When you think about romance, what do you anticipate? Getting flowers from someone special? Biting into a luscious chocolate covered strawberry? Worrying that an LBL-moment might bring things to a screeching halt?
If the possibility of leaking stops you from enjoying romance, you’re not alone. LBL can be embarrassing! It’s hard to feel feminine when your bladder is calling the shots. It may help to know that one in three women experience LBL and there are ways to manage it so you can keep romance alive. Romance doesn't always lead to intimacy, but when it does, there are helpful ways to deal with LBL in the bedroom. You can read my blog post, Let’s Talk About Sex (and LBL) for some practical advice. You’ll also find useful tips by listening to LBL and Intimacy on my Woman-to-Woman podcast series.
However, romance is not just about sex. Romance is a state of mind and emotion. A painting, song, or sunrise can be so romantic it moves us to tears. We women instinctively tune into our feelings. We have an emotional, loving feminine nature that’s as romantic as a work of art. What if you were to romance yourself? What would be required to give yourself the kind of tender loving care you’d like to receive from a “special-someone”?
I recently read this quote by prosperity expert Randy Gage, “Rich people think differently than broke people. Healthy people think differently than sick people. Happy people think differently than depressed people.” How do romantic people think? And act? With or without a partner, are you romantic? Here are a few ways to awakening your own romantic, feminine nature, through tender loving self-care.
• As you’re getting ready in the morning or prepping for bed, notice the sensation of the water splashing on your face as you wash it. Feel the silkiness of your moisturizer gliding on your skin. Don’t just go through the motions of brushing your teeth, or doing your Kegel exercises, feel the experience of it. Notice how good your personal-care rituals make you feel throughout the day.
• Step outside. If it’s cold, bundle up and go out anyway. Enjoy the kiss of cold air on your face while your body is cuddled up in a warm coat, gloves and scarf. Get curious, and look up at the sky. Drink in the sight of a sunset. A stormy, starry or brilliantly colorful sky is deliciously romantic. In warmer weather, reach out and touch the bark of a tree, a flower petal, or the grass under your feet. Listen and you’ll hear what you’d otherwise have missed –a bird chirping, wind whistling through the trees, a train in the distance. Interacting with nature has a nurturing effect on your body, mind, and spirit.
• Read a good book. Set aside time, even if it’s only ten minutes before bed to cozy up in your favorite reading spot. Light some candles pull a soft blanket over your legs and get lost in the story.
• Give yourself what you’d like to receive. You might be thinking, “I want those things to come from someone special. YOU are “someone special” who can give those things to you. Think no one does that? My friend Shawne does. Every week she buys herself a bouquet of her favorite Gerber daisy flowers. I’m that way with candles. Right now, as I’m writing this post, I have a red peppermint-scented candle burning in my office. It puts me in a happy state of mind. When you catch yourself longing for someone to bring you a cup of hot tea, draw you a bath, or cover your shoulders with a jacket – be that someone. In the process you become the type of person who receives those things, which automatically attracts more romantic gestures into your life. The old adage is true - you teach others how to treat you by how you treat yourself.
• Look at yourself in the mirror. What do you notice? We women tend to focus on every imperfection. As you look at yourself, find something to appreciation about those imperfect parts. When I see the lines on my neck I say, “I appreciate my neck just the way it is because without it I wouldn’t be able to hold up my head." You might be afraid that accepting a big tummy, flabby arms, or a leaky bladder means you’ll stop trying to improve those parts. The truth is the more compassionate and accepting you are with yourself just the way you are, the easier it is to embrace the kind of loving self-care that will eventually flatten your belly, tone those arms and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Romance is not about waiting for Prince Charming to ride in on his white horse. It’s about allowing romance in your life right now, and that starts with how you treat yourself.
What about you? What do you do to keep LBL from interfering with romance?