Many married couples wrestle through the subjects of romance and sex as if they’re sort of a chicken and egg scenario. Which comes first?
Or is it sex?
For some, romance sets the stage for feelings of intimacy and a desire to connect physically. For others, physical intimacy opens up desire to be more romantic.
Not only that, but it’s also easy to find yourselves out of sync in the area of romance because each person defines romance in their own way. I (Megan) must confess, I would never consider myself romantic. I know that makes me an anomaly (being a sex and marriage blogger!) but it’s completely true. However, I have decided that if I desire to be a marriage mentor, I had better understand why that is. I had better read, research and understand what romance really is and why it doesn’t seem to play a greater part in my life.
Throughout this process, I am beginning to realize that I am not necessarily unromantic, but rather I have a very narrow view of what romance is. I would venture to guess that many marriages struggle in the same way.
Maybe you think your marriage doesn’t need romance?
Or perhaps you believe your spouse is a bit over the top in their need for more romantic gestures?
Maybe the most romantic gesture for you is clothes off and lights out?
Maybe the most romantic gesture for them is quality time, simply talking about your day?
Even if you believe everything is going well in your marriage, it’s important to really understand your spouse in this area. If you would happen to discover any discrepancy in this area at all, it may have something to do with the fact that there are two different kinds of romantics in the world.
- Passionate Romantic – For this person, romance is often about spontaneity, gifts, romantic or tender words, thoughtful gestures both big and small and basically going the extra mile. Often times a passionate romantic will mention the positive memories that mean the most to them. “Wasn’t it great when we did _________” “Remember when we____________. That was so great.” When their needs aren’t met, they may ask questions such as, “Why aren’t you more like_____________.” or “How come we never____________.”
- Practical Romantic – For this person, they did the most romantic thing they could think of on their wedding day – they committed their life to another person “till death do you part.” Romance for this person is more about showing proper respect and attention to their spouse. They desire to have a great marriage and they accomplish this by being stable, steadfast, sacrificial and honest in the relationship.
It could be argued that there exists a third type of romantic, an indifferent romantic. This, however, is really more about selfish and self-centered living within a marriage and therefore is not being thoughtful or romantic at all. A person like this is difficult to be married to, not because they are unromantic, but rather because they live for their own personal satisfaction and gain.
In our next post we will look at what happens when you have any combination of the two above types of romantics living together and what you can do about it. But for now, a few thoughts on why romance does matter in marriage (even if it has taken me much introspection to realize this!).
1. Romance can provide a certain spark and zest for living in what is sometimes a difficult and cynical world.
The truth is that both people in a marriage need some level or romance. Whether it’s passionate or practical is really up to you. But that romance is necessary to ensure that your marriage continues to be a priority, if not the priority in your life. When your marriage operates as a priority for both of your lives, it makes difficult job / parenting / & other relationship problems seem very insignificant.
2. Romance can help create an atmosphere of attraction, desire and happiness in marriage.
Remember, some may find that taking your clothes off is all the ‘romance’ you need. Indeed, this will (or it definitely should!) create attraction, desire, and happiness. But for those who are passionate romantics, be sure to communicate your desires to your spouse. Being as specific as possible, let them know how they can keep your romance-tank full.
3. Romance can provide memorable and pleasurable experiences that draw a couple closer and enables them to become one flesh more easily.
In short, romance is something that brings a great deal of contentment to a marriage relationship. It helps both parties to find extreme levels of comfort with their spouse. This type of contentment is often searched for elsewhere, but never found. Finding it with one another is a sure building block for a successful marriage.
I could write much more, but the bottom line is that romance is important, and I for one will continue taking notes on how to incorporate it into my marriage more often.
Are you a practical romantic, or a passionate one? What about your spouse?
Is there anything you can do this week to spark their romantic flames?