March 1, 2009

Unique Romantic Gift: Letter in a Bottle

We've recently discussed tips for writing a love poem, love letters, and confessing your feelings in a letter, so it was quite a coincidence that reader Renee's website had the perfect unique gift to tie in with it all: an old fashioned romantic message in a bottle, available here in many different styles.

Having never seen anything like this before, I was taken by the pure aesthetic beauty of each bottle's shape and color-tone. Imagine having your love poem or letter delivered on rolled parchment, bottled and encased as if it came straight from the Renaissance!

February 25, 2009

Write a Love Poem to Yourself

Writing a poem to yourself may seem weird, but imagine the benefit such a poem could have on your self-image and self-esteem. You could make several copies, fold them up, and leave them in places you know you’ll find them later: in your car’s glove box, on the kitchen counter, in your desk, in the restroom, and even next to your pillow. If anyone happens to find your "hidden" poem before you do, they won't know that you wrote it to yourself. It defies logic! Such is the brilliance of a love poem written to one's self.

When writing a love poem to yourself, be sure to refer to my tips for writing a love poem; use that information with yourself in mind as the recipient! There are many, many ways to write a poem to one's self. Here are a few examples:

1. The Epic Ballad. Write a poem detailing your own real or fictional adventures. Hold nothing back—be as serious or as ridiculous as you desire! Try expanding on your biggest interests. For example, if you like cute, fuzzy animals, you might depict yourself soaring through the air saving helpless squirrels from the clutches of evil. Your favorite food, according to your poem, could give you superhuman powers. Alternately, if you're going the serious route, try casting your every day experiences in a heroic light. Perhaps the way you endure the arduous journey to work each morning is a demonstration of your boundless courage. However you write your epic ballad, be sure to flatter yourself!

2. Pure Admiration. It isn't a crime to appreciate your own qualities. Write a list of everything you like about yourself, from the color of your eyes to your captivating personality. Then, use these qualities to write yourself a poem as if you were your own secret admirer. Here's a short and cheesy example:

Your writing skills are so profound
That readers make a pleasant sound
When visiting your blogging page—
Qupid, you are all the rage!

Hmm... that made me feel pretty good!

3. What would we do without you? Have you ever felt that you're under-appreciated? Now's the time to write yourself a poem about it. Tell yourself everything that would be missing if you were to leave. You could even beg yourself to stay.

4. Self Encouragement. Write as if you were a distant admirer seeking ways to get closer to you. What would you do just to make yourself smile? Then, think of all the ambitions you've been putting off, and incorporate them into your love poem. Maybe you would go back to the gym or sign up for that class you've been wanting to take. Ah, the things we'll do for love! This type of poem in particular is great for being made into several copies and left around.

If you happen to write yourself a love poem and don't mind sharing, please do share in the comments section!

February 20, 2009

Ask Qupid: Mistaking Sex for Love

Reader VioletPlanet asks: why is sex often mistaken for love?

Dear VioletPlanet,

There are a few aspects involved with the answer to this question. The first is that love is commonly mistaken for many things; this has much to do with our early childhood experiences as well as media influence. For example, the strictness that certain adults enforce upon themselves, and others, may very well be traced back to the expectations of their parents.

We don’t need impressive credentials to observe the way that culture and child-rearing shapes people. During the youngest moments of our lives, we’re like baby birds reaching out for nourishment. A baby bird doesn’t question whether or not it will be fed the right food—it simply expects it. Much the same, as toddlers and young children, we don’t question what love is, we just expect it to receive it. In some cases, the emotional nourishment that children believe they are receiving isn’t nourishment at all. This often results in confusion as to what love is.

Without a clear example of a healthy relationship, we may be left to piece together a picture of love based on impressions from television shows, movies, songs and music videos. We can gain an awareness of the behaviors in an adult relationship without understanding the reasoning, or amount of sense, behind them. Based on such a vague understanding, we’d think that love is some kind of strong feeling that makes us “unable to live” without someone, or that we’d “think about them all the time,” as so many popular songs would suggest. Chances are that the first feeling that comes along and resembles these notions is what we’re going to call love. It doesn’t have to involve sex, but if it does, we might easily confuse sex with love.

A more scientific explanation revolves around a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin is sometimes released during sex by both men and women. When oxytocin is released, it magnifies feelings of attachment and the desire for closeness; it’s conducive to cuddling. Oxytocin is also released by mothers during childbirth, perhaps creating the powerful bond between mother and child. Understandably, the effects of oxytocin might create a deep emotional connection between two people who aren't actually well suited for each other in a relationship. Beware the oxytocin!

I hope you found this explanation helpful, and I thank you for the question!

Until next time,