Almost everyone who has a significant other celebrated Valentine’s Day two weeks ago. But not my hubby and I. Instead, as a loyal line cook at a fancy restaurant, he worked 12 hours that day. So between that missed holiday and my birthday last Friday, we went out to dinner tonight. The occasion got me thinking about fun romantic activities relating to food and biking – and a few that seem romantic but may not live up to the expectation.
Cooking a Really Good, Fancy Meal
I find this quite romantic, because it takes some serious planning, time, and effort. One of the loveliest things Chris did early in our relationship was cooking a fancy meal for me on our one-year anniversary. He made chicken kiev with roasted potatoes and green beans, a fancy meal for him at the time. Despite the fact it wasn’t energy-efficient at all, he made a fire in the living room and cranked up the air conditioning so it wasn’t boiling. Totally adorable. Making a fancy meal is still cute even if you screw it up and have to order in Chinese food.
Riding a Tandem Bicycle
Riding a tandem bicycle is one of those stereotypical “movie magic” romantic activities, but I’m not convinced. I’m willing to bike slower for Chris and I trust him with my life, but giving him the steering and brakes? No way in hell. On the other hand, that trust-building exercise can be great for some couples. There’s a very sweet story in this month’s Self magazine – coincidentally read while I was on the bike at the gym – in which the author writes about how riding a tandem bike helped her relationship.
Breakfast in Bed
Honestly, I don’t even like the concept of breakfast in bed, much less the practical implications. I like getting out of bed, taking a shower, and having a chance to wake up before eating anything. In terms of the logistics, to not create a giant mess, you need a breakfast tray. Even with a good, steady tray, it’s inevitable you’ll get crumbs in the sheets and no one wants that. Far too complicated and messy.
Gardening, such as pulling weeds or planting, is actually a great activity to build togetherness. You have the feeling of accomplishing something around the house, but it’s far more fun than cleaning. You spend time outdoors, get some exercise, and if you’re lucky, get some great food to cook in the end. Now planning the garden might end up creating some tension, but it’s a chance to practice compromise.
Suggesting a Bike Ride Even if You Don’t Really Like Biking
Any time one half of a couple willingly suggests something they know the other person wants to do, even if they aren’t big on it, is lovely. Knowing that, it’s up to the bike-loving half to go slow and not make fun of the person who suggested it. This is even nicer if you can bike to a romantic place, like a picnic, an ice cream parlor, or a waterfall. And who doesn’t want to reenact this scene from the Muppets (minus the getting stuck in a tree part)?
Giving or Making Unexpected Presents
Chris has been very strong on this recently! First, he knocked together a cold frame for our garden on his random Wednesday off. Then, on my birthday, I awoke to find a birthday present on the table! For most women, this would be quite ordinary, but we usually don’t give each other birthday presents. Much to my pleasant surprise, I opened it to find a brand-new climbing harness, something that I’m in need of. I’ve had my old harness for probably about 10 years and after a certain point it becomes unsafe. So it was a very thoughtful gift.
What’s the most romantic food or outdoor-related action anyone has ever done for you? Or that you’ve done for someone else?