Category Archives: Romance

Have the Unromantic Conversations

For romance to thrive in long term relationship you need to have those unromantic conversations. About money, alarm clocks, the thermostat on the central heating. The problem is that we confuse romance with the structure of relationship. We think that those ‘hard’ conversations might kill romance. The truth is that they are simply different aspects of relationship.

The reality of daily life is the container which holds the delicate and nourishing fluid of romantic love. If the container leaks, the fluid drains away. Refusing to have the ‘hard’ conversations creates cracks in the container. Whereas honest discussion and clear agreement about how you arrange your daily life creates a solid container.

Those conversations are distinctly unromantic. Sometimes they’re uncomfortable; sometimes confrontational. But they are the fire in which a solid container of relationship is forged. They create clarity and build trust. They require honesty. They make you work together as a couple to find solutions that work for both of you. Clarity, trust, honesty, togetherness….these conversations create a strong relationship in which romance can thrive.

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Posted by on 05/12/2014 in Marriage, Romance


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I had a lover’s tiff

Habit is the enemy of romance, but rituals provide a structure in which romance thrives.

Currently, I have a goodbye ritual – sipping coffee and chatting in a lovely cafe before kissing goodbye. I wrote about it a little while ago

Its a gentle way to part from a lover after a couple of days in each other’s company.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I said goodbye without that ritual. On this occasion, we parted without visiting the cafe. There were kisses for sure, but they were exposed to the sharp air of sudden separation. I convinced myself that this wasn’t a problem. I would be mature about it – I would simply acknowledge my feelings and that would be enough.

But it wasn’t. The sharp air of separation stayed in my lungs and grew into irritation. Three days later, sharp air became the sharp words of a lovers’ tiff.

The balance of energy between lovers is delicate. Rituals help to keep that balance clear and in flow. My goodbye ritual works, but I ignored it and experienced the fallout. I know that gentle goodbyes work for me. I need time to peel myself out of a full immersion in romance, and bring other aspects of life to the fore.

We ignored the ritual because we didn’t feel that we needed it on that day. We had just had tea, and going to the cafe seemed superfluous. But with ritual the content is less important than the performance of it. Its the performance – not the content – that gives romance the structure it needs.

What works for you? What rituals can you put in place to keep the energy of your romantic life clear and in flow?

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Posted by on 04/03/2014 in Romance


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Oyster Card Romance

Londoners, you know that thing when you swipe your oyster card, the red light beeps and the gates stay shut, even though you have enough money on the card? Apparently it happens when you ‘swipe’ or ‘press’ rather than ‘touch’ in.

This happened to me the other day. The nice Transport For London staff member who was standing there, put on his best ‘I want to roll my eyes but I’m going to be patient’ voice and said, “Stand back a step…. Now just touch the card lightly.”

I did. It worked.

As I stood on the escalator I started to smile realising that his instruction was a brilliant metaphor for how to love.

In romantic relationship we want to get closer to each other. But closeness can easily slip into familiarity. Before we know it we’re being less attentive and more mechanical. The relationship feels easy and comfortable but lacks spice. Over time, romance stays shut – unresponsive to your mechanical ‘swiping’ or ‘pressing’. At this point, familiarity starts to feel stifling.

So take a step back – give each other more space and privacy. And be ‘light touch’ in your emotional interaction – don’t presume that you can press or swipe your way into each other’s hearts. The gates of romance will keep flying open for you.

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Posted by on 12/12/2013 in Romance


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Rituals, Coffee and Goodbye Kisses

Habit is the enemy of romance. But ritual facilitates love’s delicate edges.

We both get withdrawal symptoms a couple of hours before we kiss goodbye. After two days of being soaked in each other’s presence, parting feels like a wrench – a harsh scattering of the gently gathered romantic self. So we’ve figured out a way to transition gently – a ritual that bridges our date-time and saying, ‘Bye.’


In a particular cafe thats always convivially alive.

Its that simple. A couple of hours chatting with each other, chatting with the cafe owner and sometimes with the other customers. It helps us to replant our feet on the ground of daily life.

It works for two reasons. Firstly, we both know that the purpose of our coffee ritual is to disentangle us gently from each other. We agreed this together.

Secondly, the atmosphere in this particular cafe is lively enough to cajole us out being fully absorbed in each other, but friendly enough that we don’t feel intruded upon. Its the perfect balance, acting as a bridge between time together and time apart.

This ritual of coffee invites our attention from each other’s laughter to the laughter of community. The romantic self becomes the social self, and kissing goodbye becomes less of a wrench and more of a twinge.

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Posted by on 05/11/2013 in Romance


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Tender messy romance

Its Guru Purnima today – the annual celebration of the guru’s blessings and teachings received by the student.

