Earlier this week on Twitter, Six Words from SMITH (@sixwords) posted a challenge asking for love advice in six words. I decided to play along, as I often use such Twitter writing prompts as a break from my daily work.
You should know, I came to love late in life. I was 35 before I got married to my soul mate. Although Rachel and I had known each other for more than a dozen years, we didn’t start dating until 2004. We dated for only a few months before I popped the question, and we married less than six months after our first date.
While I may have been a little rough around the edges at first, I quickly learned a thing or two about being in a committed relationship. I’m no expert, but after a decade of marriage, I think I know what works and what doesn’t.
So I drew from my personal experience.
— Kevin Wohler (@kevinwohler) February 3, 2016
Although my tweet didn’t exactly explode the Interwebz, it did get a little attention (beginning with my wife). As the week rolled on—and as Valentine’s Day approached—it occurred to me that six words wasn’t enough to encapsulate what I needed to say.
So, here’s the long version:
Say “I love you” every day. But that isn’t really enough. Say it multiple times each day.
Say it in the morning when you wake up. Say it when she hands you your morning coffee (sometimes joke “I was talking to the coffee!”). Say I love you when she drives off to swim class, or when you leave to go to work. Say it when she comes home after a long day. Say it when she merely walks in from another room.
Say “I love you” a lot.
Say it without saying it. Help out around the house. Do the dishes. Clean the cats’ bowls. Sweep the floor. Bring home dinner when she doesn’t feel like cooking. When she asks you to do something for her, don’t grumble and complain.
Say “I love you” by making time for one another. Go on dates. Go to the theatre, museums and theme parks. Go to movies and buy her popcorn, because you once made her a promise that “there will always be popcorn.” Go shopping together, more to keep each other company than for any other reason.
Now and then ask your wife, “Have I told you that I love you today?” She will always says “Yes,” but then she’ll tell you she never tires of hearing it. So I say “I love you” again.
And at the end of every day, when you kiss goodnight, say “I love you” one more time.
Never wonder when you last told your wife that you love her. It was then. It is now. It will be soon.