Given the title, you’re likely expecting to read some juicy tips that will help revive romance in your relationship. But you won’t find them here because, the reality is, picture-perfect romance is just that, picture-perfect. It may be memorable, but it’s short-lived and doesn’t impact the overall well-being of a relationship. Instead, what I am hoping you’ll learn is that romance can be displayed in unconventional ways. And letting go of stereotypes will put you on the path to spotting the subtle signs of romance within your relationship.
I’d like to remind you that some people have a harder time expressing their emotions. So they may find romantic display cheesy and uneasy. Yet other people may genuinely enjoy being romantic. If you find yourself in a relationship with your opposite there are things you can do to ensure your romantic needs are met.
1. Don’t force yourself to be romantic
Trying to force romance in a relationship will feel unnatural and lead to disappointment. So don’t go out of your way to be romantic if it’s not in your nature, you won’t be able to sustain it. And when that happens your partner will feel misled and long for the person you were. Instead, practice kindness, empathy and be an active listener, you can never go wrong with them. Possessing these qualities will make your partner feel a lot more loved and appreciated.
Another great way to show love for your partner is to replace idealized romance with activities you both enjoy. A candlelit dinner may provide instant gratification, but the next day you go back to the reality of your relationship. What you want is to create bonding memories that positively impact your relationship.
2. Don’t manipulate your partner into being romantic
You may try to manipulate your partner into becoming more romantic. So you sulk, complain, and call your partner out for being an insensitive human being. You may think that the best way to show love is through roses, presents and warm hugs. But your partner may be showing you love through acts of service, or emotional support. Learn to accept that there are different ways to show love, and that type of romantic display may not be your partner’s way.
Mismatched romantic expectations in a relationship are quite common. So communicate openly about them early on in the relationship. Understand how your partner shows love, and how they’d like to receive love. Then offer your point of view and, if necessary, reach a compromise that will leave you both satisfied.
3. Rethink your ideal relationship
Your mother, friend, or cousin may believe a happy relationship must be filled romance but it doesn’t mean it’s the way YOUR relationship should be. There are many ways to make your partner feel deeply loved that don’t involve being very romantic.
For some people deep love means fully trusting their partner. So they show their love through vulnerability and loyalty. Find the moments in which your partner shows these attributes, they are guaranteed to fill up your love tank. Idealized romance is an add-on a relationship can survive without.
4. Accept that all relationships change with time
Contrary to popular belief, changes within a relationship are not bad, they are natural. And all relationships go through inevitable stages of change. The first one is attraction and infatuation when you try very hard to impress each other. Then comes enlightenment when hormones calm down and your connection deepens. Next comes commitment and engagement, the stage in which you establish common values and goals for the future.
Along with the above changes the love you experience for one another also takes different shapes. In the beginning stages, love is passionate, obsessive and playful. Then, this type of love begins to morph into profound love (intense love without the obsessive element of new relationships). It’s important to be aware of this transition since we often expect the former to last forever. And when passionate love turns to profound love we wrongly assume that our relationships lack romance.
Rethink your ideal relationship and you’ll see romance from a different perspective. Remember, all relationships go through highs and lows. Being mindful of that will help you pull through the more difficult, or stale, times. And it will result in a more satisfying and peaceful relationship.