Romance is said to be the flame that keeps the passion alive in relationships. When that passion fizzles out, we assume that the relationship is at its end.
What most of us don’t realize is that there is still a big difference between romance and love. We were trained and conditioned to look for passion, but we fail to realize that it’s not the only thing that can keep a relationship afloat.
There are millions – even billions – of hopeless romantics out there, but looking at a couple without any sense of romance can make you wonder if the hopeless part is all that’s left. If you look closely, you might see that the romance does exist. It’s just not noticeable enough to be seen by the naked eye.
Does romance really die?
Romance dies because there’s nothing to feel romantic about anymore. When people grow apart, they realize that the things that gave them a reason to love and show love are no longer there. Romance dies because people stop being in love. You can’t elicit romance in any type of relationship if you’ve stopped harboring intimate feelings for a person.
This is why romance dies, but why is it that some people thrive in their impassioned relationships? [Read: 8 experienced words of advice from a couple who have been together for 60 years]
When we talk about relationships that are intact, even without romance, it does not mean that the relationship is devoid of all romance. Some people just look at romance differently. When one person sends you a hundred roses, someone else might consider bringing home some groceries just as romantic.
I know it seems inconceivable, but that’s because your affection cannot be measured by how extravagant your gift is or how far you walked in the rain with a boom box placed on the crown of your head. Your affection is measured by how sincere you are and how much you care about someone – basically immeasurable, if we want to talk semantics. [Read: 25 little romantic gestures for everyday life]
How do relationships survive without romance?
The relationships that work well without the lovey-dovey, week-anniversary-milestone, glucose-oozing acts of affection are those that don’t need it. Some people are just programmed to coast without needing to showcase their love for each other. How you show your love is not as important as actually feeling it. When two people are in sync, they can co-exist in an adult relationship even if they don’t physically show it.
This is where that unseen connection comes in. Being in love gives you the capacity to overlook the subtle nuances that romance has to offer. It’s enough for some people to just be in the moment and appreciate everything in the relationship without having to validate it with what outsiders consider to be romantic gestures. [Read: 10 steps to reignite the lost spark in a relationship]
Then what keeps those relationships intact, if not romance?
It might seem like a big mystery, but the things that keep relationships intact – aside from romance – are the simple acts and human emotions that run through each and every one of us.
#1 Love. The most important and simplest factor of all. Love is not complicated when two people understand that its existence doesn’t need to be justified or validated.
#2 Care. Caring comes in many forms. Whether it’s a helping hand in the kitchen or an immediate response to a crisis, your presence and input are more than enough to make up for a lack of romance. [Read: 11 sweet and intimate ways to show your partner how much you care]
#3 Acceptance. When you know where you stand and are not looking for more, you can rest knowing that you and your partner are in a perfect place with your relationship.
#4 Contentment. Those who yearn for more in a relationship are well within their rights to ask for something that they feel is missing. Couples who are content with how they approach their relationships need only ask for more when the situation calls for it.
#5 Empathy. Being okay with a lack of romance means that you and your partner understand each other well enough to know that you’re okay with how things are going. When something feels uncomfortable, these couples are more likely to react accordingly. [Read: 7 reasons empathy is important in a relationship]
#6 Sense of duty. It might seem like an imposition, but it’s the complete opposite for the person who’s willing to do their duty as a partner. It’s essentially a full-time job, but they knew what they were signing up for.
#7 Familiarity. Even if the romantic aspect of the relationship does not exist, you still can’t help but feel incomplete without your partner. Their presence in your life is what keeps you going. In turn, it’s what keeps your relationship going as well.
#8 Dependence. The good kind of dependence is when you acknowledge that being with your partner is good for you. It’s only bad when you rely on them on every aspect of your relationship.
#9 Pleasure. Just because a couple isn’t romantic, it does not mean that they don’t engage in the primal parts of being in a relationship. If the sex is really good, you can bet that flowers will never be an issue.
#10 Family. Having a family can overshadow the need for romance. Some people choose to focus on their love as a whole, rather than a gesture reserved for just two people. [Read: 9 naughty ways to keep the romance alive even when you have kids]
#11 Appreciation. Rather than nitpick about what your partner didn’t do for your anniversary, you can find more joy in actually appreciating what they do for you each and every day that you’re together.
#12 Gratitude. Saying thank you to each other can actually make up for a lot of things that most relationships have. Acknowledging the good things that have come out of your relationship on a regular basis can make it last longer.
#13 Sincerity. Although some couples don’t adhere to the expectations of romance, their transparency and honesty is enough of a sign that they’re in a relationship for the long haul.
#14 Communication. The strongest relationships are those with people who know how to express themselves. They can even discuss the lack of romance in their relationship and why it works for them. [Read: 9 easy ways to get your partner to start communicating with you]
#15 Emotional stability. When you and your partner are in a good place as individuals and as a couple, your relationship will thrive no matter what context it is in. Romantic or not, being in love, content and happy is more than enough.
What if I need romance in my life?
It’s not a crime to want romance in your life. We’re just saying that there are some things that can make up for a lack of romance. It all depends on what you want out of a relationship. If romance is what makes you happy, then ask for it. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules if you want romance in your life]
If your partner truly loves you, a few sweet messages and setting aside a day for anniversaries would not be too much to ask. When you are dating someone for a long time, you start to find out what makes each other tick. Your partner will realize that romance is a necessary factor. If they don’t want to provide that, you can either arrive at a compromise or let go of the relationship – if it makes you unhappy. [Read: 25 romantic ideas that will make your lover melt]
The point is that romance is not the be-all and end-all of loving relationships. It wouldn’t hurt to have some of it now and again, but it’s up to you whether or not you’re open to or want a relationship filled with romance.
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