Ah, romance. This very word can bring up strong reactions in people.
It might bring up irritation because your partner expects you to know how to be romantic and it’s just not your thing. It may trigger sadness and regret, instead of igniting love stories.
It may cause you to feel nostalgic for earlier times in your relationship when your partner swept you off your feet.
If it seems to you that things just aren’t how they used to be, there are a few reasons why there’s no romance in your relationship. This could be a cause of bitterness within you and conflict between you and your mate.
Romance is necessary for every relationship but it doesn’t look the same for every couple.
Don’t give up if you feel like your significant other, girlfriend, or boyfriend isn’t romantic enough. Luckily, it’s never too late to address the no romance in a relationship issue.
When dealing with an aromantic partner, or just with someone who doesn’t know how to show affection in the way we want, many women start second-guessing their relationships and asking themselves things like;
“Is my partner is incapable of being romantic?” “Am I not worthy of being romanced or treated the way I really want to be?” “Will that spark ever come back?” “Are we too old for romance? Have we been together too long?”
“Why does my boyfriend not show affection?” “Can you teach a man to be romantic?”
These doubts about yourself and your relationship are valid, but many times are unwarranted.
Even if you’re with a guy who seems to be clueless about how to make things special, there’s absolutely no romance in your relationship, and even if you’re with a woman who keeps you at arm’s length, these statements will not always define your relationship.
Is romance really necessary in a relationship? Well, yes — in a way. But good news: everyone has the capacity to be romantic and loving. What that exactly means is going to vary, and this is a key thing to remember.
Here are 4 reasons why it might seem like there’s no romance in your relationship, and how to rekindle a relationship in need of expressing that romantic love.
1. You and your partner are stuck.
If you feel stuck and in a passionless place in your relationship, you’re probably not making it up. You’ve probably got real and legitimate reasons why you believe there’s a lack of romance.
When you feel stuck, get curious. Stop looking for who’s to blame, and try to get clearer about why you feel stuck and what habits (that you and your partner have) are contributing to this.
For example, it could be that you two have become entrenched in a routine that’s very busy and leaves little time for connection. This is particularly so for couples who have young children or teenagers living at home.
The more you can figure out how you and your partner are stuck, and the more you can get creative and make more time to really be with one another, the easier it will be to bring back the romance.
2. Resentment and/or anger are in the way.
There are no bigger passion killers than resentment and anger. Both build up and can be a dangerous pair.
If you recognize either of these emotions dominant within you or your relationship, trace it back to the source. What events are you still holding onto? What conflicts remain unresolved?
Take steps to make peace with the past, resolve divisive issues that linger between you and your partner, and live more fully in the present moment. It’s not going to encourage your partner to be more romantic when you are still angry about how badly he (she or they) handled a past anniversary or special occasion, for instance.
You might need to let go of the past by yourself or in conversation with your partner. It’s the first step to rekindling the romance in your marriage or relationship.
If you need to communicate about your lingering anger, do so in a way that allows both men and women to be heard and move forward — together.
3. One or both of you are afraid to trust.
Another block to romance is mistrust. When you don’t fully trust your partner (or yourself), you hold back. You aren’t as open and intimate with your mate, and this is felt.
Feeling comfortable with one another is the key to receiving love. Understanding men, women, and people you date will allow you to feel love.
You might have good reasons for holding back or mistrusting. It’s important that you address your doubts and hesitations, and get clear about whether they stem more from past experiences or from things going on now.
There simply isn’t room for romance when the foundation of trust is shaky or non-existent. Make a conscious effort to rebuild trust if it feels broken or missing, and notice when your partner follows through and keeps his or her word. This will help you know that it’s wise to trust and open yourself up again.
4. You have different ideas of what romance and love are.
It happens all of the time. Both people in the relationship have completely different preferences and ideas of love and romance. One might believe that he or she is expressing feelings of love, while the other person doesn’t see it.
Just because your boyfriend doesn’t wish you a happy valentine’s day on social media, doesn’t mean he’s not a romantic guy. Maybe his romantic gestures come in the form of date nights. Spending time with you could be how he shows his love.
All people, men, and women have different expressions and love. Not everyone gives and receives love and care in the same ways.
Before you criticize your unromantic boyfriend, tell him what your needs are. Then ask him to do the same.
Remember you and your partner deserve to feel love.
While it’s helpful to know how you want to be loved, try to be flexible, too. Be willing to communicate to your partner what feels romantic to you, but don’t go so far as to dictate or micro-manage a romantic experience they may be trying to provide for you.
It can be a bit of a balancing act.
Give information about what your preferences are while also inviting yourself to appreciate your partner’s efforts to love you and make you feel special.
Receive the love that’s being offered to you, even if it comes in a slightly different “package” than you had in mind. This will open the door to even more romance to come.
Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors who help couples communicate, connect and create the relationship they desire. Click here to get their free ebook, Passionate, Heart-Lasting Love.