I’m thinking lovingly of my lineage of spiritual masters as well as all the teachers who have shared their knowledge with me.

I’m also thinking of the gorgeous gentlemen who have graced me with their love – they have been my most interesting gurus, bringing me closer to my self through the potent, tender, messy, vulnerable humanity that only romance offers. ♥

Romance is the most demanding and the most fun spiritual practice I know.

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Posted by on 22/07/2013 in Romance


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Finding Infinity on a Bank Holiday Afternoon

Romance unbuttons time.

Its attentive adoration sends entire seconds spilling down the back of my knees.

This disarray opens the possibility (though not the certainty, as romance doesn’t do certainty) for in infinity moment to occur.

An infinity moment isn’t a sense that time has stopped. Its more delicate than that. Its a sense that this moment has created in you a feeling of total contentment-happiness. And that the contentment-happiness is so good that you would quite happily stay there for Infinity.

And so it was on a stunning bank holiday afternoon spent kissing and chatting under a cherry blossom tree. The sun, the flowers, his arms and mouth all created an infinity moment.

Romance unbuttons time. So make time for romance. There’s another bank holiday coming up soon…..

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Posted by on 17/05/2013 in Romance


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How to Kiss Your Valentine

The perfect Valentine’s Day kiss is a promise of romance. Its less about steamy sexiness and more about tender curiosity.

Wrap your arms around each other. Hold. Don’t squeeze but don’t be limp about it either. Let your arms be assured but not possessive with their pressure. Open your palms and rest them against the contour of your Valentine’s neck or back or waist or hip.

Open palms, open heart.

Now, slow down. Don’t rush in there with your mouth. Romance breathes in the lull between fleshy contact. So leave a gap between your hug and your kiss. Revel in the gap with your full attention. Drink in the moment and each other.

Now kiss. The key to a good Valentine kiss is restraint. Be restrained in rhythm and pressure. As with your hug (don’t squeeze but don’t be limp) your mouth needs to be confident but not pushy. So, move your lips and tongue in slow and medium paced rhythms. And use gentle to medium pressure. Taste the kiss, don’t devour it.

Let your whole mouth become a medium of tender curiosity.

And don’t wait till the 14th Feb next year to do this again. Fill your year with as many Valentine kisses as you can.

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Posted by on 12/02/2013 in Romance


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Cupid is tired

So, Cupid tells me that he wants to give up shooting arrows.

The whole bow and arrow thing was always a little childish anyway – making people hurt for love. But this was the only way he could open our hearts. He’d found that pain was a very effective incentive for us to fall in love. The wound of his arrows opened the flow of loving attention.

But he’s tired of his weapons; and of our laziness.

He’s wants to be a gardener instead – planting seeds of love in the ground of fertile hearts.

Of course, the invitation (and the requirement) is that we apply ourselves more consciously to love.

He tells me that we’ll need to prepare the ground of our hearts ourselves. A fertile heart is already rich with emotion, already in-the-flow-of-feeling, already stationed-in-love. Poised to fall in love. Cupid can easily tend such a heart.

It takes more maturity but he thinks we’re ready to move from being hunted by Love to being in partnership with Love. Shall we?

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Posted by on 13/01/2013 in Love, Romance


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Snuggled Siestas

I love a snuggled siesta. Gently illicit; inviting the 9-5 work ethic to take off its tie and lie down for a while.

Two bodies taking a daylight break from engaging with the world.

So romantic – maybe because they’re gently illicit. And because you know that in thirty swift minutes you’ll have to unsnuggle from those strong arms. You start to miss it as as soon as you start to enjoy it.


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Posted by on 13/11/2012 in Erotic Pleasure, Romance


What my fingers remembered

I spent today attending a writing workshop run by author and coach Steve Nobel.

One exercise aimed to get us to write in order to induce a particular feeling. I wanted to induce a state of feeling sexy. I used a particular memory as a trigger point. Following Steve’s instructions, I wrote fast, without editing – letting the writing go where it wanted to go.

I was describing a dinner I’d enjoyed with a very special man.

Ten minutes later, I read what I’d written. I was surprised by what had tripped off the end of my pen. My fingers had remembered not only the sensuality but the intense joy I felt in his presence. What surprised me was that I realised I’ve never told him this.

Yes, I’ve spoken lovingly and tenderly, but not about that intense joy.

It got me thinking about what we share and don’t share with lovers. I think that sometimes its easier to express the obvious feelings – the ones that translate easily into the common vernacular of love.

But I think that its important to tell people when they’ve touched us so deeply that the common vernacular of love doesn’t quite cut it. Otherwise they never know just how much they have added to our lives. So, this week I’m going to tell him. If I can’t find a way to just say it, I’ll read my writing out to him. That feels scary….


Posted by on 14/10/2012 in Erotic Pleasure, Love, Romance, Sex


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