Married- Better Deal: Romance
Talk to 5 different people and they will have 5 different explanations, with dozens of stories and emotional attachments to its meaning. When I talk to men, though they typically can’t define it for themselves, but they can site its importance to women. So what is this ever elusive notion of romance all about?
According to Webster’s, the definition of romance is:
A medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural.
According to Wikipedia’s explanation of romance:
Many medieval romances recount the marvelous adventures of a chivalrous, heroic knight, often of super-human ability, who, abiding chivalry’s strict code of honor and demeanor, goes on a quest, and fights and defeats monsters and giants, thereby winning favor with a lady.
What on God’s green earth does this mean for you? This notion, though archaic in origin, remains an aspect that keeps relationships alive and thriving. It acts as fertilizer to foster growth, excitement and passion in your partnership. And no, you don’t need a black steed, bulging muscles or heavy armor to create it…but you can learn some secrets of knights of long ago and its impact on the female species. Romance is much more than bringing home red roses and lighting a few candles. The reason we dub this to be a romantic gesture is because it integrates aspects such as chivalry, safety, sensitivity and passion.
This notion of chivalry is an important one to think about. With the feminist movement, gender roles and responsibilities have changed a great deal and not necessarily always to the advantage of women. I support the equality of rights, privileges and freedoms that we now enjoy (and should have always enjoyed). Where I think we went astray is the notion that just because women can do the things men can doesn’t mean that we necessarily want to always do them. More than anything, I think we want to know for ourselves that we can do things independently and have the freedom to exercise that when and where we like. When this happens, we can then allow (and ask) our partners to do things for us and share life’s responsibilities with you. Translation: we want the choice to either accept your assistance or do it for ourselves.
How does this relate to romance? Chivalry, who’s definition is a gallant and distinguished gentleman, is an integral component of romance. This becomes confusing for men to know when to step in and when to lay back. We will discuss this at length in the track on Masculinity, but for our purposes here, it relates to a strong and consistent presence, leadership capabilities and the capacity to protect and intervene to ensure safety and ease of living. So those “old fashioned values” of opening car doors and offering to lift heavy things are still solid notions, but we want them offered to us, not forced upon us.
Why do women eat up romance novels and watch soap operas with heroin like addiction? There’s even an entire genre of movies dubbed after this notion: Chick Flicks. Inevitably, there is a handsome man who has some tremendous challenge to overcome and in doing so, is rewarded with the love of a beautiful woman. This insatiable quest for love makes us women melt, for we all want to feel desired and worthy of the kind of heroism that they endure. It evokes a feeling of safety and protection that fosters openness and vulnerability.
At this point, you’ve likely read some of our material on the Primitive Brain. If not, do yourself the favor of doing so, as it will help you understand the premise that I’m proposing here. Women thrive on connections and closeness. Our brains and bodies are wired to ensure the survival of our young and therefore, we release feel-good chemicals when we foster connections to reinforce this kind of behavior. When you do your part to foster safety (both physically and emotionally), we will feel closer to you and our brains will release these powerful chemicals. Knowing this can help you better understand what makes us tick and how you can add to the tock of our inner rhythms. I cannot emphasize the importance of safety and will continue to highlight it over and over again.
You likely know a friend or at least a friend of a friend who is a bit more sensitive and connected with their emotions than most of your buddies. These are the guys that write poetry, love songs and broods when things don’t go their way. Romance comes a bit more naturally for this type, as they are accustomed to using feelings and words to convey them to express themselves to the world and with women. So, what do you do if this doesn’t describe you? Since romance isn’t necessarily every man’s forte, we’re here to offer some practical feedback on how to integrate this into your relationship.
Notice the kinds of things that she likes to eat, the colors she likes to wear, the places she frequents and the things she likes to do with her time. Notice the things she struggles with the most and what would make things easier on her lifestyle. Look at her like a scientist would and take notes. Integrate these notes into our website so that you can use them to show her that you’ve noticed and are being sensitive and aware of her preferences. Romance involves integrating these aspects into the things you do for and with her.
How does this all tie in? When you show up with chivalry and masculinity, we feel safe. When we feel safe, we open up to you and experience the release of feel good brain chemicals. The more sensitive you can be to us, our preferences and the things that offer us assistance, the more safe and desired we feel and the more we want to give back to you, which heightens passion in your relationship.
Romance means something slightly different to every woman and therefore, you’d be well served by asking yours its significance to her. In the same breath, ask her what she finds romantic and what you could do to create more of it in your relationship. If you are willing to ask the questions, people will give you the answers. Note: You may receive a “you should know that” kind of response from her. (It is one of my personal missions to extract this from the female expression because expecting men to be mind readers is a set up for failure.) You can respond to this by explaining that you desire to know more and understand more about her.
I hope this has been useful to understand the importance of romance for women and how it can benefit you. Use the website’s tools to integrate gestures of romance frequently and in a variety of ways. Our tools on date ideas and rekindling the passion will be useful in your quest to integrate more romance into your relationship…I promise you it will be worthwhile.