10. Keep the romance alive.
I’m happy that I am posting the tenth characteristic today, because I have had this draft sitting in my “to be published” file since January 31 of this year. Let’s see if I can keep this up and finish this series by the end of next week!
Characteristic #10 of a healthy relationship says to “keep the romance alive.” This is actually a more difficult task than people think, as more time passes while in the relationship. Of course, it’s easy to do romantic gestures in the beginning of a relationship when you’re both on that “high” of a new relationship that’s unknown and exciting. But what about after years and decades pass? Are you still feeling that tug on your heart when that person walks into the same room as you? I feel as if a lot of couples I know that have been together (or even married) for a long time would answer that with a “no.” You just get so used to the person, and they’re always around, that perhaps that feeling just sort of… fades.
But then you have the few couples who have been married since their late teens and have two grown daughters (one of which is married herself) and the husband says in front of an entire youth group that he still gets giddy when his wife walks into the same room. Even when I heard that man say that when I was 15 years old, it was so very apparent that he still keeps the romance alive. He still does those out-of-the-ordinary gestures for her when she leasts expects it and tells everyone that she is just as beautiful as she was the day they met. (If this couple or their children are reading this, please know that I truly admire your marriage and relationship!)
And “keeping the romance alive” doesn’t just refer to the men in the relationship doing all of the “romantic” gestures–women can do it, too! This goes back to what I’ve mentioned in nearly every characteristic for one reason or another–the love languages. Of course most women love to be surprised with flowers for no reason, or a phone call just to say “I love you” or whatever it may be, but men appreciate “romantic” gestures as well. Although I don’t think a man would appreciate flowers being delivered to their office as much as a woman would, they still appreciate something in the form of their love language. Maybe a night off of doing the dishes after dinner, or helping out with raking leaves in the fall. (Both are examples of the “acts of service” love language which is in fact, my father’s) Whatever their love language is, do something that will communicate to them that you love them. Do something that’s romantic not so much to you, but also to them.
What do you do to keep the romance alive in your relationship and/or marriage? (Or if you don’t usually do anything, what will you do next to restore the romance?)