A Little Idea... Four Keys to Romance in Marriage

Four pregnancies and nine years after our wedding, I was wondering if romance (or “red hot monogamy”) was something reserved for vampire movies, people who have dated less than a month or cologne ads. I found out the truth about a year ago.

Romance is not an accident.

According to Dr. Harley in “His Needs, Her Needs for Parents,” romance is not something cosmic or mysterious. In fact, after years of study, behavioral scientists have found that if four key needs are met in a relationship, romance will develop. It is possible to have passion in marriages of any length- to be married to your boyfriend and not just be roommates!

The Four Romantic Needs

1. Intimate Conversation. Couples who talk at length and openly about their dreams, hopes, and personal views become emotionally bound to one another. Women in particular rank intimate conversation as one of the most satisfying aspects of a romantic relationship and are more likely to become physically intimate when lots of conversation exists. Make time to talk without the kids and listen without judgment.

2. Recreational Activities. When couples get out and do things together that they love, romance develops. Men ranked this highest next to sexual intimacy in romance importance. Dating, particularly in mature marriages, should not be seen as a luxury. It is a need. If one spouse loves rock climbing, both could learn it. Love to go star gazing, cheese tasting or running? Do it! Budget for dating and make it happen. According to successful family therapists, couples need on average 15 hours of alone time together a week to create and maintain romance. This may seem like a lot, but when you were dating you spent hours together- and you were high on the romance meter. Romance takes a consistent time investment.

3. Intimate Touch. This refers to non-sexual touch. Couples who hug, hold hands, touch arms, give soft caresses and other forms of caring, physical attention create romance. Touch is a basic human need. It is common that one spouse might need touch more than the other; both spouses should learn to ask for, give and receive physical touch.

4. Sexual Intimacy. If the previous three needs are met, then sex tends come naturally in many relationships and be enjoyable for both partners. If this aspect of romance struggles, consider if you have enough conversation, recreation and non-sexual touch. There are very instructive and tasteful books for couples, (and not just for newly weds) including “And They Were Not Ashamed” by Laura Brotherson as well as counseling resources through Wasatch Family Therapy (who offer family and intimacy counseling options all over the U.S.) Don’t be afraid to seek out help; many couples just need someone to talk to get information and share feelings.

It has been a huge influence on our marriage to read positive marriage texts like this one. We read maybe five minutes at night- which has lead to hours of enjoyable dating again. I feel like I've got my boyfriend back!

1 comment:

Amber said...

Great post thanks for sharing I'm going to see if they have that book not for parents...


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