My husband has no earthly concept of romance. If I want flowers on Valentine’s Day, tell him. If I want to celebrate our anniversary with a quiet dinner at a favorite restaurant, tell him. To assume he will initiate something romantic and innovative on his own will only leave me disappointed.

In a previous marriage I was showered with what I perceived as romance; flowers at the workplace, romantic weekend getaways, limousines for a lunch date and extravagant gifts for no reason.  At the time, my female friends viewed me with envy. To them, I was married to the man of their dreams. In reality, I was married to a man who was unfaithful; whose romantic facades were used to cover up his indiscretions. He was bestowed a flair for romance, but made a deal with the devil on his integrity.

Needless to say, I made it very clear to my current husband, “No flowers!”  And, if he sent flowers, I would assume he was doing something he ought not to be doing. My husband took it to heart and has never sent flowers. But that’s not to say I don’t badger him for romance. The truth is he has no idea what I mean when I blurt out, “I need romance.”

Mowing the lawn, home maintenance, car repairs, grocery shopping and remembering my birthday; that’s his idea of romance. When I try to express to him my need for romance; “Teach me”, is his response.   “I am willing to learn, but I need you to teach me”. How in the heck do you teach someone to be romantic?

As our relationship matured, I came to realize, no matter how hard my husband tried, he couldn’t conceptualize my vision of romance. If I wanted romance, I would have to show him; tell him what I wanted.

Women often expect men to behave and react like we do. We are quick to criticize and point out their lack of this or that. We compare them to our fantasy man; that primetime TV guy who fulfills every girl’s romantic dream. Yeah, right!

The average guy may appear to be an unromantic klutz, but I don’t think they want to be. I honestly believe, men desire to be romantic, but aren’t sure how to pull it off and that fear is fueled by the standards we women impose about our idea of romance. If risk of humiliation and failure are too high; men will withdraw. You can count on it.

Women can do a great deal to increase confidence in their husband’s romantic skills through encouragement and redefining their idea of romance. I have found when my husband asks me to go for a scooter ride, to drive the back roads in our roadster or work outside with him; he is reaching out to me; he wants to hang out together as a couple. What’s not romantic about that?

Maybe it’s time women take on a new definition of romance. Toss your Cosmopolitan and Mademoiselle magazines in the trash, acknowledge Lifetime TV for Women  movies are pure fantasy; and, instead, read the book that clearly defines  romance; The Bible. It presents God as a lover of our souls and his courting of creation is the Greatest Romance.

He woos us to hang out with Him. He follows us through fires, floods and darkness. God takes romance to the highest level through the death of His Son, Jesus. That certainly redefines romance. Dying for someone so they can be gifted eternal life; to me, that is romance in its purest form.

So, let’s take stock. The next time you whine about the lack of romance in your life, rethink. A romantic relationship is not defined by our earthly interpretations or those things we read and see in television shows or movies. True romance takes form in the heart; its intents are pure. Romance is willingness and desire to spend time with someone you love without preconceived ideas of how that connection will happen. It is caring about their wants and needs. Yes, those are romantic gestures.

When you begin to use your heart, mind and God’s Word to redefine romance, you might be amazed by the new definition.

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