15 November 2011

Work to Not Work

Remember in Sex and the City 2, where Carrie tells Big that "I think that we are going to have to work on the sparkle for the rest of our lives." Do you think that's true? Do you feel that when two people are together for a long period of time, that they have to make more of an effort to keep the excitement of first dating alive? Is that necessary to a successful relationship?


I ponder this because I am realizing that this is becoming a typical Friday night for me nowadays - BF and I return home from our respective jobs and immediately change into something more comfy, usually involving jeans. BF stares with mild feigned interest at the contents of the frig before calling out, "hey, you wanna go grab a bite?" We'll head somewhere casual and convenient, maybe include an errand of two along the way, and come back home to watch a Netflix movie or shout-chat at each other as he surfs the Internet from his office and me from the couch. When it is time for bed, I may have Clearasil smeared on my face, my hair in a clearly attractive top knot. BF's clothes from the day are strewn all over the armchair. Pup will usually jump in the bed and start worming her way to sleeping horizontally right between us.

IMG_9427 IMG_9464

Please forgive me if I can't help but to sometimes Carrie Bradshaw-wonder whether in our contentment as a couple, that the romance, or "sparkle," has fallen to the wayside of routine and comfort? We've traded love letters for scribbled notes on Post-Its, dressing up after work for jeans and sweats, fun surprise gifts for things we actually need. I kind of miss the excitement of waiting for BF to ring in and wondering if we'll be going out this weekend, of always wanting to impress each other.

But then I don't know if I am just being lured by the "hype" of hearing my girlfriends' dating endeavors or the endless glossy magazine covers warning about relationship ruts (or just watching too plain many reruns of SATC). I really appreciate that BF and I can be completely comfortable with each other. There are no pretenses, no confusion, no games, no trust issues. We don't have to work for it. I believe that we both are truly happy together and make each other better people. Isn't it a good thing that he loves and accepts me, top knot and all? Am I just misconstruing reliability for routine?

What do you ladies think? Do you sometimes feel like you've gotten too chummy with your significant other? How you do work on the "sparkle?" Or do you think that's just a bunch of hoke?


Sweater: J. Crew tippy (worn here - sim here, fur collared here)
Skirt: Left of Center via Anthropologie diagonal divide (worn here - sim green-ish here, blue here, solid here)
Belt: Asos metal keeper
Necklace: Anthro-faux-logie via Ebay (sim here)
Bracelet: F21 stud stretch (sim here)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction swim n fool (worn here - sim here, luxe here)


  1. I think it a regular "date" outing is necessary for keeping the sparkle factor going. This is especially true once kids arrive, because then your time and attention is being taken up by the kids and tempers often wear thin at this point. It's really important to take a break as a couple every so often and do things that are non-kid oriented. My husband and I try to go on a date night at least once a month, but it can be hard to find the time. Even so, just one date night, and we do feel a bit refreshed!

    What a great outfit! The colour of the JC Tippy sweater is gorgeous on you!!

  2. First off I love your outfit and those shoes are just the right amount of fun! I think romance is so overrated! I think feeling butterflies all the time is traded in for something deeper and more real (also long lasting) I have been married almost 10 years and do I get butterflies and feel the excitement all the time? No but I love my husband 100X what I did on our wedding day, I know that when I look like crap and have had a rough day he is there and always loves me. True love is not about you and having all this sparkle it's about loving someone more than yourself. I think it's important to keep doing things as a couple like dating and spending time together and I love a good night out!

  3. I've been with my husband for 7 years, married for 5 and we have a 31/2 year old son. We also both work outside the home full time, so you can imagine, we don't have a lot of "alone" time and often we fall into bed exhausted at 10pm, only to have my son crawl in sometime in the middle of the night for a snuggle. Of course there are times when I want to wring his neck (in the most loving way of course) but mostly I adore him and do little things to add some "sparkle" to our relationship. I love to feel good, so I have regular mani/pedis/facials etc (these are things for me but also let my partner know that I care about looking my best for him too)and I try to dress cute, even if it's just in my yoga pants & tee. I guess the most important thing is to love yourself first, be true to yourself always...you are the person he fell in love with, so I guess you are all the sparkle he needs. I hope this all makes sense...what I'm trying to say is this, there will be good times, there will be great times but there will be down times too...this is human nature but love each other always, lean on each other, HUG!

