A few days ago my wife gave me a harsh gut check with some chilling words. We were having a conversation where she said, “you’re not as romantic as you used to be.” I was quick to respond with, “well when I try to be you don’t respond how I think you should,” and then I finally said, “you’re right I guess I’m not.” I’ve been thinking through the brief interaction, and I have come to a few conclusions.
I realized what I thought was romantic and loving didn’t feel the same way to her. That led me to having a great conversation with her about how to be romantic to her. I tell you the simplest things I overlooked were the ones she has been craving. I thought it would be helpful to write out a simple plan to be romantic towards your spouse as I work through this myself.
This isn’t a step by step guide that will end with sexual interactions, but this is a thought out process of how to possibly grow your marriage through loving your spouse better!
The first thing I had to do was get back to the basics. I started studying my wife more to try to understand her needs, likes, and dislikes a little better. I want to be an expert in knowing my spouse, but that doesn’t come with half-hearted attempts doing “special” things trying to get her to return the favor. I simply asked my wife what being romantic meant to her then I sat back and listened. I think your wife wants to tell you how to specifically love her, but you have to be willing to intentionally listen to her heart.
Take time to communicate with your wife about ways you can make her feel as you love her deeply. Every woman’s response will be different, and I’m thankful God made every last one of us unique. If you honestly want to know and love your spouse better then you will take the time needed to make this happen. As the old saying goes you will make time for the things you love. If you know more stats about your favorite team or player than important things you now about your spouse that's a huge problem!
After studying your spouse and communicating with her it’s time to create a plan. It may be helpful to write out ways you can be romantic towards your spouse. The key is you should never stop dating your wife, and finding new ways to please her with your actions. You can do this in very simple ways, so don’t make it extremely difficult.
For example if your spouse loves dancing, and you haven’t been dancing in a long time spring into action. You can take dance lessons together over a few weeks, you can surprise her with a trip to a tasteful venue to dance the night away, or you can simply turn your bedroom into a candle lit dance floor! Whatever you do take some time to be thoughtful into planning things she will enjoy.
There is absoultely no point in partaking in the previous steps if you do not plan to follow through. Ephesians 5:28-30 puts it this way "28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.” Imagine your spouse asking you what you would like for dinner then you come home to the aroma of nothing, and her just sitting around watching tv with no plans to cook at all. Your thought may be, “why even ask me in the first place?” In the same way don’t get your wife’s hopes high to fail her no matter how unintentional or seemingly harmless it may be to you.
As soon as my wife expressed her feelings of my not being romantic I sprung into action. The very next day I made her a printout apologizing and thanking her, taped it to the front door, and when she came in from work it was the first thing she saw! She came to our bedroom, startled me with a nice hug and kiss, and expressed her love for me. Do I expect this reaction or better every time? Yes, yes I do but the reality is it probably won’t be this way every time, and I’m okay with that.
What was my wife really saying to me in saying I'm not as romantic as I used to be? With her not feeling I was being romantic was a nice way of saying I don’t feel you’re loving me well. I want to purposefully love my spouse well, and I pray you want the same for your spouse. Now get out there and make it happen!
Grace and Peace,