By Candlelight

Jackie Kennedy lighting candles in a very glam gown

Jackie Kennedy lighting candles in a very glam gown

When I traveled back home to Massachusetts this summer, my mom revealed to me that my grandparents ate dinner by candlelight every night of their marriage. In fact, she said she didn’t think there was a single night in her entire childhood or adulthood where her mother forgot to light candles at the dinner table. This got me wondering whether the ritual of striking matches and sharing glances through flickering flames was one of the secrets to my grandparents’ successful marriage.

These things always sound trivial on the surface, but I think tradition really does count for something. I’m not saying taper candles are a substitute for strong communication, but I do think that holding true to simple rituals or romantic gestures just may have the power to act as an anchor, keeping our relationships steady whenever we face choppy seas. And, isn’t that one of the greatest goals of being in a relationship for the long haul — to be each other ‘s constant in this crazy, modern world? What do you think? Do you have any romantic rituals, like lighting candles or scheduling weekly date nights? I’d love to hear your take! Leave a comment.

Image via Pinterest.

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  • Reply Negative Nancy November 20, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Oh, the cruel irony of Jackie Kennedy lighting those candles… I agree with you about traditions fortifying institutions. How do you think the Catholic church has lasted all these centuries? But no amount of taper candles could make JFK keep it in his pants. Still, a lovely photo and insightful post. I miss you!

    • Reply Jennifer Coté November 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      Ah, I know! There are such layers of bitter-sweet meaning beneath so many images of Jackie Kennedy. (Almost every single picture of her and her first husband really does seem to depict a romantic ideal, and yet, as you point out, she must have been miserable and torn apart inside.) Vintage stargazing aside, I really have missed you, too, “Negative Nancy!” Your choice of names has brought a giant smile to my face on this fine Wednesday. 🙂

  • Reply L. Harter November 20, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Matt and I have dinner every night at the table. No cell phones or televisions allowed. Just music, conversation, and appreciation for good food. Dinner lasts at least an hour, and I plan on having this tradition until we are unable to do so. My mother always made us sit at a table as a family, and it’s the one tradition I continue on.

    • Reply Jennifer Coté November 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      You are so right, L. Just making sure to eat at an actual table really does make such a big difference, instead of plopping on the couch with food and watching TV. I too often forget this, but when I make a conscious effort to clear all the mail and work off our dining room table and share a meal, it makes our days feel more centered and fulfilling. An hour-long dinner around a table sounds like a pretty good recipe for a strong relationship (not to mention, a happy end to the day).

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