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Carnations are Red, Her Hair was Blue…. Attachment Means, “I'm Just Thinking of You.”

Carnations are red.

Her hair was blue.

I’ve got a love story for you!

The older woman at the register who was checking me out had short, bright blue hair and a kind smile. As I approached with my single red carnation she said, “You know, my father gave my mother a red carnation every Friday for 62 years.”

“What? Truly?”

“Oh yes. Even when he was out of town, he’d go to the florist, put in the order and pay for it to be delivered on Friday. He loved her very much.”


We loved this true story from the very first moment that April heard it from the senior citizen at the cash register. Clearly, this was a story of life long love (#3L) which left a heartfelt impression on the daughter who witnessed it every week in her home as a child.

Let’s call the wife in the story Mae, and we’ll call the husband, George. There are so many beautiful dimensions in what took place between Mae and George. It’s truly romantic that George did this colorful and thoughtful gesture for Mae.

I (Jesse) remember when April and I were first dating, that I bought various types of flowers for her on a somewhat regular basis. This showed romance, interest, and a spark of passion. Note to the husbands, I (Jesse) have significantly fallen backwards in how much flower gifting I do in the past few years…. so George is an inspiration to me too.

But, let’s be honest…. the passionate romance of George’s carnations waned after a few months. Yet, the beauty of the story continued. In addition to passion, George also displayed two other dimensions of Secure Attachment which we want all our married friends to experience.

He displayed “Consistency” and thoughtful intention which we call, “Just Thinking of You.”

Consistency means that I can count on you to be there for me over the course of our marriage. This is vital when I am in a moment of need. But it is also very helpful in the day to day, knowing that you are accessible, reliable, and available to me…. just in case I do need you. It’s comforting, and it builds trust.

George’s consistency is amazing, for he was so faithful to Mae across the decades to look for, procure, and send the carnation to her. It’s also lovely that he demonstrated, whether near or far from her, that he was “Just Thinking of Her.”

Dr. Peter Fonagy, a Hungarian psychiatrist, stated,

“Secure Attachment means knowing you exist in the mind of another person.”

There are countless ways that you can do this for your beloved on a regular basis. Maybe you would buy her flowers, but you could also give her a foot rub. Perhaps you would pack his lunch, or maybe you would buy his favorite coffee creamer. Maybe you send him a flirtatious text, or a fella might consistently call his wife every Tuesday morning at 9am to connect at the start of the busy week.

It’s not so much about the physical act; it’s about the Attachment Significance of your actions and intentions. Any action which shows that I am “Just Thinking of You” will be a strong building block in creating the bond between us. And consistency helps to reassure our beloved that, “I am here, and I always will be until the day that I die.”

There are priceless spiritual underpinnings to this as well, for we can mirror and manifest the love of God to our spouses just like our Heavenly Father who stated,

“I have engraved your name on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” Isaiah 49:16

This comforts and strengthens our hearts to know that we are consistently being thought of and pursued by those who love us so much. In these tangible ways we too can embody and create the bonds of attachment with our loved ones.

One final thought stands out to us about George’s love for Mae. By our calculations, the early decades of their marriage would have taken place in the 1940’s and 50’s. Of course, there were floral shops in the hometown where George and Mae lived. But it got trickier when George was traveling out of town. He had to put in effort to carry on his tradition of love before the modern era of internet-based flower stores. Yet he always found a way to follow through.

Mae loved it and felt treasured. Their daughter, the lady with the blue hair, never forgot it and enjoyed the security of her parents’ love all around her.

We hope this inspires you to do something simple for your beloved, and maybe it will have a splash of color to it. But the important thing is to show, “Just Thinking of You”, and to be one who consistently shows up for your loved one.

It doesn’t have to be flowers, but it should be something that they specifically like. That specific awareness of your spouse is called Attunement, and we’ll blog to you really soon about growing that skill set.

You can learn more about Secure Attachment in marriage at our website We also invite you to purchase Dr. Jesse’s marriage book, “Face to Face: Seven Keys to a Secure Marriage” which has a whole section devoted to “Just Thinking of You” embedded in the Fifth Key.

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This article was originally posted at Face To Face Living

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