Keeping the (post-apocalyptic) romance alive

With Valentine’s Day being last week and my post about the Love Machine app going up last Wednesday, I’ve been thinking about love and romance and relationships and all that other sappy stuff. And seriously, it’s hard enough keeping up with the romance now, in the pre-apocalypse, when we still have Hallmark and Godiva chocolates for those moments when we screw up.

It’s going to be really hard in the post apocalypse, when we won’t have any of those romantic crutches to help us out. So what are we to do?

I’m going to move forward from here assuming that you’ve already covered the basics. That is, you’ve found a love interest, you’ve gone on your first date, and you’re maintaining a healthy relationship. If you’re not doing these things, then this post can’t really help you, because chances are you don’t have a romance to keep alive. (Of course, I could be wrong, but that’s the general assumption.)

To be perfectly honest, I think we’ll need to do the same things we need to do now to keep relationships from going to stale. It’s the how that will change. For example, a romantic evening together likely will not include a candlelit dinner at that really expensive French restaurant downtown, because 1) candles may be scarce and likely well-protected; 2) there won’t be any French restaurants in your survival compound; and 3) downtown anywhere won’t exist.

Keep that in mind for those anniversaries.

In any case, here are a few ideas:

Spend time alone together

Yeah, I know “alone together” is an oxymoron, but you know what I mean. Life will be stressful, and you’re going to need to spend time together. Alone. Without the rest of the camp traipsing around trying to get you to do things. Your alone time likely won’t be very long, but even ten or fifteen minutes here and there is better than nothing.

If at all possible, try to set up dates with your significant other. I know, I know, this requires some serious advance preparation, especially when you have to rearrange night watch and coordinate raiding parties and all that good stuff. But if you can do it, then DO IT. Sure, those fifteen minutes to grab a meal ration together are good, but an actual date, where you concentrate on your other half and JUST your other half, is even better.

(Pre-apocalypse romance tip: this is important to do, even when society is still alive and kicking. Especially if you have kids. I’m just saying.)

Talk to each other

This relates to “spend time together,” and it really just goes without saying. Ann also covered this in her post about healthy relationships. Talking means you can stay on the same wavelength. If you’ve gotten a bit distant, you can reconnect. See? Talking is important.

Note: By “talking” I DO NOT mean talking about the weather and how many zombies you killed that day. I mean actually talking, possibly about things you’d rather not talk about. Also? Listening would be a good thing to do, too.

Do nice things for each other

By this I don’t mean buy flowers or give cards. I mean do things like take the night patrol shift if your other half hasn’t slept in three days. Or move the decapitated zombie from the middle of the compound if your other half is busy doing something else and zombie removal is on their to-do list. That sort of thing. Knowing you care enough about your other half’s well-being to take over some of their duties (without being asked) can go a long way, I’m sure.

Pay attention to your significant other’s Love Language

Yeah, I know it sounds cheesy. And it actually kinda is. But as I said in an earlier post, I’m romantically inept. So if you were to ask me to plan a romantic evening for my husband, I’d stare at you blankly and then make plans to go to Olive Garden or something.

But thanks to this love language thing, which my husband and I learned about in our marriage prep class way back when, actually works. Seriously. I mean, I can’t plan a romantic dinner, but I can vacuum the house. And that, my friends, is an “Act of Service”–which is (not surprisingly) one of the languages.

I actually kept the little quiz thing we took to determine which was our dominant love language. (I actually copied and typed it. Yeah. I know.)

Anyway, my point is, keep your other half’s love language in mind when you do whatever romantic thing it is you want to do. Even if it seems like the most un-romantic thing ever, like cleaning your tent from top to bottom or giving your significant other a hug even when they’re filthy and haven’t had a bath in three weeks. Figure out what those little things are, whatever they may be. And then DO THEM.

After all, we may only have the “little things” in the post apocalypse.


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