  4. Love your leopard print shoes and outfit! Love the use of contrasting colors which comes together so beautifully. I've been married for 10 years. I often think that all brides stress about the wedding but honestly, that's the easy part. The hard part is staying married despite the ups and downs. Commitment is often not all about feelings because how we feel can be very fickle.

  5. First of all, as much as I love SATC, it is a show that has to put in loads of drama and hype to keep an audience. Would you really want to watch two people completely happy and comfortable just being near one another? Probably not.
    But as for the "sparkle" factor, the simple fact is marriage is work. But when you work and invest in something you love, the pay off is more than worth it. (same goes for many things in life)
    I have been married for 5 yrs and with my husband for 11yrs. There are weeks and months where this is not a whole lot of time or "sparkle" but than there are moments where it just shows right up. This Sunday I saw my husband sitting across in a large room and I was totally smitten by him. I had not seen him all morning and I got some butterflies when I finally saw him. Completely out of the blue.
    So, enjoy your time together and don't stress about the rest!

  6. Love that skirt! And I agree with everyone else's sentiments that true love is a lot of work and much more meaningful than the butterflies that you get at the beginning of relationships.

  7. Hey Lisa! You have nothing to worry about girl. You are so well put together when you need to be. Your boyfriend recognizes that and you're true to yourself. He can appreciate that! Vice versa with him. Can you clone him? I need someone like that. Loving your outfit girl. That skirt is so sharp and love the top you paired it with. Colorblocking at best. I'm doing a haute post about it tomorrow, so I hope you check it out! :D Have a great Tuesday!

  8. I love your posts. I love the way you write. I love your honesty, and I love how you get people to think.

    I've been with my BF for 15 years. Yes, the passion fades but I still find him totally adorable and sexy. I think the sparkle no longer comes from hot passion in the bedroom but rather from the laughter we share, our inside jokes, our silliness, knowing each other so well, and accepting the good and the bad in each other. Others may find us too chummy. But life can be challenging, so don't you want to be with someone that will help put some laughter in your life when times are difficult? That's how he puts a sparkle in my life.

  9. I've been married for 15+ years and my Friday routine is much like you describe (except I need wrinkle cream not zit cream nowadays :)). It can be boring sometimes but I would not trade it (or him for anything).

    Love the shoes BTW!

  10. I think that first of all, I love the skirt.

    I think that it is important to have a balance of romance and comfort. I feel that I have that with my fiance (LOVE saying that!) now. He has seen me at my worst (i.e. HIS track pants and a tank top without makeup and hair that hasn't been touched with a comb), but we still switch things up now and again. Great topic!

  11. traveling is definitely our sparkle. so is trying a new restaurant. while i do love routine, its the new and unexpected that sometimes turn out to be the best choices.

    but i totally hear you on the comfy clothes on a fri night. i'm tired at the end of the week!
    adore the skirt, too!

  12. Beautiful colors on you!! And the shoe choice is fabulous!!

  13. On that issue, I can not help. I wish I was in a relationship so that I could have a reason to dress up and go out on a friday night. I don't need anyone to sit at my computer and read blogs in my flannel pjs with.

    Chic on the Cheap

  14. Your outfit is adorable :) I think it is important every once in awhile to change things up a bit, but as long as you are happy that is the important thing. It is truly unique to find someone you are 100% comfortable in front of, and to me that is what matters most!

  15. um, i think you just described half the marriages in america--the good ones. :) i think it's high time we all faced the fact that SATC was a fantasy--just like a disney princess movies for adults. real life is more interesting, but definitely less tulle!
    love the post!

  16. I'm with you about missing the excitement that was my now-husband calling. I used to get butterflies in my stomach and could not wait for him to call! I loved the 'falling in love' part too. We couldn't bear to be apart for long periods of time. We would miss each other constantly. All that has subsided though. We've been living together for about 2 years now so its kind of hard to find time to miss each other. But every once in a while when we're separated for a prolong period of time, we'll get that feeling again. It's also nice when he surprises me with my favorite chips or pastries. I say, it's the little things that count.

  17. I totally remember that quote and I remember vividly agreeing with it. Everything is a work in progress and nothing is ever perfect - in order for it to get close to perfection you always have to try harder than yesterday. So for me, I totally agree with it and feel like the day I stop trying to have that sparkle then that's where something is wrong.

    Also to answer your question Foursquare is a check-in service that you do when you go to certain places. :)

  18. Louise / lmc1971 - After my big sis had her son, I seriously do not think she has had an evening alone with her husband in nearly 5 years (nephew's 5) - I don't know how they keep their "sparkle" but somehow it all works!

