A few weeks ago your mom and I had several couples over for dinner. We got talking about proposal stories and ended up going around the table, each couple sharing the story of their engagement.
I was hoping the conversation would change before it got to us because my proposal to Amanda wasn’t anything special. To be honest, it was completely lame. I’m not saying that proposals need to be grandiose complete with hot air balloon rides to Paris or anything, but I really didn’t do anything to make her special or even appreciated.
When the conversation came to me I said, “Um, well, I pretty much just asked.”
“You didn’t do anything? Like did you even take Amanda out for dinner, or give her flowers or something?” a friend questioned. “Nope. Just asked,” I said a little bit embarrassed. The awkwardness passed, though as the evening went on an idea began growing in my mind: who says you can’t propose a second time?
Last week we celebrated our second anniversary, and I’m pleased to say I had the chance to re-propose to the woman I love (I’m also pleased to say that she said yes :)). This time I made sure to show her how thankful I am to have her in my life.
Here’s the point, son. It is all too easy to become comfortable and complacent in the relationships that matter most in life. I’m talking about one-word responses, thoughtless gifts given only because of a holiday, and even just monotone conversations that become the norm. If you’re not careful, your relationship with family and friends will become crusty like food forgotten in the back of the refrigerator.
To quote the great philosopher Taylor Swift, “Life makes love work hard.” Though I hate to say it, Taylor’s right. Life happens, and loved ones can get pushed to the backseat pretty quickly. A little thoughtfulness, creativity, and surprise can go a long way in keeping relationships healthy. When I become robotic as a husband, son, or friend, I’ll often be gently shaken back to attentiveness by one of many kindhearted friends in my life who live what I’m talking about. One friend and colleague writes an encouraging note to someone just about every single day. He’s been doing this for over 8 years!
Right now is a good time to do something out of the ordinary to show appreciation for someone in your life. So think, then do. Right now. Go out of your way to make a friend’s day, or take a second chance to repair something you should have done right the first time. Just remember, son, you only get one opportunity to re-propose, so make it special.