What is Romance?
By Stan Spencer
Romance is love plus desire.
Romance is the happiness of true lovers.
Romance is a loving, passionate and intimate relationship.
Romance is an ardent, exciting, and mysterious emotional bond.
Romance is a combination of caring and attraction in a mating relationship.
Romance is the feeling of being transformed by the love and desire of another.
Romance is the excitement of the chase, capture and eternal imprisonment of a heart.
Romance is the feeling of becoming more complete as you find missing puzzle pieces in another.
Romance is pleasurable, devoted intimacy that enables two people to become of one heart, one mind, and one body.
Romance is the feeling of having one's most important relationship needs met by another person, and wanting to meet his or her needs in return.
Romance is a mixture of pleasant and exciting feelings, such as anticipation, adventure, amorousness and caring, that surrounds a growing intimate relationship between a man and a woman.
Many believe that romantic love is the same as passionate love [infatuation]. It isn't. Romantic love has the intensity, engagement and sexual chemistry that passionate love has, minus the obsessive component. Passionate or obsessive love includes feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. This kind of love helps drive the shorter relationships but not the longer ones. -- Bianca P. Acevedo,
Romance is being one. Romance reaches its greatest potential in marriage with the complete development of emotional, spiritual, and physical intimacy. Emotional intimacy is being of one heart -- desiring to make each other happy, to be together, and to belong to each other. Spiritual intimacy is being of one mind -- sharing the same values and basic life goals, and working together to attain them. Physical intimacy is being of one body -- sharing the pleasures and comforts of intimate sensuous affection.
Complete romance in marriage is like a jet airplane. Emotional intimacy is like the wings that provides lift, allowing you to fly to great heights and distances, and without which your ride would be nothing but a painful bumping along the ground. Spiritual intimacy is like the tail with its various control surfaces that give stability and direction, enabling you to finally arrive where you really want to be. Physical intimacy is like the engine. It provides desire and motivation, making powered, thrilling flight possible.
In marriage all of the worthy yearnings of the human soul, all that is physical and emotional and spiritual, can be fulfilled. -- Boyd Packer
. . . of one heart. When romance is alive, each lover is eager to please the other for no other reason than to make him or her happy. Snickering, sarcasm, bickering, pouting, competing, complaining, and blaming are gone. The woman is able to focus on her man's happiness because she knows that he is watching out for her interests, so she doesn't have to worry about them. The man similarly doesn't feel like he has to compete for his interests because she is eagerly concerned with them. Such a goal is not unrealistic. Although no romance is perfect, many couples have come close enough to the ideal of "one heart" that they can go for months with no arguments, smiling cheerfully at each other each evening, and cherishing their time together. They have achieved this state of marital bliss because each partner began conscientiously striving to meet each of the relationship needs of the other. As relationship needs were met, mutual good will and appreciation began to replace resentment and self-concern, until each could trust the good faith of the other sufficiently to pull together as one instead of competing. Your feelings of caring for a person, and his or her feelings of attraction for you, increase as you make efforts to meet his or her relationship needs. This is the formula for marital bliss. As Leo Tolstoy said, "Happy families are all alike. All unhappy families are unhappy in their own way."
Love is an action verb. A happy marriage is built and sustained by daily acts of love and respect that will produce feelings of tender affection in the giver as well as the receiver and provide a garden in which the romantic potential of each spouse may develop.
The happiness of married life depends upon making small sacrifices with readiness and cheerfulness. -- John Selden
True love does not come by finding the perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. -- Jason Jordan
The greatest factor in a happy marriage is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one's companion. -- Gordon Hinckley
There's a darkness that everyone must face, it wants to take what's good and fair and lay it all to waste. And that darkness covers everything in sight, until it meets a single point of light. -- Randy Travis, Point Of Light
. . . of one mind. Risk and sacrifice are inherent in romance. This is because you can only have romance to the extent that you are willing to sacrifice your individuality for the sake of unity with your mate. Your emotions and decisions are no longer all your own, but are intertwined with those of your lover. Because it requires unity, romance dies when it meets up with stubborn independence or selfishness. In order for romance to blossom fully in marriage, husband and wife must forge new values, priorities and goals together. This is possible only as they come to understand and trust each other, and learn together what is really important in life. True romance requires an unwavering commitment to marriage, demonstrated daily by putting the good of the marriage above other pursuits.
