The perfect lunch for lovers will depend on what stage of life you are in. Each stage has it’s own things that make it special, stressful or memorable. How you view your someone special, how you think they view you and how you view your future together are important parts of what makes a lunch for lovers perfect.
For young lovers, it will be time spent together learning about each other, sneaking off at every opportunity to discover each other and thinking that you have all the time in the world to be together. The setting is irrelevant, the food inconsequential. It is about the here and now and finding nourishment in each other.
Lovers have now become life partners. The vows have been spoken, the love declared for all to see, the commitment made to spend the rest of your lunches with the one who stands before you now. It is a heady time of feeling cherished and part of something bigger than you. The knowledge that this person has chosen only you is a powerful aphrodisiac. This could account for the number of honeymoon babies. Lunch is long and slow. Time is spent holding hands, looking into the eyes of the one who will share your table for many meals to come. Words sometimes do not even need to be spoken in order to know what you both really want for dessert is not on the menu.
Life partners now become parents. The love becomes deeper, more meaningful. The heady rush of romance is replaced by the harried rush of sleepless nights and baby fat. Romance is reduced to one partner getting up with the baby so that the other can get that extra five minutes of sleep. True love is demonstrated when despite not having showered for three days or scraping the fuzz off your teeth and being covered in stale breast milk and baby puke, your partner still finds you beautiful enough to bestow hugs and kisses. Now that is romantic. Lunch is now hurried and possibly constituted by whatever falls off the baby’s highchair tray. Coq Au Vin has been replaced by Cheerios and Chardonnay by sippy cups.
Life can do a lot to affect who you want to have lunch with. During the tween and teenage years, the best part of lunch might be that you are alone. No one to discuss bills with or why Junior has decided to dye their hair purple and orange. It might be a time where you reflect on life and who you are sharing it with. It could be a time to connect with that teenager that won’t talk to anyone but might deign to sit with you as the moodily munch their fries. If you are looking to the future, you will remember to take time to connect with your partner even if lunch is spent on the cell phone catching up on the day.
Time passes and parents now become empty nesters. Life has been spent struggling through toddlers and teenagers. Jobs have come and gone. Friends have been made and lost. Houses may have gotten bigger or smaller depending on if the kids have moved out yet. Now is the time you look at your partner with grateful eyes. This is the one person who has seen you at your best and worst. They have stood by you through parent interviews, late night panic phone calls and those times where even with the best of intentions feeling in the mood was superseded by stress or exhaustion. This is the time where romance can be as simple as saying I love you over the tea pot in the morning or as exciting as a midday romp in the sac. Who’s going to hear ? Lunch is now that new restaurant you’ve always wanted to try but it didn’t have a kiddie menu or hamburgers. Time can once again be taken to enjoy each other’s company and talk about something other than Elmo or why you won’t pay for the gap year in Europe.
Children have now become parents of their own. Now there are grandchildren to run after and cherish. It’s time to accept being called Grandma and Grandpa and figuring out what that identity means. I don’t feel old, you say. My partner may not look the same as they did 20 years ago but neither do I. They still make me feel sexy and desirable. I still look at them and see the person I made the vows to all those years ago. Now is the time to go back to those heady days of new love. To take those weekend trips and rediscover the love you’ve shared and how it remains strong and steady. Lunch can be noisy with family or a quiet spot that has become “your place” over the years. It might be on the deck of that cruise you finally decided to take or overlooking a breathtaking view on that trip that was long overdue.
Romance is a state of mind. No matter where you are in life, love can be celebrated in many ways. The trick is to keep the spark alive so that when opportunity presents itself, the fire of love can be ignited and the meal won’t even matter.