Written by Danny Gutierrez
So what is romance? Is it a magic formula of bath bubbles and candlelight? Or is it a price threshold that we have to exceed? We all know it's neither. Romance is a mindset. Romance can be a loaded word. For some it can drum up guilty feelings, for others it brings back wonderful memories of fun surprises. But instead of looking backward, the word romance should cause us all to look forward to what lies ahead in our relationships.
So what is romance? Is it a magic formula of bath bubbles and candlelight? Or is it a price threshold that we have to exceed? We all know it's neither.
Romance is a mindset. It is an atmosphere that we cultivate in our relationships. We sometimes confuse romance for the romantic suggestions that we find in the "Romance 101" books that are so common. It is important that we distinguish between the prescriptions
of romance and the descriptions
A prescription is a piece of advice that you get from an expert that is meant to meet a need. Prescriptions work great in medicine, but when it comes to romance, they tend to be generic, and they may not always "fit" your relationship.
You may prefer a burger and a game of cards over an expensive candlelight dinner. You may prefer flannel over flashy feathered lingerie. Does that mean you are not romantic? No. It just means the classic romantic prescriptions aren't your "cup of tea."
A description of romance on the other hand gives us a working definition that we can apply to our unique marriage relationship. Here are a few descriptions (this is not a comprehensive list):
- Romance is fun. It isn't stiff or uncomfortable. Laugh. Act squirrelly. If walking around the lake bores you, strap on some roller blades, or go for an impromptu dip in the lake!
- Romance is an expression of your heart. What's your cup of tea? Is it food, nature, music, recreation, conversation...? Find out what generates intense feelings of love between the two of you, and be yourselves!
- Romance is not an obligation; it is a choice. The moment you become obliged, you've lost the romance.
- Romance should not be underestimated. Some of the smallest romantic touches are the most memorable. Romance does not have to be big and expensive.
- Romance is safe. But it is NOT boring. In being creative and spontaneous, we have to be careful that we do not embarrass, gross out, or frighten our spouse.
- Romance is something to give. Romance should never be used to manipulate. "I did this for you, so you do this for me." Be motivated simply by a desire to bless your spouse—not by an expectation to receive.
Romance is alive and well! We just need to express it in our marriages in a way that makes us feel comfortable. Forget the "love doctors" and the "101 Ways to be Romantic." You define romance in your own relationship—then watch the fireworks explode! CFAITH
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