Real Relationship Advice
If sex is the language of passion and lust, then romance is the language of intimacy. Romance has been hijacked by the Greeting Card Company, poorly lit restaurants and sky writers. At this very moment there is a man considering renting a high school marching band to play Bryan Adams while fireworks light the sky and a perfectly timed small parachute drops with an engagement ring in the middle of a football field; the bigger and more expensive the better. You have to ask yourself, if this is how you are starting your marriage, what do you think she will expect in the future? Engagements have reached the absurd. If he doesn’t pull out all the stops to propose marriage then he is not romantic. Romance has become perverted and currently means ‘large overtures and public proclamations of love’.
The first 5 years of marriage are the ‘primary divorce danger zone’. If you survive these years, then your next tests will occur every decade. Those who divorce in the infancy of marriage report a high degree of conflict. However, when couple’s divorce after a decade of matrimony the reason most sited is ‘loss of intimacy and connectedness’. These reasons are directly linked to romance.
Couples forget to remind each other about being in love. We get so overwhelmed with life and children and work and responsibility that the last thing we have time for is intimacy. On top of all of that we worry more about our sex life rather than sharing intimacy. It just doesn’t seem that important to sit around and talk about relationships. ‘He/she knows I love him/her’ is the mantra for these couples.
Once or twice a year we give each other gifts or flowers and make a big deal about a birthday but is that enough? I love you becomes a phone call sign off but when was the last time you actually looked into each other’s eyes and said it without it being a sex prelude? How many times in the last year have you talked about your dreams or shared your fears? How many times in the past year searched a crowded room to find each other and locked eyes for a moment briefly communicating that you are connected? As a therapist, I have often worked with couples who have ‘lost that loving feeling’. Yes, their sex life is waning but more importantly, they have no intimacy.
Romance is about the kiss, not about the sex. Romance is regard and respect. Romance is remembering the moments that matter. Romance is being told that you are the most important person in someone’s life. There is no need to buy anything. There is no need for a reservation, appointment or even washing a dish. It’s the music behind those overtures that make those things romantic. What society is considering romantic is really a physical manifestation to the emotional content behind it. Flowers are not romantic. Thinking about your significant other enough to pull over and pick up a bunch of flowers is romantic. It’s the thought not the buds.
If we communicated our love and/or if we maintained a high level of intimacy on a daily basis, we would put the flower industry out of business. All it would take is a look and that is the entire overture you would need.