JoAnn Carter: 1. Communication. 2. Give up the idea of independence and embrace the concept of "one-flesh" in your attitude and in the decisions you make. It will save a ton of grief. 3. Value and protect your time together. Life gets busy and sometimes it's hard to find the time, but it's important. If you let it go for too long, it's like you're just two ships passing in the night. This is a fatal recipe for keeping love alive in your marriage.
Elaine, is there a negative aspect to love?
Elaine Cantrell: That’s an interesting question. If you give your heart to someone, you run the risk of having it dragged through the mud. You’ve given a hostage to fate and the integrity of another person. If you chose your loved one wisely, no problem, but if you chose poorly I can see why you might regret giving your heart away. I read an advice column not long ago where a woman said she regretted loving her husband so much. He had died, and she felt miserable and bitter about it. She said life without him wasn’t worth living. I understand where she’s coming from, but as long as you’re still alive I think you have the possibility of happiness and fulfillment in front of you.
Thank you for sharing. Grace, how do you deal with tension / arguments with your significant other?
Grace Greene: Neither of us likes to argue and it feels like the end of world. We can both be stubborn and hot-headed (although my husband will say he is not) but we are also forgiving. Sometimes it just takes us a while to manage the forgiving. One rule is that we NEVER get mean when we argue. Remember, you may forgive, but you can't totally forget.
Good advice we all should heed. Meg, do you dislike Valentine’s Day or do you look forward to it?
Meg Mims: It’s all about the CHOCOLATE! Love having it on hand, along with chocolate drizzled shortbread cookies.
Love chocolate, my favorite! Kendra, if you have children, have you set an age for when they can start dating?
Kendra James: Not really for dating but I did tell them they couldn’t get married until they were twenty-four. They listened (that’s a first). I have three children and only one is married and she waited until she was thirty-two. The other two are older and have so far have avoided saying “I do.” Though they have had significant others in their live, some more significant than others, LOL.
Elaine, are you a romantic and why?
Elaine Cooper: Oh yes! SIGH I love true romance that sweeps you up not just in the kisses but in the connection between the lovers’ hearts. Romantic comedies are fun, but unless they have a serious side that makes me sympathize with the characters, it’s hard to feel the sparks. A great example of a wonderful movie is “While You were Sleeping.”
One of my favorite romantic movies…seen it a bunch of times. Lyn, do you enjoy watching chick flicks / romantic comedies and dramas?
Lyn Sofras: Absolutely! What woman doesn’t? And the more sentimental, the more I enjoy them. I want to laugh and cry and feel like I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster. And, of course, at the end of it, I need to feel that warm glow of contentment.
My sentiments exactly!
He’s not romantic in that he reads me poetry and feeds me grapes, on a blanket in the park. The week leading up to his Valentine’s Day proposal, Jim stopped by my office every day and dropped off a gift. Each day, the gift got a little bigger, more expensive or more significant. I knew he was leading up to something, especially considering the time seemed appropriate to make a lasting commitment, and it was Valentine’s Day that Saturday. When he asked me to go to Monterey and Carmel for that Saturday, I knew it. But it didn’t make it any less special. It was truly a dream day. Now, after almost 25 years of marriage, it’s the little things that count. The whispers, the looks, the unexpected kisses, and I adore how he brews and makes me a cup of coffee every morning. Gestures like that show his devotion and love more than anything else, although a single, long-stemmed yellow rose and a card on a day other than Valentine’s Day or my birthday is pretty special, too. Now that’s romantic!
Sounds like you have quite a guy! Romance is great, but like you said, gestures that show devotion are truly special. So, JoAnn, When did you experience your first kiss?
On my first date when I was about 16. It was a sweet and very appropriate little peck. The most significant kiss? When Jim kissed me for the first time. He might kill me for revealing this (but it’s not like I haven’t mentioned it before on a certain guest blog post), but as handsome as my husband is, he’d dated a lot but never kissed a girl in a romantic way. I’d kissed a lot of toads, but found that so incredibly sweet. Hard to believe, but he was the most sincere man and godly man I’d ever met. Jim told me it was a pledge he’d made to himself and the Lord, and he just knew the first girl he kissed first would be the girl he’d marry. When he kissed me that first time, I was truly the happiest girl in the world.
Very sweet and romantic and you must have felt so special that he waited for you. Lyn, in your books, what’s your favorite part of writing romantic scenes?
Lyn Sofras: I hope it doesn’t make me sound cruel, but I do like to put my H & H through the emotional mangle so that they believe all is lost between them and then give them that glimmer of hope just when all else seems lost. In ‘The Apple Tree’ for example, it happens towards the end of the novel when Jules is tending her parents’ grave and Nicholas appears beside her. She wants him so badly and, of course, he wants her, but both of them believe the other one has moved on with their lives and neither of them can say what is really on their minds, so they look for those tiny verbal clues…
I understand putting your characters through that. When they get on the other side and end up with each other, it makes their love that much sweeter. Elaine, do you enjoy watching chick flicks / romantic comedies and dramas?
Elaine Cooper: Oh yes. And for a great serious romance, I’d have to say that Daniel Day Lewis and Madeline Stowe are SO romantic in “Last of the Mohicans!”
Saw that movie and loved it! By the way, has anyone seen Madeline Stowe in the new ABC show, Revenge? Absolutely loving her performance. Kendra, what was the worst date you’ve been on?
Kendra James: I had a boyfriend who was so afraid of me getting too close to him that he kept breaking off for a bit and then wanting to come back. Remember that ‘your eyes meet across a crowded room and you are drawn like a magnet, well that was him. For my birthday he was ‘off again’ but couldn’t miss my birthday so he was taking me to a wonderful restaurant outside of town for lunch. He neglected to check when it opened which was two hours after we got there. We couldn’t wait as he had another date with a ‘friend’ for supper. That sucked.
Wow, I can see how that classified as a worst date scenario.
Meg Mims: My Valentine’s Day novella, The Key to Love, will be released in February 2012!
Congrats…how exciting! Grace, in your opinion, what are the ingredients for a successful marriage?
Grace Greene: The most important ingredient is a forgiving heart and respect. Without those, love can't survive beyond the physical attraction.
So true. Elaine, what’s the best lesson on love you’ve taught your children, or grandchildren or nieces and nephews?
Elaine Cantrell: I believe that everyone messes up every now and then and deserves a second chance.
I completely agree. I’ve been given countless second chances and believe that’s so vital to successful relationships. JoAnn, are you a romantic and why or why not?
JoAnn Carter: I guess in a way I am a romantic. For example, last year for the whole month of Feb., I sent my husband a different e-card each day telling him that I love him. On the flip side though, I'm very practical minded which sometimes can really put a damper on romance.
We must be kindred spirits because I am the same way when it comes to romance. I enjoy being romantic and receiving romance, but it’s not the sum total of my relationship with my husband. My practical nature comes into play many times as well.
Time to take another break and chat with our guests—who is a romantic and who is more practical when it comes to romance?
Hope you can hang out and chat for a bit and enter for a chance to win in our giveaways. We have one more chat coming up at 7:30 tonight. See you then!