Long gone are the box of chocolates and roses. That was a decade ago. In its place are emptied dishwashers and trashcans. This is now. Romance Redefined.
I quit teaching fourth graders as soon as I had my first born, but I continued teaching, women, shortly thereafter when I became a Pure Romance Consultant. It was a job I wasn’t looking for but that I was surprisingly successful at for the next four years. The parties were loads of fun, but the most rewarding part of my job was getting to chat with women one-on-one about their very personal, intimate lives- things they hadn’t shared with anyone else. These women had questions and looked to me for answers.
Many had questions about the products I was promoting but more had questions about how to keep the romance alive in their marriage. My answer changed depending on who I was talking to. I asked questions about the status of their relationship and the preferences of each individual. More often than not, my recommendation was not to purchase half of the items on their wishlist, rather it was to communicate with their other half. It was the encouragement I gave the woman to tell her partner what she wanted and to be open to reciprocation.
Often, women teased that my husband must “love” my job, assuming we had a passionate intimate life. I didn’t want to burst their bubble, but I tried to explain that although they were certainly perks to my profession, there are also “seasons” in life. Marriage is intended for a lifetime and with that comes the changing seasons. So when a sleep-deprived, first-time mother looked to me with hopeful eyes of how to get the romance back, I placed my hand on hers and gave her the permission she needed to know that it didn’t have to happen immediately. I explained, romance evolves.
So often, we cling to our previous lives. We move cities, change jobs, or have children and suddenly, we want back what we used to have. For romance, that may mean less post-it notes on the steering wheel, candle-lit baths, and late-night dates. Instead, the peace of your partner’s hand resting on yours after a long day, knowing that is the same hand you to hope to be lucky enough to continue to hold for the rest of your life. It’s when your wife or your husband rubs your shoulders unexpectedly because they know you could use a little TLC after a long day.
And although the time between passionate moments lengthens over the years, the fire still burns; a reminder of how it all began. It’s not how it was. It never will be because now is not then. As we grow and change, so does the romance. It’s still there, it’s just redefined.