We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by images of over-the-top romance. We see movies where someone buys their girlfriend 1,000 roses or rents out an entire stadium to prove their love. Where every day involves gifts, breakfast in bed, and mixed tapes of our favorite songs, but honestly how realistic is this image? We often don’t see the smaller romantic gestures in our daily lives and only appreciate the grandiose. It is time to get realistic about romance!
Spending Money Does Not Equal Romance
Commercials have programmed you to believe that Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and buying big gifts are what will make or break your relationship. Every special occasion does not have to break the bank and every event does not have to be a production.
Chris and I have had special occasions where we traded simple handwritten notes, and other occasions where we have bought concert tickets for our favorite band. It is not about the money spent, but the connection we created together.
Romance should be about thoughtful and personal experiences together. If you want to splurge on a big gift then go for it, but make sure you are investing money for the right reasons. A diamond necklace is a beautiful gift, but can be meaningless; anyone can buy a diamond necklace. A necklace that looks just like her grandmothers necklace that she is always talking about shows you have a deeper connection with your partner.
“Romance should be about thoughtful and personal experiences together.”
Pay Attention to the Little Loving Things
It’s so easy to stop seeing the little things your spouse does for you on the daily. If you stop appreciating all the little romantic gestures, you will start feeling unloved even though your partner is still putting effort into the marriage.
Go do our “Little Loving Things” exercise with your partner and become aware of all the amazing and romantic things you do for each other every day! Chris and I rediscovered so many amazing things about each other that we had stopped noticing. Like how Chris covers me with a blanket on cold winter mornings before he leaves for work.
If you lose sight of the small romantic gestures, you start to expect bigger and more extraordinary actions. This will strain your marriage instead of bringing you closer together like real romance should.
“ If you lose sight of the small romantic gestures, you start to expect bigger and more extraordinary actions. This will strain your marriage…”
Everyone Has a Different View of Romance
Everyone views the meaning of romance a little differently. Don’t expect your partner to know what you expect from them. Maybe you grew up seeing your father regularly buying your mom flowers on her birthday and just see that as the norm, whereas your spouse has never seen that as a "must do" romantic behavior.
When Chris and I started dating I told him I love getting cards on special occasions, especially since he isn’t very expressive, so the sentences he wrote in my cards became very meaningful. He would not have normally given me cards all the time but he knows how romantic of the gesture I find it is so he happily does it now.
If it is important to you then mention it to your spouse, or notice how they express their love to you in a different way and you will start to appreciate a new romantic tradition.
Stop Expecting Movie Romance
Big romantic gestures do happen every once in a while and when they do they are amazing. We all love those viral videos where someone organizes a flash dance in Times Square to propose to their partner, or when someone flies across the country to express their undying love, but it isn’t very likely to happen.
Do I love the idea of an insanely over-the-top romantic date? Of course I do, I’m a girl! But I have learned to see the romance in Chris surprising me with my favorite ice-cream and cuddling with me when I am feeling sick. These small acts are more romantic than any grandiose gesture and create a deeper bond between us.
Movies skip over all the small important stuff that happen between partners. In fact, a marriage is much more likely to succeed with small romantic gestures daily versus one big romantic act a year. An emotional connection needs to be built slowly for it to become meaningful and deep.
Romance is a Two-Way Street
Society makes romance seem like something men do for women. They should open the car door, buy chocolate and flowers, and shower their ladies with compliments constantly. It is important to start thinking of romance as something you should both do with and for each other.
“ It is also important you express to your spouse what romance means to you.”
I love surprising Chris with homemade muffins because I know how much he loves them. He is great at knowing when to start an eclectic indie Spotify playlist and give me a back massage after a stressful day. When we have a romantic date night we plan it out together to make sure we are both on the same romantic page.
It is also important you express to your spouse what romance means to you. Either straight-up let your partner know that you love flowers and chocolate on your birthday or help make the evening romantic by setting up candles at the dinner table while your partner makes supper.
Romance is about creating a deeper emotional connection and expressing love for each other. It should help create memories together and form traditions between you and your spouse.
Chris and Katie are the Love Tripper's www.lovetripping.com. They have been together for over 9 years, and got married in April 2014. They believe that the key to a healthy long-lasting relationship is constant work and effort. The Love Tripper's share their advice on how to keep that sexy fire burning, avoiding pointless arguments, and finding a deeper love for your partner every day. Love is a trip, enjoy the ride!