Romance is not double-minded. It requires choosing reality over fantasy, and forsaking all others in lifelong commitment to your chosen mate. Romantic fantasies involving anyone else, whether real or imagined, erode trust and desire in marriage, making intimacy and unity impossible. If fantasy has weakened a romance, it must first be forsaken, and then both partners must exercise faith, hope, and charity to rebuild the trust and desire that were lost. This rebuilding occurs by the meeting of each other's basic relationship needs. Seeing those needs met by their mates enables husbands and wives to regain trust and to have the assurance they need to give themselves completely to the marriage, and to make his future and her future their future together.
. . . of one body. Within marriage, romance can reach its greatest potential with the sharing of physical intimacy. Physical intimacy is like . . .
A JET ENGINE. Physical intimacy outside of a committed and loving marriage is like a jet engine outside of an airplane. It may produce heat, thrills, and destruction, but will never take you to great heights and distances unless it is properly installed where it was designed to be. Physical intimacy -- whether sensual kissing, sex, or intimate visual stimulation -- works best within a committed and loving marriage. It cannot function fully or properly anywhere else. This is partly because physical intimacy is incomplete without true emotional intimacy, which requires deep trust and confidence in one's partner. Such trust and confidence are only possible with the unwavering commitment that marriage allows. Memories of pre- and extra-marital sexual experiences may make commitment and trust more difficult to achieve, and interfere with the freedom and enjoyment of physical intimacy with your spouse.
GLUE. Properly enjoyed in marriage, physical intimacy is a glue that can bind two hearts together, and make romance timeless and complete. Physical intimacy is God's wedding gift to married couples. Its purpose is, not only procreation, but also celebration, recreation, and unification. It makes forgiveness, patience, acceptance, and forbearance easier. Used as intended -- for mutual enjoyment in marriage -- it is innocent and beautiful. It is an expression of love, desire, appreciation, and tenderness. It allows a couple to leave their troubles behind for a while and find refreshment, redemption, and mutual recommitment. The physical relationship in marriage is powerful, but fragile. It may be easily damaged or destroyed by inconsiderate or unkind acts, by neglect, or by ignorance of the differences in desires and responses between men and women. It may also be destroyed by extramarital flirtations, or by adulterous fantasies fueled by scenes on the internet or in books, movies, and television shows.
Physical sexual intimacy is a strong force in strengthening the love bond in marriage, enhancing and reinforcing marital unity. -- Homer Ellsworth
God himself implanted the physical magnetism between the sexes for two reasons: for the propagation of the human race, and for the expression of that kind of love between man and wife that makes for true oneness. . . .Sex can be a wonderful servant but a terrible master. . . . It can be a creative force more powerful than any other in the fostering of love, companionship, happiness -- or can be the most destructive of all of life's forces." -- Billy Graham
Romance is the precursor to good sexual times together as a couple. That is why romance is so important for both the man and the woman in marriage. Did you know God designed sex to bless marriage? It’s the only relationship where he blesses sexual interchange. It’s very clear in the scriptures. God also designed our bodies to produce sexual pleasure. In fact, the only function of the clitoris is for pleasure. God thought this out and he made good things for a married couple to enjoy. He thought of it first. You’re to give of yourself freely to your husband, and him to you. Roommates are for the college years. Sex is exclusively for marriage. We should not have sex with anybody else. Be generous with your spouse. Let your marriage be a reflection of Christ and the church. It is a straight and narrow path, but when it comes to the marriage bed, both spouses should jump into it with kindness, generously giving and receiving, openness to closeness, variety, and frequency that supplies the higher drive spouse, because it’s good for both of you. Sex really is for both of you. This is clear in scripture.
Reprinted by permission from the Author Stan Spencer