship with her husband is through the advice of a book on training your dog.
Of course the husbands find out, everyone gets upset, yadda, yadda, yadda, everyone makes up … what do you expect, it’s a Sandra Dee movie.
Kind of silly, but it brings up a good point – are you kinder to your pets than you are to your significant other? Think about it, all your dog has to do is pee in the right place to get praise showered on him. But let your partner do one little thing …
Pick your battles, don’t “scold” him over every little thing, and praise the things you want to encourage him to do more of. (And it doesn’t hurt to rub his belly every now and then and say “Who’s a good boy?”)
Do the little things
I do thoughtful things for my husband, and he, in return, does lots of sweet things for me. That’s not why I do it, it’s just what happens.
Putting your attention on the little things you can do for him is more creative than thinking about what he ought to be doing for you. And unless he’s just a schmuck, the more you do, the more will be reciprocated. (Just give him a little time to catch on before you judge.)
This week we’re celebrating the 8th year of our honeymoon. Too bad we can’t be in Paris, where it all started, but we’re making do.
Cheers and happy honeymoon!