Observing Love On Valentine's Day
By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
"the marriage doctors"
Award Winning Authors of the NEW Hardback Book
Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage
Makes a GREAT Wedding or Anniversary Gift
Also available at Amazon.com and your local bookstore.
Last night, we went out to dinner at a new neighborhood bar and grill. It was snowing outside and very cold so we thought a night out with no cooking responsibilities would be just what the doctor(s) ordered.
We were seated by the host at a window near the restaurant’s fireplace. The snow was beautiful as it fell from the sky and the crackling of the fireplace made for a perfect evening. We ordered dinner and a good bottle of wine and engaged in our usual non-stop conversation with each other as we ate and sipped our wine. We called this our early Valentine’s Day dinner because we will be doing a book signing for our new book
for several hours on Valentine’s Day evening and will be unable to have dinner out.
Over the past 25+ years we have met a lot of people in our quest for knowledge regarding the perfect marriages and relationships, and have interviewed hundreds of them. And it’s interesting how good our observation skills have become as we have intently observed people in our interviews and in our travels to distant places over the years.
As we continued our meal, our conversation changed to the other couples like us who were out to dinner that night. It dawned on us that we were, in many ways, witnessing what we had written about in our new book. You could actually see love (or the lack thereof) as you observed the couples who were having dinner together. There are lessons to be learned about these couples and we wanted to briefly share them with you. At the end, we will give you a quiz, so pay attention!
Couple 1 sat at the table next to us. The husband was about 50-55 and the wife a little younger, perhaps 45-50. They are married (both had rings on). They were positioned on opposite sides of the dinner table and when they talked to each other (very infrequently), they only moved their heads slightly and rarely made eye contact. Never during the hour did we see them touch. Not once!
Couple 2 was apparently on a date. No rings, and their conversation as they sat down suggested it was a date. She was about 4'11" and he about 6'5". Both were attractive and in their thirties. She looks about as bored with him as one could be unless you enjoy watching paint dry! When the meal was over she leaves the table and waits for him at the door. During dinner they did not touch, rarely talked, and never make eye contact as near as we could tell.
Couple 3 was clearly married. They were both in their 40's. They sit side by side in their dinner booth. Their bodies touch at the legs and shoulders. When they talked they looked directly at each other's face, which was never more than 15 inches apart. She had a look on her face like, "I love every word that comes out of his mouth. He is the most amazing man I have ever met." He looked at her the same way. He obviously is a class clown and is constantly spitting out one-liners that are making her laugh. She was also very touchy of him. They kiss on the lips every now and then. When they leave the restaurant they depart with their arms around each other's waist. She comments to him on the way out that “it was nice to be away from the children for a couple of hours.”
Couple 4 are on a date. They were sitting adjacent to us on the right. They were talking when we got to our table and continued to talk the whole time we were there. Their conversation increased in tone and volume over the hour. Her last words, as she stood up, were, "T'm tired of taking this bulls---t from you. I'm outta here." She walked to the door. He paid the bill and went after her. They disappeared into the night.
We always preach to whoever will listen that in life and love the simple things matter. Do the simple things and your relationship with each other will thrive. To not to do them diminishes the quality of your relationship and is the leading cause of relationship failure. On the other hand, successful love and relationships are and accumulation of the little things. Our 25+ years of research certainly validates this notion.
Now the quiz – if you were to observe these couples having dinner this Valentine’s Day, who do you think is the most in love? What couple do you think is living proof of the importance of doing the little things? Which couple, were they all to be married to each other, are most likely to reach their Golden Anniversary together? Couple 3, is of course the correct answer. You can learn a lot by observing couples this Valentine’s Day. You can learn a lot about love.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Now you can order the Doctors' new book entitled , Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage at Amazon.com or from their website with FREE Images of Love DVD. With 25 years of research experience on successful marriage and their own 41-year marriage, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz know what makes marriage work. From their hundreds of interviews with happily married couples, representing 15,000 years of marriage, they've discovered the seven pervasive characteristics present in all successful marriages. Their book exposes the secrets for success through these poignant, real life stories.
During their distinguished careers the Doctors have received some 60 local, state, and national awards; published nearly 200 articles and manuscripts; delivered over 1000 speeches, workshops and public presentations; traveled throughout the world; and appeared on radio and television and in the print media. Dr. Charles D. Schmitz is Dean and Professor of Family and Counseling Therapy at the University of Missouri in St. Louis and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz is President of Successful Marriage Reflections, LLC.
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