How Would You Define Romance

What is romance?

Canvass your family and friends. You’ll get a variety of responses.

  • Some talk about flowers, chocolates, Valentine’s and stuff like that.
  • Some laugh nervously and hint about “getting lucky”.
  • Others stare at their shoes, shrug their shoulders and maybe grunt.

There is a plethora of definitions in dictionaries and online. They only serve to confuse.

For over 20 years I’ve been researching and studying the how’s and why’s of relational romance. I regularly explore the current ideas people have on romance. Ideas of what’s romantic change over time.

Decades ago, romance was more formal. You might say expectations were lower. Men romanced women with flowers, chocolates and evening walks – end of story.

Move forward and you find expectations for “romance” expand beyond flowers and moonlit walks. Men were expected to “creatively romance” their lady. Moving forward another few years and now women were expected to romance men – even sending flowers or chocolates. Currently, romance is amazing experiences, Twitter-worthy boasts and deep connections created by either partner.

Interestingly, the need for and the underlying principle of romance in a love relationship hasn’t changed much. People may define romance with different words, but the common ideas of relationship-building romance can be synthesized to this.

Romance is doing something thoughtful, often unexpected, and unique between the two of you, which your sweetheart appreciates. It reminds your sweetheart he’s/she’s cherished and why they fell in love with you.

Every romantic gesture you make, every Romantic Interlude you create has at its center something you’d only do for your sweetheart and reminders of why you’re both in this relationship. It i important that it’s appreciated by your sweetheart and creates a special, shared memory.

I challenge you. Sometime in the next 7 days, create a Romantic Interlude which meets the above definition for romancing your sweetheart.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

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A Card, A Memory, and an Anniversary Celebration

Continuing the thought about celebrating anniversaries, here’s how to romantically extend the celebration.

Remember the first bouquet of your relationship? Doesn’t matter if you gave or received the bouquet. If you don’t remember the first one, think back to a more recent bouquet and the circumstances involved.

Order a similar bouquet or at least one with some of the flowers you remember. If you’re struggling to remember exactly, that’s all right. Get close. Perfection not required.

Add a note to your sweetheart about your memories of that bouquet and invite your sweetheart to a celebration of whatever anniversary you’ve chosen.

A card. A memory. And a great anniversary celebration.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

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Celebrating Anniversaries

Hey Margaret,” Phillip called to his boss. “I’d like to leave an hour early next Tuesday. It’s March 22nd.”

OK. But what’s up with March 22nd?”

It’s an anniversary for Jen and me.”

Thought your anniversary was in December.”

It’s not our wedding anniversary. Eight years ago, on March 22nd, I proposed to Jen along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.”

“You are such a romantic.

Margaret gave him a skeptical sideway glance, furrowing her right eyebrow and scrunching that side of her face. “But didn’t you guys just celebrate – what was it . . . oh yea – something about asking parents’ permission anniversary? What is it with you guys and anniversaries?”

Most couples celebrate their wedding anniversary. Maybe they’ll take off that weekend, staying at their wedding night hotel. Three hundred sixty-five days later they celebrate the next anniversary.

It’s like they think the only relational event worth celebrating is their wedding – that’s if they’re married. If they’re not, no anniversary to celebrate.

Anniversary celebrations are moments to:

  • Remember an important event in the relationship.
  • Reflect on the relationship.
  • Focus on and re-connect to something which made you a couple.
  • Be romantic

Thank about it. An anniversary commemorates an event unique between the two of you. Celebrating it connects you as a couple back to that moment, a moment no one else shares with you.

So why only celebrate your wedding anniversary? Aren’t there other highlights in your life as a couple worthy remembering?

What would happened if you decided to commemorate other anniversaries from your coupleship?

  • First kiss.
  • First Halloween together handing out candy.
  • First dinner disaster.
  • First night as empty nesters.

You’d be regularly reminded of landmarks in your relationship, moments exclusively yours – great moments for romance.

How will you romance your sweetheart while memorializing an anniversary this month?

Robert, a hopeless romantic

You’re welcome to quote from or share the contents of this blog provided you credit the source: Romance Alive

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Morning Calm

Weekends can become an extension of the week. Projects and chores crowd out thoughts of relaxation. People leap out of bed and launch into their “to-do” list.

This coming weekend, ask your sweetheart for the first hour of his/her day.

Relax together over a cup of coffee or tea. Take orange juice and bananas to a park and ease into the day. Meander around the neighborhood hand-in-hand.

While others are charging into their exhausting day, give your sweetheart the gift of your time and total attention. Gently start this day together, relaxed, without a stopwatch or timer. Remember why you’re a couple. Nice little Romantic Interlude.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

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Old Age and Romance

Before him sat four judges – well-known and successful. He sensed more than actually saw the audience behind them. People he’d never met sat ready to pass their unqualified verdict on his dream.

His calm, smiling veneer camouflaged the battle raging inside.

  • You’ve never done this before.
  • You want to look stupid in front of the world?
  • You’re no standup comedian.
  • Your recliner awaits. No need to try something new.

But 80-year-old Marty Ross mentally muted these voices and began.

Silence followed his first 3 punchlines. Undeterred he charged into a story about visiting a nursing home.

An eternity of thirty seconds passed before a few chuckles escaped the crowd. Without blinking, he pressed on. Laughs got louder. At the 60 second mark, people started howling with laughter, clapping in appreciation. And when he finished his two-minute routine, the audience and judges exploded to their feet signaling their acceptance.

Marty ignored his age, ignored the siren call of comfort and tried something new – something he wanted to do.

If you haven’t been much for romance, it’s easy convince yourself you’re not romantic and don’t need to learn to romance your sweetheart. “I’ve never been romantic. No need to try that stuff now. After all, I’m not 80 but I’m halfway there.”

