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Episode 005: Romantic

Transcript from Stirred By Words Episode 005: Romantic

Chrissy Holm (00:05):

Do you love words? Are you passionate about diving into meaningful conversations? Hi, welcome to Stirred By Words, a podcast that focuses on words and questions that impact our daily lives. I'm your host Chrissy Holm, health educator, writer, curious creature, and now podcaster.

Chrissy Holm (00:41):

Today, we'll start with the health tip. This week, it's cuddling. Cuddling is an intimate activity and it's generally reserved for romantic partners and very close loved ones, but it can also be between a pet and a stuffed animal or even a pillow. There are many benefits of cuddling. Experts believe pleasant touch from a loved one may stimulate the release of oxytocin, which is the hormone promoting social bonding and relieving anxiety. One study published by the National Library of Medicine states that "they conclude the aspects of touch are enhanced with increasing age." Another study's findings suggest that touch has a direct effect on stress-related brain systems, which could be the underlying mechanism for the healthy benefits of pleasant partner interaction. So whether it's spooning, cuddling back to back, or face to face, get your snuggle on this week.

Chrissy Holm (01:43):

Now, it's time for today's word, romantic. has a few definitions, here are two. Number one, fanciful, impractical, and unrealistic, such as romantic ideas. And number two, characterized by preoccupation with love or by idealizing of love or one's beloved. Fun fact: The origin of the word romantic is from 1650 to 1660. And some of the words that are related to romantic are adventurous, charming, corny, dreamy, exotic, erotic, fascinating, glamorous, passionate, tender, and whimsical.

Chrissy Holm (02:23):

The question that I'm pondering today is what are three things or qualities that someone does that makes them romantic? For me, it's spontaneity, communication, and mindfulness. I'll dive into all three of them, but for spontaneity, I like a spontaneous life. I like to explore and do things that maybe I've never experienced before, but it doesn't always have to just be something extreme. It can be something as simple as grabbing my hand, that's spontaneous, that's something that we don't do very often.

Chrissy Holm (02:55):

The second one I would say is communication. So it can be anywhere from telling me what you need in relationship. It can be nonverbal communication, like eye contact. It can be being direct and honest. Again, kind of goes back to connection. So if somebody is giving me eye contact, that to me is romantic. I mean, not everyone giving me eye contact is romantic, but I think what makes it romantic is those moments where your heart flutters. Communicating I think is just super important.

Chrissy Holm (03:32):

And last but not least, mindfulness, it's kind of that living in the moment together. For example, I was just talking to my grandma and it was so funny because she was talking about my grandpa who is 80 years old, and he was ripping up carpets. He's been in construction and drywall his whole life, so he is used to that manual labor. She was just like, "I'm just so proud of him." And then she laughs, she goes, "I'm proud of him right now, but sometimes he can be a jackass," and I tell him how much of an ass he is. I think there's just those moments where you might want to wring someone's neck, but then there is those other moments where you're proud of each other, and to be mindful of those times and still live and love each other, that's romantic to me.

Chrissy Holm (04:31):

Today's question is what are the top three gestures or qualities that make you feel someone is romantic? First, we'll hear from Carolyn Lee Arnold, author of Fifty First Dates After Fifty: A Memoir.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (04:45):

What makes someone romantic to me? What are the top three gestures or qualities that do that? Well, I can think of two gestures and one quality. The first gesture is the most important. If someone asks me a deep question about myself and really listens and then responds to my answer to show that he or she really understands this key part of me, well, my heart just opens up and hearts and flowers fly out of it and surround us in those romantic haze around the person and me. I love that.

Carolyn Lee Arnold (05:20):

And speaking of flowers, that's the second gesture. Now, I'm a strong independent feminist, but when my sweet sensitive guy brings me flowers, which he does every weekend and on special occasions, it melts me inside. I feel loved because he wants to bring them to me to show me that he loves me. And then there is the quality that's romantic. For me, it's a twinkle in their eyes. The way they look at me and talk about life or anything, it puts a sparkle around them and it makes me want to be with them. Those are the things that make someone romantic to me.

Chrissy Holm (06:00):

Next, we'll hear from Scott H. a substation technician.

Scott H. (06:06):

These are examples of what I find romantic. When you're fighting with your significant other and you both realize that you just are trying to make it easier for them. When you can see significant other struggle and you stop what you're doing and just listen. When your wife calls you on a long drive when she knows you're all alone on the road.

Chrissy Holm (06:46):

Today's book recommendation is Swing by Ashleigh Renard. In this memoir, Ashleigh and her husband, Manny are at a sex club, not because they feel like there's anything wrong with their rock-solid marriage or being tag-team parents to toddlers. Rather, they are looking for some relief from the nonstop work and no-nonsense they've maintained since meeting right out of college. From sex clubs to invite-only parties to dating apps for couples, they've rapidly realized they've made a slight miscalculation underestimating the complexities of the lifestyle, and overestimating the strength of their marriage. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and hopeful, this story is about when they realize it's more than a matter of gathering some people and having sex. Swing is inspiring couples to raise the bar for intimacy and communication inside and outside of the bedroom.

Chrissy Holm (07:38):

Before I wrap up the show, I encourage you to ask yourself a few questions. What does being romantic mean to you and what makes someone also romantic? How are you being romantic in your relationships? Is being romantic important, why or why not? Drop me a message with your thoughts on Instagram @chrissy.holm, or if you want to join our Slack community, email me at, that's C-O-N-T-A-C-T-@-C-H-R-I-S-S-Y-H-O-L-M-.-C-O-M.

Chrissy Holm (08:27):

Thanks for listening to another episode of Stirred By Words. This has been your host Chrissy Holm, until next time, keep learning new words, always ask questions and stay curious my friends.

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