Practical vs. Passionate Romantics: Invite More Romance Into Your Marrage

In our last post we talked about how there are two different types of romantics in the world.  Practical romantics and passionate romantics.  Within a committed and loving marriage, each one of these romantics shows the other how they define romance by living out their definition.

Sadly, what often happens is that the signals get crossed.  A passionate romantic speaks and acts in a way that communicates romance very passionately.  Therefore, they may wonder why their [practical] spouse doesn’t respond well to romance.  Even worse, they may take their practical spouses mannerisms as rejection.

On the other hand, the practical romantic may be left wondering, “What’s the big deal?  Of course I love you!  But I do really need to do ‘that’ to show you I love you?!”  How can you get on the same page?

First, understand what kind of romantic you are, and then do the same for your spouse.  As you can see, if you are one kind of romantic and your spouse is the other kind of romantic, you’re both going to have very different definitions of ‘romance’. If one of you happens to have too narrow of a definition of ‘romance’, it will cause occasional problems in your marriage as well as your sex life.

If you happen to be in a marriage with two passionate romantics, good for you.  Your marriage probably  just oozes romance all the time!  The only caution here is that romance not become about competition or out doing each other.  Neither do you want it to be about comparison.  Romance is supposed to build friendship and fun in your marriage. Comparison and competition will not do that. So, be passionate.  But be compassionate as well.

If your marriage is made up of two practical romantics (that would be us!) remind yourself that romance does matter.  If you let the romance fade, as it inevitably will, you may end up in a place you never expected to be.  Keep the fun, excitement, anticipation and thoughtfulness of romance a part of your life.  This can be accomplished by taking purposeful opportunities to romance one another.  Instead of simply jumping in the sheets, add a few minutes of extra foreplay.  Instead of being practical all the time, do something spontaneous once every few months.  Even though you’re practical people, make sure your spouse knows how passionately in love you are with them.

If one of you is a passionate romantic and the other is practical, take note:

If you are a passionate romantic, take the lead and ask for romance. Rather than silently resenting your spouse, plan a romantic evening and enjoy it rather than being upset that all the planning was done by you. If you want your spouse to compliment you on how you look, tell them what you love about their body and then ask them in return what they like best about your body.  This is not manipulation; rather it is setting the stage for them to make a move in the right direction.  They’re not going to take ten steps in one week, so remember that this process will take time.  The most important thing is to extend grace.  Your spouse does love you.  Though they may not always show it in the way you want them to, remind yourself that their natural ability to “woo” you is not related to their love for you.

If you are a practical romantic, establish routines and remind yourself to appreciate and care for your spouse.  It could be as simple as having a parting kiss everyday or putting it on your calendar to write an encouraging note or send a gift to your spouse.  Be attentive to what they want and if you still have no clue, ask.  Let them teach you how they define romance and then be a good student.  And if all else fails, show up naked.  That’ll get the attention of a passionate romantic real quick!

The bottom line of what I (Megan) am learning about romance: Romance is an invitation.  An invitation to grow with one another, have fun with one another, enjoy one another, compliment one another, think of one another.  That’s a lot of “one another’s”.  Invite romance into your marriage and you may be surprised by the outcome.   Take time to regularly communicate about romance.  Caring for each other, meeting your spouse’s needs and helping them meet your needs will lead to a passionate marriage and help romance guide you through many years to come.

Romance and Sex: Which Comes First?

Many married couples wrestle through the subjects of romance and sex as if they’re sort of a chicken and egg scenario.  Which comes first?

Romance?

Or is it sex?

For some, romance sets the stage for feelings of intimacy and a desire to connect physically. For others, physical intimacy opens up desire to be more romantic.

Not only that, but it’s also easy to find yourselves out of sync in the area of romance because each person defines romance in their own way.  I (Megan) must confess, I would never consider myself romantic.  I know that makes me an anomaly (being a sex and marriage blogger!) but it’s completely true.  However, I have decided that if I desire to be a marriage mentor, I had better understand why that is.  I had better read, research and understand what romance really is and why it doesn’t seem to play a greater part in my life.

Throughout this process, I am beginning to realize that I am not necessarily unromantic, but rather I have a very narrow view of what romance is.  I would venture to guess that many marriages struggle in the same way.

Maybe you think your marriage doesn’t need romance?

Or perhaps you believe your spouse is a bit over the top in their need for more romantic gestures?

Maybe the most romantic gesture for you is clothes off and lights out?

Maybe the most romantic gesture for them is quality time, simply talking about your day?

Even if you believe everything is going well in your marriage, it’s important to really understand your spouse in this area.  If you would happen to discover any discrepancy in this area at all, it may have something to do with the fact that there are two different kinds of romantics in the world.

  1. Passionate Romantic – For this person, romance is often about spontaneity, gifts, romantic or tender words, thoughtful gestures both big and small and basically going the extra mile. Often times a passionate romantic will mention the positive memories that mean the most to them. “Wasn’t it great when we did _________” “Remember when we____________. That was so great.”  When their needs aren’t met, they may ask questions such as, “Why aren’t you more like_____________.” or “How come we never____________.” 
  2. Practical Romantic – For this person, they did the most romantic thing they could think of on their wedding day – they committed their life to another person “till death do you part.”  Romance for this person is more about showing proper respect and attention to their spouse.  They desire to have a great marriage and they accomplish this by being stable, steadfast, sacrificial and honest in the relationship.

It could be argued that there exists a third type of romantic, an indifferent romantic.  This, however, is really more about selfish and self-centered living within a marriage and therefore is not being thoughtful or romantic at all.  A person like this is difficult to be married to, not because they are unromantic, but rather because they live for their own personal satisfaction and gain.

In our next post we will look at what happens when you have any combination of the two above types of romantics living together and what you can do about it.  But for now, a few thoughts on why romance does matter in marriage (even if it has taken me much introspection to realize this!).

1. Romance can provide a certain spark and zest for living in what is sometimes a difficult and cynical world.

The truth is that both people in a marriage need some level or romance.  Whether it’s passionate or practical is really up to you.  But that romance is necessary to ensure that your marriage continues to be a priority, if not the priority in your life.  When your marriage operates as a priority for both of your lives, it makes difficult job / parenting / & other relationship problems seem very insignificant.

2. Romance can help create an atmosphere of attraction, desire and happiness in marriage.

Remember, some may find that taking your clothes off is all the ‘romance’ you need.  Indeed, this will (or it definitely should!) create attraction, desire, and happiness.  But for those who are passionate romantics, be sure to communicate your desires to your spouse.  Being as specific as possible, let them know how they can keep your romance-tank full.

3. Romance can provide memorable and pleasurable experiences that draw a couple closer and enables them to become one flesh more easily.

In short, romance is something that brings a great deal of contentment to a marriage relationship.  It helps both parties to find extreme levels of comfort with their spouse.  This type of contentment is often searched for elsewhere, but never found.  Finding it with one another is a sure building block for a successful marriage.

I could write much more, but the bottom line is that romance is important, and I for one will continue taking notes on how to incorporate it into my marriage more often.

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Are you a practical romantic, or a passionate one?  What about your spouse?

Is there anything you can do this week to spark their romantic flames?

Linking with: We are that family, Women Living Well, To love honor and vacuum