There is a popular myth out there that romance has to fade over time. Considering the facts, it’s not a bad myth really. It captures the fate many have allowed their relationships to endure… and the media has picked up and amplified.
Reality is this, your relationship is as romantic as you want it to be. Please, do not go comparing your levels of romance with someone else, especially social media, because they aren’t you and can’t satisfy you.
The only relationship you can compare yourself to is the one you had with the one you hope to have (in the context of one relationship… compared to itself over time). Do keep in mind, it is ideal to live in the present and work with what you have… especially if you don’t want what you have to fade.
Keeping Romance Fresh
That said. Keeping romance fresh is a process and a journey. There will be several different stops along the way in which things will appear to have stagnated and come to a halt. Some of these moments may well feel like all hopes of romance is lost.
What are such moments? Whenever there is a change in the schedule, the resulting necessary shift may often feel like a slowing of romance. The arrival of a baby, the adding of schooling to the schedule, the landing of a more demanding job, the care of an aging parent, the care of a sick child, the change in body chemistry, and the presence of jealousy are just a few short examples of times when romance will feel dead in a relationship.
The real danger is when people apply the human ability to adapt to those situations. We habituate (what a cool big word) to the reality presented before us.
In other words, if we go through a tough transition that sucks up all of our time, and romance is put on hold, we will get used to the new normal and forget to bring romance back.
What this simply means is this… romance can be freshened up, it can be brought back, it is not lost.
But… how do you keep romance fresh then?
After talking to several older couples, it boils down to good old fashioned (at times boring) planning. There is no escaping the work. Worse, there is no delegating the work either. That is where many individuals get into a lot of trouble. They delegate the work of romance to their partners.
The person who notices the slow down in romance, is the person who should speak up and do something about it. Sure, in the early stages of romance, most cultures have assigned the role of initiation to the man. However, there is no social convention that prohibits a lady from doing something to keep the romance alive.
Just like a guy is considered romantic for bringing flowers and boxes of chocolates, women can do the same to show their partner appreciation and romance.
Note to the guys… we often get focused on one task and run with it. At one point, it was getting the girl, then the attention shifted to getting the promotion… then getting to the top… before thinking of retirement. Good thing, we can adapt and learn. We can learn to keep our ladies as priority without sacrificing the other stuff. Fellas, step it up… and to those who are… big shout-out to you!
It’s the little things
Contrary to popular belief, small things really do matter. The ladies know this. The fellas often doubt it. However, ladies, you’re not helping yourselves much by not acknowledging the small acts a gentleman does. The lack of response can easily be interpreted as “this little thing means nothing to her”. At which point, that particular gesture will be archived.
The more important point, not that the prior paragraph is not important, is the way we communicate to each other our needs as they change over time. It is good to review what was working as well as what is no longer working. That way, your partner knows what you need and can deliver it to you.
Nothing kills romance like not knowing what works from what doesn’t work. This ambiguity will cause most to give up on being romantic. Much like little kind acts adds up to build up romance, the lack of such little acts adds up to drying up the romantic landscape. Most relationships will fall apart once the terrain becomes a desert.
Thankfully, watering the relationship with thoughtful acts can rescue it and convert it into a tropical paradise. The details is up to the couple to figure out.
One couple might enjoy a vacation to Vegas and thrive off of that. Another will benefit from having the children stay with the grandparents one night a quarter so the couple can watch Netflix. Another still, will benefit from doing an act of charity (volunteer at a soup kitchen) just like another may benefit from doing a clothing drive together. Some thrive off of thoughtful text messages randomly sent/received.
Whatever the thing is that builds a bonding experience, do it. Schedule it and do it. Please don’t keep score and say something unwise like “I did the first move last time”. You might just be in a relationship with someone who isn’t romantic (this writer is not the romantic person in his relationship). However, even the least romantic of people know how to do nice things. Get those nice things going (that is what this writer does btw… to practice what he preaches).
While at this… just know… there are times when you’ll never know how much your act of kindness proved to be very romantic. That’s just part of life. Not everything one does will register or get a response. Sometimes… we do what is right because it is the right thing to do. You’ve promised this person to treat them romantically during good times as well as bad times. Let’s not back up on our vows, our promises, and the ones implied by being in a romantic relationship