All You Need is Love
Valentine’s Day may be a Hallmark holiday for many, but why not show the love anyway? It’s the most important thing in your life.
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Butterflies in the belly. Lapses in logical thinking. Urgent, overwhelming desires to kiss and be kissed. Love? Yep. That pretty much sums up the romantic blend. But we get other flavors of love from family, friends and coworkers. We give love to animals, sports teams and the occasional “American Idol” contestant. So some people may pooh-pooh Valentine’s Day as a Hallmark holiday, but love matters—and it’s as important to give as to receive.
“Valentine’s Day can be a reminder about the place of loving in our lives,” says Dr. Walt Ciecko of Wilmington, who specializes in helping couples reignite their flames. Love may be a many splendored thing, but it is not always a fresh and new thing. Love, Ciecko says, can mellow—in a good way.
“Many of us think that we have grown love to the point where it is steady and we don’t need to exhibit it anymore,” Ciecko says. “We go on relationship automatic pilot. We stop saying, ‘Hey, I love you. Here’s why.’”
Saying “I love you” may be routine. Explaining why? That’s novel. Novelty, Ciecko says, is a key to keeping the flame hot, and not just on Valentine’s Day. “I encourage people to do surprises once a month or so,” he says. “It can be expensive or not, involved or not. Vary it. It’s one way to unexpectedly get some good energy going through the system.”
So this about sex? Ciecko laughs. “I think intimacy needs to be an ongoing staple of a loving relationship,” he says. “But people get hung up on what it means to be sexual or sensual with another. Intimacy can be cuddling and being physically connected.”
Debbie Esslinger knows a bit about physical connections and romantic relationships. Esslinger is the owner of Bare Essentials, one of Wilmington’s best lingerie boutiques.
“For men, Valentine’s Day means sex and intimacy means sex,” she says. “For women, intimacy means closeness. I see it in what people buy. When men come in, they want something that their wife would not wear on a normal basis. It’s black or red and skimpy or has cutouts. Women buy things that are pretty or feminine. They are looking for the intimate part of love.”
Esslinger sees women shopping for their most intimate moments. What do women really want—in lingerie and love?
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