Apparently, August is a month all about romance. This week, August 8 to 14, is National Resurrect Romance Week; the entire month of August is Romance Awareness Month; and August 25 is National Kiss and Make Up Day. What’s up with all this romance in August? These designations serve as great reminders to think about the value of romance in your life and the lives of those you are intimate with.
On Dictionary.com, the informal definition of romance is 1) to court or woo romantically; treat with ardor or chivalrousness and 2) to court the favor of or make overtures to; play up to. If you are familiar with Dr. Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages, then you may have already learned that what is romantic to one person is not romantic to the next.
I am writing about the romance between people who are involved intimately or who would like to be. When you are trying to interest someone romantically, it would be helpful to learn what feels like romance to that person.
The five love languages as explained by Chapman are Quality Time, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Receiving Gifts and Physical Touch.
Romance for a Quality Time individual would likely involve some uninterrupted one-on-one time. It might be a nice date, staying in and having dinner, or something as simple as a personal, intimate conversation with lots of eye contact.
If your partner is an Acts of Service person, romance for them might look like the completion of a “honey-do” list.
A Words of Affirmation person might like to hear all the things you love, appreciate and respect about them.
A Receiving Gifts person likes to know you’ve been paying attention and thinking about them. Don’t just think a box of candy and flowers are romantic, though. When receiving gifts, most people like to know that it’s something you put thought into. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be personal.
A Physical Touch person likes to be touched, but be sure to know how they like to be touched. For some, romance is a generous session of foreplay. For others, a more directly sexual approach may be warranted. And of course, Physical Touch people typically appreciate non-sexual touching, like a hand on a shoulder, back, hand or leg.
The natural instinct in the romance department is to behave toward your partner, or potential partner, the way you would like to be romanced. This isn’t always the best way to be intimate with your partner. When you romance someone and they don’t experience it as romantic, you may find yourself confused or frustrated. So, it is best to find out from your partner what feels like romance to them, and then, by all means, romance them.
Why is romance so important? It’s the language of love. When you want your partner to know you love them, you will want to romance them in their language. If they don’t know how to reciprocate in yours, then teach them.
And as far as kissing and making up goes, I believe many of life’s quarrels among lovers stems from misunderstandings and an inability to join together to look at the problem. It’s easy for couples to identify each other as “the problem,” which almost never lends itself to a solution. When you point fingers and throw blame in your partner’s direction, they tend to move farther away, not closer to you.
After a quarrel, kissing and making up is a first step toward reconnecting in a meaningful way. It may be in the form of an apology or a reminder of what’s most important—your relationship. Once you reconnect, you can begin the process of defining the challenge or problem and examining it from every angle together. Using negotiation skills, you can then craft a solution that will work for both of you. Yes, you both want to win and have things your way, but you also want your partner to win.
I have no idea why August is romance month, but let’s use this time to start thinking about how we can improve our romantic overtures. Don’t be mistaken: Romance is important every day of the year.
If you’d like to learn more the “Dance of Sex and Romance,” I’ve written about it in Secrets of Happy Couples.