Where did the romance go?

“Romance is missing,” our friend said.

May 16, 2019

He was talking about his own marriage of 35 years, but we weren’t surprised when he added, “Lots of people are looking for romance and not finding it.”

We were reminded, for example, of a young taxi driver in Hawaii who wanted our advice about how she and her husband could “get back” to the way it was when they were first in love.

Does the word “romance” evoke some special time in your past?

When our friend said “romance,” we automatically recalled the time when we were new to each other, when each of us was feeling a thrill of newness and discovery.

Just touching each other was new and thrilling.

Now, when touching each other is no longer new, it does something remarkable: it invokes and celebrates the whole story of our 16-year love affair! When we hold hands as we walk down the street, 16 years of loving each other is present, along with the confidence that loving each other will last our lifetime. Would we trade that deep pleasure for the thrill we felt when touching each other for the first time? Nope!

Discovery was also a big part of our “romantic” period. Our brand-new emotions were almost all we knew about each other, and we were hungry to know more.

We wonder, do you think “romance is missing” because you’ve discovered all there is to know about your beloved? Then ask yourself, what your beloved was thinking at 3:30 yesterday afternoon? Or is feeling right now? You may notice that what you do know about your beloved’s life is dwarfed by what you don’t know, and maybe never will know.

Maybe what has happened when “romance is missing” is that the thrill of discovering your lover has been crowded out by your mistaken assessment that there’s nothing left to discover. And you could get curious and start discovering all over again.


Carol and Paul

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