    SassyUptownChic - oh you don't want my BF cloned - then all the world's socks would be missing their match and landry hampers would never be emptied - or dishwashers for that matter!

    Tricia Thomas / Lisa - wow, you both described things perfectly! Well said!

    matilda deathstar - one thing I totally don't miss - going to clubs. When BF and I first started dating, we'd go club hopping with our friends, have some drinks, and inevitably end up in some sort of argument. There should be some sort of rule about not going to clubs with your significant other!

    Frannie Pantz - awwww, fiance! You're a to-be now!

    makeupandpearls - as special as it feels to dress up sometimes, it sure it nice to know that BF will still hug and kiss me even if I go out with him in a ratty tee and flip flops!

    LyddieGal - don't worry, just wait until you get into a relationship and still find yourself sitting at your computer reading blogs in you PJs, haha!

    Alice Marie / shelia - I know - is it wrong that I still stop to watch the reruns whenever I catch it on TV? My BF runs away when he hears the theme song!

    Jenn - I have to admit to missing those initial getting-to-know-you stages when you're comfortable enough to tell each other everything and you'll spend three hours on thhe phone with each other. Now if one of us is traveling, we really only have time to check in - we'd so have nothing to talk about for three hours straight!

  19. Tabitha - ooh, that could be dangerous for me. Then people would have an idea on how often I do shop for shoes or go stuff my face at the Fresh Market bakery section! ;o)

  20. I'm loving the color combos of this outfit!!

    I can't add too much that hasn't already been said, but I think there is nothing wrong with having your "rut"/routine, so long as you sprinkle in some sparkle every now and then to have quality couple time and possibly re-discover each other in a good way removed from the hustle and bustle of life.

    Were you watching the SatC mini-marathon this weekend? I totally was. :)

  21. lovely outfit.. you look amazing

    follow me :)


  22. oh boy. boy boy boy do i hear ya on this one, lisa! it's tough, isn't it? i know that the satc glitz is wholly manufactured but ... there is a certain appeal there, right? and everyone always says that they would never trade their husband/married life for anything else, and while i agree definitely, i think it's more that ... that you realize you have surpassed the stages of "butterflies" and there is no going back. there are few things in life that require you to only head in one direction (assuming you have done so ... in this case, marriage, correctly) and knowing this is kind of sad, no matter how wonderful the future path may be.

    ugh, rambling. did that make sense?

  23. Your Friday night sounds like ours around here! Some Saturdays, too! I think it's important to make special dates to keep the sparkle sparkling, but in real life, after a long week of work, coming home and falling into routine feels GOOD.

  24. I plan to read your comments, but feel I have to write my own before I do.

    I had to be coaxed to go on a date with the person who I love dearly now. Originally there wasn't much of a sparkle because he wasn't the type of guy I normally dated--shy, quiet, polite, sweet. I'm adventurous and easily bored. I like to be entertained. I stayed with him because I was genuinely amazed by his character--he was an astounding person. I knew at that point in my life he was what I needed, but there wasn't a sparkle as such.

    Part of me believes the sparkle is created by what we see and long for in movies. Stories fabricated and exaggerated by people who believe they are living a fairy tale.
    Reality knows relationships are hard and challenging, but we're lead to believe they are magical, "just happen" and will be the same "forever and always happily ever after". And those things CAN be, but we do have to work for them!

    The other types of love I have felt were crazy and infatuating. The kind that made my body tingle and my heart race. I feel now that it was more attraction and sexual tension that real love. It was the way my body needed that person and the way my heart wanted so badly to believe they're candy coated words... but to be honest, what I have now is real and honest. It's secure. It's trusting. It's knowing I have him there for me and that I always will, that he supports me and he is my best friend. When we make love, it's love, even though it may not be as exciting or sparkly. You can work on the sparkle, but it's nothing without all the other good stuff! I totally agree with Carrie! Now, when I look at him, I feel a sparkle; but it's a new kind. Nothing movie, nothing fancy. My heart wants to explode because I'm so thankful I have him and I love him so much.

    I'll always miss and long for the excitement, especially when watching gushy movies, but I know I wouldn't trade my happiness for the world.

