A Book in the Hand for Courting

Romantic storytelling came into vogue about the time that the troubadours began to compose songs of love and yearning. As time passed, the invention of the printing press produced mass quantities of books, making them available to just about everyone. With this change, many people became literate and took up reading as a form of entertainment.

Couples also began to use reading in their courting. Both men and women took turns reading their favorite passages or poems aloud. Through books, lovers found the words they couldn't say on their own. Lovers would spend hours searching the texts for just the right words for their partner and an equal amount of time reading it to them. Books were given as gifts with special words highlighted and dedications written to make them more special. Lovers had discovered a way to tell each other their thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams through printed words.

Reading Builds Good Communication Skills
Why not pick up reading as a new aspect of your courting? It will make life more interesting. Reading is a form of communication training that naturally develops effective listening and communication skills. When you know how to communicate effectively, your relationship will stand a better chance of being a happy one.

If you think about what reading to your partner teaches you, it's worth more than anything you can do for your relationship. It teaches each partner how to take turns listening, and then speaking, and then giving feedback about what you've heard. This is a wonderful way of communicating. Reading to your partner will not only make you feel closer, but it will strengthen your relationship as well.

Encouraging Your Partner to Read to You
People have different comfort levels with reading out loud, so you need to be sensitive to this. The best way to get your partner to read to you is to first let him or her know it's what you would like. Second, encourage him or her to do it.

If your partner is uncomfortable reading or you suspect that he or she is, follow these tips
to make reading to you more desirable for your partner:

  • Don't read over your partner's shoulder.

  • Don't correct your partner's mispronunciations of words.

  • Listen without interrupting.

  • Praise your partner afterwards for reading to you. (For example, say, "You made me feel so special by reading that to me." "You have a great reading voice.").

  • Close your eyes as your partner reads to you.

  • Give your undivided attention to your partner.

When encouraging your partner to read, make his or her attempt as rewarding as possible. Sometimes people are uncomfortable reading out loud because of bad experiences in the past. By following the preceding tips, you will show your partner that reading to you is a positive experience.

by Nancy Fagan, M.S.

 

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