Most people believe romance requires candlelight dinners, passionate kisses, and rose petals strewn along the hallway to your bedroom. After all, that’s what we see on television and in the movies.
You know movies and TV aren’t real life, right?
Real romance, especially in marriage, is not just one moment in time that is more special. It’s not being swept off your feet and butterflies in your stomach. Instead, it is a way of loving each other every day for a lifetime.
Romance in marriage has a very different look.
Probably one of the most romantic days in our marriage, the one that made me feel treasured, valuable, and loved was the day that I affectionately refer to as Vertigo Day.
Dan was working an early shift that day. Retail jobs do that. Some days he’s home in the morning, and some days he’s not. He wasn’t home for the start of this.
I woke up, and everything seemed fine. Then I tried to stand up.
Yeah, that didn’t go well.
As soon as I sat up, my stomach lurched, and I felt like the room was leaning in the wrong direction. I couldn’t tell which way was up, so I collapsed and waited for it to pass.
It didn’t pass. Every time I moved, the feeling came back.
After several attempts, I realized that there was no way I was going to be able to get out of bed on my own. I couldn’t even turn my head from side to side on the pillow without feeling like I would throw up.
Finally, I managed to reach my phone and called Dan at work. Let’s just say, I didn’t express what was going on very well. At first, when I said I couldn’t move, he was convinced I’d had a stroke.
He rushed home, and we began the long, really gross process of getting me out of bed. (Added to this struggle was the fact that we have a raised bed, so my feet don’t touch the floor when I sit on the edge of it. I literally have stairs to get into bed)
I’d sit up. And fall back down. Attempting to stand resulted in me clinging onto him while he held a trash can for me to throw up in. Certainly not my sexiest day!
If someone can do that for you, see you like that, and not run screaming from the house, that proves love more than any bunch of flowers could ever do.
If romance is supposed to prove love, then this was the most romantic day of our marriage.
You see, infatuation at the beginning of a relationship will fade. Your need for romance continues, but you must allow recognize that marriage requires a new, more mature kind of romance. If you know that your spouse is indeed doing their best to meet all your needs, and that is the most romantic thing anyone can do.
Romance is not dead. It’s just different, and in my view, it’s better.
What Romance is Not
Thinking of romance as something that sweeps you off your feet, is a trap many people fall into. It creates a limiting belief that can make it difficult for you to keep your marriage happy.
Does this sound familiar. You’re watching a movie, and the leading couple has a beautiful romantic encounter. One person plans a special date. They stare at one another throughout the dinner with those big puppy dog eyes. The scene ends with them falling into each other’s arms.
You have a thought: My spouse doesn’t do that.
That thought makes you feel hurt and resentful.
Then you start to believe that people who are really in love create romantic encounters for one another on a regular basis. Because your spouse doesn’t do that for you, they must not love you.
You begin acting in like it’s true. You start pulling away from your spouse.
The more you pull away, the less of a chance you have for romance. It doesn’t happen, and then you feel more resentment.
It’s a never-ending cycle. Once you put the series of thoughts and emotions in motion, it will only stop with intentional actions from you.
To see romance in your marriage, you need to change your belief about what romance is.
What Romance Is
An unrealistic expectation of romance looks good in your mind, but a relationship based on these artificial moments won’t survive.
As soon as you have the thought that your spouse is not romantic, think about this. Romance makes you feel special, right?
Romance in marriage is not about feeling special for just a moment in time. Instead, it’s a way of loving your spouse continually and eternally.
True romance goes through life together, hand in hand, working as a team to face whatever life has in store for you.
It knows that your spouse is, and always will be, your person.
This kind of romance encourages you to savor the everyday. It makes the most out of every moment and helps you to keep improving your marriage so you can enjoy it even more.
Perhaps the most romantic thing of all is the sense that it’s okay to be human, and that your spouse thinks so too.
Even the smallest affectionate acts can be romantic, like the way a man glances at his wife from across the room or how a wife runs her fingers through her husband’s hair.
What you can do How to avoid the death of romance
Meet Your Spouse’s Needs
Rachel Hauck, a romance novelist, said,
“Romance is not about the sexual encounters but about awakening the heart.”
You can awaken your spouse’s heart by simply meeting their needs every day. Your spouse has needs that you should focus on including respect, appreciation, companionship, help with their responsibilities, affection, and feeling cherished.
Respect your spouse by giving them the benefit of the doubt, assuming that they really do want the best for you and your marriage. Keep the issues in your marriage private. Respect each other’s ideas and be willing to compromise or set aside your plans if your spouse has a more definite opinion on the subject than you do.
When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Philippians 2:3 NCV
Show appreciation in your marriage because when your spouse feels unappreciated, that feeling can strain your relationship. But appreciating your spouse will make them feel grateful, satisfied, and happy.
Studies show that couples who talk a lot are happier. Spending that time conversing about anything and everything is a romantic overture. It makes you feel special.
Help with their responsibilities
Doing dishes and vacuuming are romantic!
Help each other out! Life is full of responsibilities, and let’s face it, many of those things are not exactly fun. Work as a team to finish the things around the house. Sharing the workload gives each of you a chance to relax.
Two people are better than one,
because they get more done by working together. Ecclesiastes 4:9 NCV
Ladies, meet your husband’s need for sensuous affection by trying to please him with the way you look. Keep his preferences in mind in the clothes you wear, your makeup, and how you style your hair.
Men, you can fill your wife’s need for this type of affection by speaking kindly to her, putting your arm around her, holding her hand, or hugging her.
To Feel Cherished
Cherish your spouse by going above and beyond for them. They need to feel like they are the center of your world. You can’t meet this need when you spend more time with other people or something else like hobbies, work, alcohol, or porn. Drop those outside distractions and make a connection with your spouse instead.
This new definition of marriage doesn’t mean that the kind of romance you experienced early on in your relationship is not still necessary. It makes you closer and keeps your marriage fresh. You just shouldn’t rely on it to be the only way to show love and affection in your marriage.
But the expectations you have for the romance in your marriage must change as time passes. Look for the romance in your everyday life. What do you do to make your spouse feel they are wanted?
Read more about other ways you can help your spouse know that you see them as the most important person in your world by reading 13 Ways of Showing You Still Love Your Spouse.
If you aren’t feeling the everyday romance in your marriage and are feeling let down by your relationship, we offer 30-minute free coaching calls to put your marriage on the right track. Fill out the form below and we’ll talk to you soon!