Is the Romance Fading?

Ever watched a couple in their eighties or nineties holding hands lovingly as they walk along the street or the beach? Ever witnessed that sassy smile an elderly lady or man shares with their partner as they order coffee after a night at their favorite restaurant? Ever observed as a man opens the car door for his beloved while holding his cane in the other hand? There are numerous examples of people who have spent years together facing any number of trials and challenges who have not let the romance die in their relationship.

When I talk about romance I’m not referring necessarily to candlelight dinners, browsing the lingerie department in search of the latest baby doll or romantic getaways at some Caribbean resort. I am talking about a mindset of unconditional love that transcends time, adversity, uncertainty and the relentless passage of years that couples either have chosen to maintain or have let evaporate into the past like memories of long long ago.

Why do couples let the romance go? Sure there are always what appear to be legitimate excuses or rationales such as; children, careers, health challenges, financial struggle or the always present issue of in-laws and their quirks, demands, issues or expectations. But in the end the ability to maintain a romantic environment in a relationship isn’t about sex, intimacy, commitment or togetherness, it is about the ability to maintain a youthful life outlook and spirit. It is the ability to laugh together and have fun whether that fun is sitting in a rocker discussing the events of the day or aimlessly browsing through the local antique shop in search of a trinket that may become a treasured memory.

Here are a few things you might consider if you have lost the romance, are losing it or never even had it during the early years of your courtship. As a side bar, even though I am a romantic at heart I don’t believe that the ability to achieve a romantic atmosphere in a relationship is in a person’s genes. I believe it can be developed. I don’t think certain people are blessed with this inkling or that it is more natural in either men or women or certain nationalities. Yes, some Europeans may have a reputation for romantic inclinations but I still believe that these attitudes and behaviors can be cultivated and nurtured. Don’t tell me you are NOT a romantic. If you are not it’s not because you aren’t but because you refuse to try. So here is some food for thought.

-Notes – putting love notes in the most unique places. Next to your partner’s tooth brush, or hanging in the closet next to their bathrobe, under their pillow or on their dinner plate. Get creative here.

-Surprises – Everyone loves a surprise but not everyone loves a public surprise. So make them special but private. A special weekly or monthly date night.

-Common courtesies – a back rub, foot massage or any physical action that involves touch (not necessarily with sexual overtones or expectations.)

-Manners – please, thank you, I’m sorry when it is heartfelt and not just words. Holding doors open or leaving lights on for them.

-Kindness – Holding your tongue, resisting the need to be right or correct or criticize. Showing love in special ways that you know your partner will appreciate.

-Compassion – the ability to listen without judgment. The desire to support, believe in and help. The willingness to put the other person’s needs hopes, desires, fears, frustrations ahead of your own.

-A youthful spirit – we are all getting older day by day and year by year, but age is purely a matter of life outlook. We are all going to get old but we don’t all have to grow old. There is nothing wrong when you are 85 acting like a child. If you are still worried about what other people think about your actions or behaviors when you hit 90, I feel sorry for you. Who cares what other people think?

-Other centeredness – this is simply taking the back seat in life different sex positions willingly and lovingly. You don’t have to be the center of anything. You don’t let your ego rule your life and you certainly don’t sacrifice your partner’s needs to satisfy your own.

That’s not it. But I challenge you to come up with your own list of actions, behaviors, ideas and thoughts to keep the romance in your relationship healthy, vibrant and alive until your final breath.

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