Professor's House

Is Romance Dead – Depends on the Marriage

We read this statement online not too long ago: romance is not dead, it just smells funny.

The question – is romance dead – is also a little tricky. How you answer will depend on how young you are, how many years you’ve been married, whether the man or woman you’re with is a true iceberg and whether you think love is lovelier the second time around.

The concept of romance per se is not dead. That’s the good news. The bad news is, how many people past the age of 48 are feeling up to it?

Is Romance Dead? The Age Issue

We enjoy seeing young people expressing their love. Such innocence and gaiety they project, not to forget the wild abandon. Love is a wonderful feeling especially when it’s the first time Cupid is shooting arrows at you. There’s a quiet ecstasy about being in love when you’re sweet sixteen and this ecstasy continues – we think – until your early to mid- 30’s. To people in this age group, love and romance interwine, interact and interlace – locked in a tight embrace and time deliciously stands still.

Older people look at young lovebirds with sheer envy. The question, “is romance dead” seems like a foolish question when the youth are concerned. To the young, the world is bright, you feel ten feet tall and the sun seems to be always shining.

Ah, the joys of young love! Just observe the reincarnated Romeos and Juliets of this world. How can you ask, is romance dead? It’s alive and kicking on all four cylinders!

Many, however, will argue that romance is not the monopoly of the young. We’ve seen older men and women holding hands. Walk to your favorite marina or boulevard on a clear summer day and count those seniors who are holding hands or have their arms around each other’s waists. They are quite a sight to behold. These happy, very-much-in-love seniors will pooh-pooh you if you ever asked them, “is romance dead?” Just seeing the naughty glint in their eyes is enough to tell you that the flame is strong and there are no dying embers.

Is Romance Dead After 10 Years of Marriage?

You might say, why ten years? Doesn’t the dreaded itch occur in year seven?

Perhaps…and in some cases earlier than that. But why is it that after a certain number of years of being married, spouses no longer exhibit the same lovey-dovey behavior they engaged in before they got married?

The answer can’t be that difficult. Post-marriage situations include children, mortgage, career issues, community commitments, and the day-to-day tasks of running a household. These situations diminish the romantic spark in most people. When problems mount – and there WILL be problems – the last thing couples fret about is romance. Once in awhile the feeling of guilt comes to the surface and there’ll be that mad rush to start a candlelight dinner or plan frantically for a much needed vacation without the kids to renew romantic ties and keep the love alive.

For couples who are sensitive to the “is romance dead” idea and want to save the marriage, they make the effort to inject romance back into their lives. But for those who ignore the signs and symptoms, then romance could really take a nosedive.

Frigidity Kills Romance

We hope they’re in the minority, but there are individuals who complain that they’ve never experienced romantic interludes with their mates because their mates are simply not interested in sex or have some unexplained frigidity.

Do you share the matrimonial bed with an iceberg? Frigidity doesn’t simply mean having a total lack of interest in sex. A frigid partner can be one who makes love but considers it only a duty and goes through the motions like a robot. A frigid partner does not derive any pleasure from the sexual act. He even finds cuddling and kissing excruciatingly boring.

For spouses with frigid partners, we’d say that not only is romance dead, it never got the chance to ignite.

If you believe your spouse is frigid, you may want to suggest professional counseling. There are underlying causes of frigidity and they have to be addressed to bring back the loving into the precarious relationship.

A writer once said that men consider romance a means to an end whereas women look at romance as the end. This suggests that men will buy flowers and chocolates and flatter a woman so he can ultimately convince her to engage in sex. For some women, romance is the be-all and the end-all. They think a romantic love affair is the ideal to aspire for.

Some women have voiced their complaints about men having no romantic beans in them, although one female writer argued that men do possess a romantic streak “a mile wide – the trouble is that this mile doesn’t seem to go anywhere.” It’s the perpetual gripe: “men start out as incurable romantics, but once they’ve got you under their skin, it’s like they’ve never heard of romance before.”

And Love the Second Time Around?

We wouldn’t say that romance is dead for those falling in love for the second or third time. The meaning of romance, however, takes on a different hue. It’s no longer careless and gung-ho, but the romance is more – shall we say – reserved and more mature.

When couples come out of a first marriage badly hurt or disillusioned, it doesn’t mean that the romance is dead; it’s still there but at the same time it is accompanied with a degree of caution. It will take awhile for that openness and innocence to return. Individuals who are products of divorce won’t be as careless as they were when they were much younger. For some of them, experience is a bitter pill to swallow.

Is Romance Dead? Definitely Not!

Despite what we’ve said, we don’t think romance is dead. It would never die for as long as we hope to love and be loved back. Each of us nurtures a secret longing for love that is pure but exciting, for love that is instructive but still passionate. The romantic bug lurks inside each one of us, some of us like to wait for the right time to bring it out while others are in a hurry and act like serial lovers.

Hollywood seems to do a good job of reviving the old notions of love and romance, and for as long as it’s a lucrative venture for movie makers, romance will be alive and well and thriving in our midst.

And for as long as writers immortalize love and continue churning out romantic pieces, then romance won’t ever have to die a natural death.

Mae West’s optimism is contagious. We ought to think about what she said: “I have found men who didn’t know how to kiss…I’ve always found time to teach them.”

So ladies, don’t whip the cream, whip the romance back where it properly belongs!

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