But inside you sense the tug of what your relationship could become if it included romancing your sweetheart. That desire struggles to overpower the fear of trying something new.

Don’t let the “too old” lie stop you from learning to be the romantic your sweetheart desires. I’ve seen people in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and yes, into their 90’s romancing their sweethearts.

Take on the challenge today. Tell the “old-age” myth you won’t accept its limitation anymore. Sneer at comfortable, put yourself out there and become a romantic – no matter your age.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

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A Touching Collage

Say your sweetheart enjoys romantic touching. Create a Romantic Interlude which allows your touches to be felt beyond the moment.

Collect several photos of the two of you entangled with each other. Could be a sunset embrace, a backlit kiss, a hug for warmth on a winter day, or holding your sweetheart’s face in your hands.

Create a collage of these photos. Leave enough room between each to write something you remember about that particular shot. Title the collage “Touching Me, Touching You” or “Every Time We Touch”. You can probably come up with a better title.

Your sweetheart will have a memory-inducing collection of your touches available any time.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

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Touching Romance

Jason’s birthday was in 3 days and Jane was getting desperate.

She wanted to say, something that would light up his eyes and spark his heart. So far nothing.

  • Dinner and a movie – trite.
  • A sunset stroll through the park – didn’t really hit the mark.
  • Flowers or a fruit bouquet – bland.

Walking to the car after dinner, Jane reached out and took Jason’s hand, something she did frequently. Her free hand held on to his forearm creating a multi-point physical connection. Later, as they sat on the sofa watching TV, she snuggled up against him hugging his arm like a body pillow.

During a commercial break, Jason remarked, “Jane, do you know how much I enjoy being so entwined with you like this? When you take my hand or snuggle up next to me or wrap yourself around my arm, it makes me kinda {{{almost blushing}}} glow inside.”

Bingo. Jane knew what she’d give Jason for his birthday. It would involve touch, Jason’s preferred way to be romanced.

Is your sweetheart like Jason? Does your sweetheart prefer to be romanced with touch?

Romantic touching comes in many forms.

  • Could be a gentle brush of your hand against your sweetheart’s arm.
  • An unexpected, lingering, full body hug followed by a passionate kiss.
  • Brushing hair.
  • Or snuggling together for an afternoon nap.

Touching doesn’t have to be sexual to be romantic. It’s a physical connection you share. And it must be important to your sweetheart, unique between the two of you and communicate to your sweetheart the close bond you share.

Jane discovered a romantic birthday didn’t need candlelight and fireworks, didn’t have to be extravagant and glamorous. It just needed to be unique and significant to Jason.

How can you romance your sweetheart with touch?

Robert, a hopeless romantic – who loves being romanced with touch

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Joe, Spot and Relax

I admit it. This is a strange title but stick with me here.

Does your sweetheart enjoy a good cup of coffee or tea?

Find a coffee shop or tea house where you can sample several of their beverages. Check the reviews to see how they’re rated. Remember, you’re looking for something outstanding, not just a common cup. And you want a place to linger – maybe on a deck with a view.

Invite your sweetheart to join you for a great cup of Joe or spot of tea.

Try several of the different offerings. Select your beverages and add pastries. Sit and talk about why you like this particular beverage. Then let your conversation wander as you relax into the moment.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

You’re welcome to quote from or share the contents of this blog provided you credit the source.

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Who Romances Whom

Henry’s eyebrows furrowed. His head tilted to the left. His mustache pressed against his nostrils. His face could be communicating annoyance or bewilderment.

The 8 sticky notes inside the envelope puzzled Henry.

While kissing Gayle kissing goodbye, she’d pressed this envelope into his hands with instructions: “Don’t open until lunchtime”.

Lunchtime finally arrived and Henry wondered what Gayle meant by the words on the 8 sticky notes inside the envelope: “us”, “this”, “plans”, “have”, “evening”, “might”, “I”, “for”.

Nonsensical or a cryptic message?

Concentration took over as he began rearranging the sticky notes. Moving the stickies around, the random words began to form a message from Gayle. “I might have plans for us this evening.”

His mind which had been focused on solving the puzzle, became captivated with anticipation. “What were her plans?”

Gayle not only created a Romantic Interlude. She’d artfully hooked Henry for the day.

First, she, the lady, dispensed with the idea it’s up to the man to create all Romantic Interludes and women’s just the recipient.  Surprise! She was proactively Romancing him.

Second, Gayle let Henry work to solve her riddle. Men like solving problems. It wasn’t too difficult or too easy. But he felt a sense of accomplishment by discovering the announcement of her intentions.

Third, and most importantly, she created anticipation. She told Henry she’d made plans for them without divulging what she’d planned. Curiosity and anticipation played games in his mind all afternoon.

Even if it’s only dinner and a movie at home (you know your sweetheart treasures spending time together), you can create an all-day Romantic Interlude. The key is doing it unexpectedly and building anticipation. Anticipation captivates the mind, expands the Interlude and deepens the Romantic memory.

How can you surprise your sweetheart and build anticipation for the next Romantic Interlude you create?

Robert, a hopeless romantic

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Meandering Down Scent-Filled Memories

There is a strong bond between smells and memories. A certain aroma can trigger a fond memory. It could be cotton candy and your first fair together. A certain cologne or perfume. Hot apple pie from your first home cooked meal. Pine trees and a camping trip.

Choose a scent which is tied to a treasured memories you and your sweetheart share. Find some memorabilia or other props linked to this memory.

Let loose the scent in a place where you and your sweetheart can enjoy its aroma. Invite your sweetheart to join you. Pull out the treasures and quietly meander down the accompanying memories.

Robert, a hopeless romantic

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