  25. Haha I am sorry--I just noticed I didn't comment on what you were wearing and I'm a bit sad I didn't because I LOVE it! You look so gorgeous. I love the color blocking and the little twist with the asymmetrical print. Love it. You look gorgeous. Your skin is so pretty! Love your complexion.

  26. Lisa, you and your bf's Friday nights sound like mine everyday, hahaha. Down to the unattractive topknot! In all seriousness, everyone has their own comfort level and you do what you think works for you. Personally I'm not big on surprises and doing "new" things, so going through our typical routine days is fine for me. Every once in awhile I'll feel the itch to "sparkle" and we'll work on that and plan something special. Most times that ends up being a lot of hard work and we'll just go back to our good ol' ways soon after, haha.

  27. It's a tough balance for sure. My husband and I used to be the same way with ll the romantic notes and gifts, but after over 8 years together a lot of that has died. Overall though, when I look at our relationship, it's still a really fun and passionate one. And while the romantic stuff is nice (and I have been asking him for more of it) what we have, and it sounds like what you have, is far nicer.

  28. After 16 years of marriage I have to say that I am more crazy about my husband than I've ever been. I don't miss any of the hype or pressures of dating but I can tell you I would miss the loving companionship that we have for sure! There are so many differnt types of personalities though....I think every relationship is unique to it's own individuals. I love this outfit btw....and your seagulls outfit too!!

  29. Love your color-blocking : )

    I worry about the same thing - Am I becoming complacent? Am I lazy with my relationship because I'm already in one? Am I just out of ideas? Or heaven forbid, are we just hanging out because we're here and not really interested?

    My answer to all of those is: No! You're allowed to wear comfy clothes and not go on dates and have routines and be comfortable with who you are and what your relationship is. Last night I wasn't feeling well and my BF got us takeout and I spent most of the night on the couch. He joined me after surfing Reddit forever, and we watched Bridesmaids. Sounds exciting right? Well we had fun, and we love each other, and it was just that kind of night.

    Don't put too much pressure on yourself - you have someone who likes you the way you are: dressed up or topknot.

  30. Love the skirt thank you for visit and comment in m blog..I will now following you hope you follow back.



  31. I think this sort of comfortable routine is very common amongst couples that have been together for a long time. And it also has to do alot with age. My idea of a good time has changed drastically since I first met LG. We still make a point to spend one-on-one time by going out to dinner sometimes. I think it's super fun and really not a whole lot of work. Sometimes some good quality one-on-one time is all you need :)

  32. I think it's great to be completely comfortable with your significant other, but effort should still be placed into the relationship. I am working on this myself!

  33. I think it's a fine line. I like being comfortable with my husband, but every once in a while I like for us to be totally romantic and remind each other of those first few exciting dates and the "getting-to-know-you" phase.

    I think as long as you stay connected and spend quality time together it doesn't matter if that time is "sparkly" (i.e., you're dressed up, going out to a nice dinner).

  34. Firstly, I LOVE this outfit. That skirt is super fabulous, and I love the shoezies.

    On to the meat of the post: I totally am super comfy with my husband. I mean, I should be, right? And I think that at a certain point, it's unavoidable. I dress up, sure, mostly for me, though, because all women dress for other women right? hahaha. But at home with him, I'm just me. I think because we've been together for 5 years that our idea of love/spark has already changed. We're committed to making our marriage work and we're also committed to make careers for ourselves. We take in each other's priorities and work around them all the time, remembering that the reason we do it is because we love each other.

    There are definitely times when I feel exactly how I felt when I first met my husband, but those don't happen as often as they used to. Nonetheless, I'm still happily married. :)
    ♥ laura
    the blog of worldly delights

  35. I think it is a different kind of romance when you have been with your significant other for a long time. You NEED to do special things together that are fun and keep the "spark" alive, but on the other hand, just being comfortable and yourself is the best kind of romance. My favorite times with my husband is when kids are asleep and we are up just being ourselves (we are silly people) and laughing and talking about whatever we feel like. Those are the moments I cherish the most.

  36. I know what you mean: a comfortable relationship feels good and easy, but there's a wistfulness about the good old days of passionate connection. For me, it can be too easy to see other peoples' relationships as more exciting than my own, but I catch myself when I realize that drama is draining and I have no idea of what really goes on in the lives of others.

    What my husband and I do is have our routines and a comfortable way of relating to one another, but also mix it up a bit and do something unpredictable and interesting on occasion. It keeps things interesting and gives us an endless fount of stuff to talk about idly during times of routine.


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