Last week fall began and, as we both exercise outside here in the upper Midwest, we are aware of the color changes which seem less remarkable in any other season. Spring is green with tiny soft shades of pinks and purples. Winter is white when it snows and often drab with the absence of color on plants and trees. Summer is often a combination of greens and browns depending on the amount of rain we get. Autumn brings with it a surprise of colors of deep purples, oranges, yellows and reds along with the darkening of the greens. As we were talking about this week’s blog Rita came across the idea of how color can and does affect relationships. We began to talk about things to do to use colors to have a little fun together, get to know each other in new ways, to spend time together and of course to build a greater intimacy. You of course might find different ways to include color in your life. Here are some suggestions.
- Stand by or in your closest and look at the colors of your clothes. Talk about the colors your like best on the other. You might even dress or undress the other.
- Go to an ice cream shop and look at the many different colors of ice cream or make a conscious effort to eat meals that have a variety of colors. Talk with each other about the effect that color has on how food tastes. With the exception of blueberries Bob rarely eats anything blue and doesn’t like to eat off blue dishes. You could go to a wine shop and look at the labels and talk about how the label color affects what you purchase.
- Go to a car dealer and drive the wildest color car they have. Of course you may have to put up with a sales pitch but you just might surprise the salesperson if you say you are just having fun together. We often do this just driving down the street. One of us will point out a car and say that car is nice looking but not in that color. We of course don’t like white or yellow cars because every car we’ve owned in those shades turned out to be a lemon for us.
- Take a walk together and be aware of the changing fall colors talk about the “falls” you have spent together and a favorite memory you have of that time. You might even talk about the colors you remember from that time. It could of course include the colors of your favorite sports team, the memory of a jacket or coat the other wore, a funny pair of shoes the other wore and perhaps the colors in your favorite photograph from a wonderful time in your life.
- Verbally redecorate a room together. Talk about colors you would never use and those you might find attractive. You might be surprised by what you come up with. Listen to each other as suggestions are made and how that might tell you something about each other. If one of you normally makes all the decorating decisions it might be a great way to learn about the other and involve them in making your house a joint venture.
- Bob enjoys photography and we have lots of pictures of the sky in various shades of blue and grays along with lots of red sunsets and a few sunrises. Talk about what color might describe your relationship at the moment and what color you might like your relationship to be. Perhaps spend a week looking at the sky together for a few minutes each day and talk about your response to what you see and feel.
Colors add a lot to our lives. We tend to do a lot with neutral colors – blacks, whites, grays and blues – in our decorating and clothes. But pops of color add a lot to our landscaping, clothes, decorating and the food we eat. Our relationship is the same. After so many years together we have become comfortable with the way things are, what we do, the places we go on “dates” even the way and when we make love. The changing of seasons gives us the opportunity to add pops of color to our lives. Try being aware of color in your life you just might discover new things about each other, try new things, laugh a little more, enjoy new foods, find new clothes to wear. What you do is less important than spending time together. Tell us the about the colors of your relationship.
This activity is not about the colors themselves, but about learning more about each other and building your relationship. You may find other subjects with which you can engage in parallel kinds of discussions. One that comes to mind is the foods we like or dislike and what about them causes our response, e.g. Bob usually peels peaches for Rita because she likes the flavor but doesn’t like the texture of the skin.
We hope you will have some fun with this. Leave a comment and let us know something you learned about your spouse in the process.
Bob & Rita’s book: Forever and Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us. Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time. Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.
Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer: visit Living Together in the Word every weekday.