Is it opening doors? Is it sex? Is it something more? Romance, regardless of how you define it, is a powerful glue to any long-term love partnership. We see romance as a powerful tool to keep the fire alive but to get it right for your partner will take discovery, conversation, and a willingness to learn what makes them tick.
Romance, that ever-elusive, positive, joyous force for intimacy and demonstrated respect for our lover. But how do we show our romantic intentions in a way that connects to our partner’s preferences? When it comes to romance, it's all about giving your partner what THEY want, not your limited guess. Is it opening the door for her every chance you get or giving him a back massage? Is romance sex or does it lead to sex? What if I demonstrate romance but my partner is unreceptive? Do I then retreat to resentment and cease my attempts? These are questions we hear all the time from people just like you. All of us, at a very human level, crave acceptance, love, and intimacy, but we often miss the mark or completely ignore this one element as time goes on. The irony is that romance is one of those critical components of a relationship that keeps it in the love space and out of the “roommate” category. Without romance, we are all just friends with benefits.
What’s important to note is that romance is easy to achieve if you focus on it. But unlike sex, romantic actions are not designed to get a return or to accomplish a goal. Instead, to be romantic is all about the other person—your partner—and your expression of the fire in your relationship. We see romance as a manifested demonstration of respect. In our relationship, romance is like a beautiful icing on our favorite cake. The topping alone, without all the vital foundational cake materials in the middle is just sugary sweet, but put that same topping on a beautiful, sturdy cake with lots of layers baked to perfection, and then you have a masterpiece of delight. Like spreading the lovely icing, romance can be given to the other person freely with only one result, to demonstrate your affection for them in a way that keeps your love ignited. It’s the sweet concoction that holds all layers of the cake together.
As a member of ENARI, you know by now that we like to leverage new communication skills to help people gain clarity on core issues. The romance lesson is no different in that you need to understand, through open communication, what your partner desires in the way of romance. So, part of our exercise for this lesson will be getting to understand your partner’s romantic needs.
By the way, romance is not only a female or feminine game. Men also think about romance, but in different ways. For some men, romance is a walk at the end of a day while holding hands; for other men it’s as simple as complimenting them or appreciating them. Don’t get caught in the trap that men are somehow exempt from this set of gestures. Men often fail to express their need for this kind of interaction because they feel it makes them look weak. Nothing could be further from the truth. Communicating your romantic needs as a man is a sign of deep strength!
Conversely, men should be aware that all women do not see romance in the same way. While flowers for no reason, or a card under a pillow may be just right for one woman, another may prefer you simply light candles before lovemaking or just hug her more frequently. We must remove our assumptions from these discussions if we are ever to find a romantic balance that works.
How then, do we get to know what each other desires in this vital area? The simple answer is: we ask.