That’s What She Said (about Romance)
The topic of sex (like marriage), especially in the church is rarely discussed with freedom. Why is that? I can only speculate but the goal of this series is to have open and honest dialog about sex, just like we do about marriage. No matter which survey you read on the top reasons for divorce in the United States, there is always a top 10 regarding sex and/or intimacy. So clearly, this is an important topic.
Disclaimer — TheHookahAffair exists to talk about the good, bad and ugly sides of marriage. Our goal is the create open and honest dialog We can’t ignore the impact that sex (of the lack there of) has on marriage and that is why we are doing this series. We will talk about some very specific issues that may be offensive to some people. Our goal is not to be offensive but to be honest about the things that are impacting so many of our marriages today. That said we won’t go out of our way to avoid words or phrases that would likely be avoided from our churches pulpits. We are not professional sex or marriage therapists. We simply talk about the things we know and in the case, the things you are asking and telling us.
A little over a month ago, we started a survey about sex. We had about 100 people participate in the survey which is awesome. Over the next few weeks, we will be publishing a series of blogs on the topic of sex, specifically, sex in marriage.
About 70% of the people who participated in our survey are women. That really doesn’t come as much of a surprise but it does give me an opportunity to tell you guys exactly what she said about sex in marriage. It also gives you women a chance to see that you are not alone in many of the sex related issues you face in your marriage.
This is the first part of that series —
That’s What She Said (about Romance)
Nearly half of the woman who participated in the survey indicated that they wish their husband were more romantic. By contrast, only about 20% of the men surveyed made a note about romance.
Hollywood hasn’t done us any favors when it comes to romance. In most films, romance is either wildly overstated through extravagant gestures or it is completely understated or ignored but still often results in mind-blowing sex. In either case, what Hollywood fails to do is to recognize the connection between romance and sex. Or I should say, the connection between romance and GOOD sex.
So what is romance?
Romance is defined as —
a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love
Typically, when we think about romance we think about the obvious things: flowers, love notes, candlelight dinners and impromptu dancing in the kitchen. Those things can be romantic but those things can also be cliché. According to Webster’s definition of romance, cliché is the opposite of romantic…unless your wife (or spouse) isn’t expecting those things.
The idea of being mysterious is, well, a mystery to a lot of guys. I know that when I think of mysterious, I think of some dude who is either going through some weird goth stage of life or is maybe a vampire when the sun goes down. You probably have you own idea of what mysterious means but let’s try not to over complicate things here. We’re guys so we need to keep it pretty simple.
Mystery is defined as something that is difficult of impossible to understand. Simply stated, mystery in marriage just means that we need to try to keep our spouse guessing as to what we will do next. Or another way to say it is —
Stop being so predictable!
Change it up!
Sure, part of any marriage (healthy or otherwise) is often a sense of predictability. And in a general sense, that isn’t such a bad thing. But when it comes to romance, you have to keep her guessing. If there is something that you have been doing for years to try to create romance, then it’s probably time to change it up.
Now, I am not going to tell you what you specifically what you need to do. Mostly because what may work for my marriage, may not work as well for yours.
But I will give you some things to think about.
Instead of texting you wife to ask what you’re having for dinner. Text her and tell her that you’re thinking about her. Tell her that you can’t wait to see her. I am not suggesting you send something which is overtly sexual. In fact, I am suggesting that you go out of your way to leave her guessing.
Be mysterious and have fun with your texts. The anticipation of seeing one another can be really romantic.
You may think you know everything there is to know about your wife but I doubt that’s true. Consider asking her about her dreams and desires. I’m not talking about sex here guys (although, if that’s where she goes, then listen) but you may be surprised about what she tells you.
Here are some ideas:
- If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?
- When you think about relaxing, what comes to mind? How can I help you relax?
- If you had a million dollars, what would you buy first for yourself? (not for the family)
Dr. John Gottman calls these questions “Love Map Questions”. Click HERE for more information, including more questions to ask.
Just the fact that you are trying to enter her world will be very romantic.
The 10 Second Kiss
For most couples, kissing seems to be something they “used to do a lot of”. I’m not talking about a quick peck on the lips before or after work. I’m talking about a meaningful, stop what you’re doing kiss. A good rule of thumb is trying to have a 10 second kiss everyday. It’s more difficult to do than you think but it can really connect or reconnect you to wife and create some serious romance. And don’t worry about the kids, they love to see mommy and daddy loving on each other and it’s very healthy for them and you.
We have talked a lot about date night, both working dates and fun dates but we can’t stress them enough. You have to be proactive when it comes to dating your wife. That means that an impromptu dinner at Applebee’s isn’t going to get it done. There is nothing wrong with Applebee’s, just take time to plan something fun and meaningful. It doesn’t have to be expensive, in fact, it can be free (walks, movie night at home etc.) but it has to be planned ahead of time.
Don’t forget to arrange for babysitting!
Most of us guys suck at giving our wives gifts but that is mostly because we don’t listen. In most cases, our wives give us plenty of ideas of things they want. Sometimes their desires are subtle, other times very obvious but they do tell us. But gift giving can be very romantic and like everything else, doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful. Don’t buy her a dozen roses, buy her a single rose everyday for a 12 days tell her one thing that you love about her while you give her the rose.
Just be creative and please, please…don’t be cliché.
Birthdays and Anniversaries
If you wake up and are surprised that it is your wife’s birthday or your anniversary day, then please, take your fist and punch yourself in the face. Seriously dude, how does that happen? It happens because those dates aren’t nearly as important to you as they should be. How do I know? Answer this — what is your favorite sports teams schedule this year? When do they plan their biggest rival?
The difference here is that your wife’s birthday and your anniversary happen on the same day of the same month every year. It doesn’t change. Make a note. Even tattoo is on your forearm if you have to but make plans for those dates. Don’t wake up on the day of and ask her what she wants to do. You can ask her that six months in advance but DO NOT ask that question on her birthday or your anniversary. Make plans. If she wants to change them, then so be it but be proactive and make that date count.
Finally, if you aren’t sure how to bring romance back into your marriage then ask your wife! Ask her what she thinks is romantic and I suspect she will tell you. And take notes guys, we have a tendency to forget things like this so don’t be afraid to write down what she tells you.
If for some reason she can’t tell what she thinks is romantic then Google it! (click the link, I’ve done part of the work for you) You have probably Googled far less significant things (i.e. how to fix the sink, how to repair a weed eater) so why not Google how to romance your wife? There are thousands of resources out there (in fact, you can try this one The Date Night Wing Man) so go, have fun!
The point here is that romance doesn’t just happen. You have to want it and be proactive to make it happen. And in the end, what you do doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that you tried to be romantic.
Ladies, be patient with your husband as he tried to be more romantic. We are far more fragile than we want you to think we are.
It’s worth the fight!
We would love to know some of your ideas on romance. Remember, we want to create open dialog here so let’s start talking about romance! What works and what doesn’t?