When it gets right down to it, our lives revolve around our relationships. We love being in love, in romantic liaisons, in partnerships of support. Trouble is, this is our greatest challenge. Our divorce rate is over 50%. Something is truly amiss. Last week I spoke of 2013 being a year of relationship soap operas on steroids. Being early January, this is a super opportunity to map out what you would like your year to be about, (and not be involved in), feel like and be inspired by. Time to be really really clear!!
I feel at the heart of our relationship issues is lack of communication and not holding the same vision between the participants. So many of us, our dreams of what a relationship ‘should’ look like are far removed from reality; you know the Cinderella complex. Idealism at its finest. Two people from different backgrounds, perspectives, come together to create a harmonic union together only to have the magic wear off after the first ninety days. Forgotten is the dream to hold the other one in a state of grace, of love.
In addition to the regular assumed (remember that assumption always runs into trouble) great-relationship requirements- honesty, trustworthiness, honor-ability, humor etc, there are a few essential ingredients I feel are not only necessary but vital to long-term stability and lasting power of connection.
Chemistry: this is at the heart of the first encounter and the underlying pheromones that help create longevity. Keeping and maintaining the allure and magic is vital and each participant is responsible. There are vast differences in our definition of what comprises a good relationship, however most will agree on the magic of physical union. Chemistry is vital for good long term relationships to endure. In addition to having the physical beauty and attraction, touch is paramount, the electricity sparking under the skin. And yet, even more notable is if the person ‘smells’ right -those vital and imposing pheromones that unite the brains and bodies! Then you know you’re on the right track from the beginning.
Okay; attraction, pheromones, sex and romance. The daily, weekly interconnection and cohesive ritual we seek to validate our reasons for being together. Women, oh we desire true romance, poetry, flowers and long hot kisses. Men, they are happy as sin with steamy, ultra hot sex! Okay, now how long do either of these visions last? Or merge? Over the weekend my husband and I had a discussion about this; even he agreed when we were created, this is one place it went awry. Why? Because in the act of ‘making love’ or sex, when a man has a hard-on, you can ask him anything and he’ll say ‘yes’. His brain has literally left the building and the only thing that runs the machine is his other brain. Afterwards he is ready for a nap, deep sleep, a drink. Women, we’re always present during the act, wanting to please. Afterwards we want to talk, snuggle, hear words of sweet love. We get hurt when the desire is not the same. The key is to not take it personally; they are happy to be together, have an orgasm and get on with the next important thing. Women tend to be frustrated with this scenario, however it’s just the difference in chemistry and brain make-up. Our communications break apart here. However if both parties understood the differences, our relationships would make the long haul and the perceived romance would continue.
A major part of any emotional relationship is romance or rather what we view to be romantic moments intertwined with daily life. Ironically the word ‘romance’ comes from medieval narratives or prose of extraordinary adventures and mysterious happenings. Later this evolved into mysterious and idealized love, a love affair, a passionately idealistic attachment. We have held onto this vision and molded into our version and idea of love. You see it portrayed in our movies, TV shows, books. Hot scandalous affairs of passion, romantic liaisons between lovers, hold our attention as we visualize how we too could partake in such wild abandon.
The bigger reality and truth is we can achieve this dynamic, close, and passionate relationship with someone and maintain it through the years through communication, dedication of spirit, and subtle niceties to maintain the foundation and infrastructure of the initial encounter. Both parties have to be willing. Both parties have to speak the truth of what inspires them emotionally, animates them romantically, ignites them sexually. Extending the bedroom rituals into tantric sex is another artistic creative direction for a deeper spiritual union between the individuals.
I invite you to ask yourself what does ‘romance’ mean to you? What definition does it hold? Is it flowers? Chocolate, candlelit dinners, a walk on a deserted beach? My husband while computer dating nixed any woman who wrote she loved long romantic walks on the beach. “Are you kidding me?” he stated. “In the NW, a walk at the beach means high gales, heavy fog, sand in chattering teeth. Romantic: not!” Once again another definite and specific definition of romance. Needless to say, I’ve never suggested long beach walks in WA or OR;)
At our house we took a poll between my parents, husband, and kids one afternoon during the holidays. It was fascinating to discover the different ideals. My dad was quick to comment on sweet candlelight dinners together in front of a fire, my older son’s vision was to share gifts and events. He gave his girlfriend new incredibly gorgeous winter boots for Christmas. He loves the thought of watching her wear them as they play together in the snow. (Ironically his girlfriend’s dad didn’t think he had been romancing his darling daughter well, as he hadn’t taken her out for the expensive candlelight dinner. Again, different visions.) My mom’s definition was similar to my dad’s; they’ve been married for nearly sixty years and have had incredible chemistry. My husband’s idea of romance was spoken with tears in his eyes- –time together sharing our favorite activities; hiking, skiing, water skiing, snow-shoeing, watching a movie by the fire. And of course, sex.
In defining what true romance, emotional connection and spiritual communication means to you and being very clear about it offers you the opportunity to share it with your partner, or spouse, or if you’re not in a relationship, helps you define what it is you’re seeking. Remember you might not be totally on the same page however in describing what it is that’s important to you, the opportunity for the magic to be rekindled, new mysterious adventures started and maintained is ever more present.
For the romantic in all of us.
Cosmic sunshine to you.