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What Romance Is Like After 10 Years Of Marriage

What Romance Is Like After 10 Years Of Marriage

Falling in love can be a wonderful experience. When a relationship is new, it’s full of the kind of romance you see in movies, complete with flowers, love letters, and promises to be together forever. It isn’t always this way, though.

Maybe you’ve started to see a difference in your own relationship. Maybe the way you used to be together has changed and you’re wondering where the romance has gone. Don’t worry or stress, your relationship isn’t burning out or ending. In fact, it’s getting stronger. The romance is still there, it’s always there. The only thing that’s changed is the meaning. Romance changes the longer you’re in a relationship.

The Nature of Romance

Advice columnist and author Heather Havrilesky best explains the evolution of romance when she wrote about her own experience with romance after 10 years of marriage —  What Romance Really Means After 10 Years of Marriage. In a new relationship, you’re still looking for proof that the other person loves you and the other person is still trying to prove their love. This takes the form of classic romance when you want to shout from the rooftops, “I’m in love!” for all the world to hear.

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“After a decade of marriage, if things go well, you don’t need any more proof. What you have instead — and what I would argue is the most deeply romantic thing of all — is this palpable, reassuring sense that it’s okay to be a human being.”

After 10 years of marriage, or in any long-term relationship, romance is no longer about proving anything. You already know without a doubt that the other person loves you. Instead, romance becomes the confidence that you can be human and your partner will not abandon you.

Havrilesky talks about how she got sick one night with dysentery. On her way to the bathroom, she passed out and broke her ribs on the side of the bathtub. This moment, of course, led to a much larger mess in the bathroom. Her husband of 10 years came to her aid, took care of her, and took care of the not-so-pleasant situation. His actions in this stressful moment, one of caring and void of complaint, is her definition of romance.

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You see, in a long-term relationship, you forego the romance of morning text messages and constant kisses. These things are no longer necessary. You have something much more valuable. You have comfort, grace, and a love without judgment. You have the freedom to be who you are, to have bad days, and to make mistakes without your partner being angry with you or making you feel bad. True romance.

The Evolution of Romance

In her article, Havrilesky goes on to talk about how romance is “survival” and “survival is ugly”. The sad reality of a marriage or committed relationship is that one person will die before the other. The romance shared between partners guarantees that one person will be there for the end-of-life moment. “You are both mortal and you’re both surviving, together, and you’re in this to the very end.”

Your partner will sit beside you, hold your hand, and tell you they love you while signing papers, listening to doctors, and paying for treatment. Doesn’t sound romantic? After a lifetime together, it is the definition of romance.

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Romance is finding the person that you can get through life with. All of life. Not just the pretty parts like walking through the park, taking a Caribbean vacation, or enjoying dinners in nice restaurants. It is putting your heads together and taking on whatever life throws your way, be that illness, children, or unemployment. All of these mundane moments actually become exciting and romantic, strengthening your relationship and your love.

True Romance

Havrilesky further describes true romance as something that develops when,

“Two deluded, lazy people face a bewildering sea of filth and blood and gore together, but they make it through somehow, some way, without losing their minds completely.”

She says it is about realizing that neither of you are immortal, but it doesn’t matter because you’re in this life thing together until the very end. Her point with all of this, and what you should remember, is that marriage doesn’t lose its romance over the years. Don’t be tricked into believing that true romance is in questioning another person’s love for you or in worrying that you might lose that love.

True romance is never doubting the love between you, of laughing at life’s difficulties, and knowing that you two will survive together.

More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on October 17, 2019

How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

How to Spend More Quality Time with Your Partner

You see your partner every single day. They are the first person you talk to in the morning and the last person you kiss goodnight.

But does seeing each other day in and day out equal a healthy relationship? Not necessarily.

Spending quality time with your partner is the best way to ensure your relationship stays healthy and strong. This means going above and beyond sitting together while you watch Netflix or going out for the occasional dinner. You deserve more from your relationship – and so does your spouse!

What does quality time mean? It means spending time with your spouse without interruption. It’s a chance for you to come together and talk. Communication will build emotional intimacy and trust.

Quality time is also about expressing love in a physical way. Not sex, necessarily (but that’s great, too!) but through hand-holding, cuddling, caressing, and tickling. Studies show that these displays of affection will boost partner satisfaction.[1]

So how do you spend quality time with your partner? Here are 13 relationship tips on making the most out of your time with your partner.

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1. Recognize the Signs

If you want a healthy relationship, you have to learn how to recognize the signs that you need to spend more quality time together.

Some telltale signs include:

  • You’re always on your phones.
  • You value friendships or hobbies over quality time with your spouse.
  • You aren’t together during important events.
  • You are arguing more often or lack connection.
  • You don’t make plans or date nights.
  • You’re not happy.

If you are experiencing any of these relationship symptoms, know that quality time together can reverse the negative effects of the signs above.

2. Try New Things Together

Have you ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument or speak another language? How about skydive or ballroom dance?

Instead of viewing these as solo hobbies and interests, why not involve your partner?

Trying new activities together builds healthy relationships because it encourages spouses to rely on one another for emotional and physical support.

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Shared hobbies also promote marital friendship, and the Journal of Happiness Studies found that marital satisfaction was twice as high for couples who viewed each other as best friends.[2]

3. Schedule in Tech-Free Time

Your phone is a great way to listen to music, watch videos, and keep up-to-date with friends and family. But is your phone good for your relationship?

Many couples phone snub, or ‘phub’, one another. Studies show that phubbing can lower relationship satisfaction and increase one’s chances of depression.[3]

Reduce those chances by removing distractions when spending quality time together and showing your partner they have your full attention.

4. Hit the Gym as a Couple

One way you can spend more time together as a couple is by becoming workout partners. Studies show that couples are more likely to stay with their exercise routine if they work out together.[4] Couples also work out harder than they would solo. One study found that 95 percent of couples who work out together maintained weight loss compares to the 66 percent of singles who did.[5]

Join a gym, do at-home couples’ workouts, try couples yoga, hit the hiking trails, or get your bikes out. No matter which way you choose to exercise, these healthy activities can promote a healthy relationship.

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5. Cook Meals Together

Pop open a bottle of wine or put some romantic music on while you get busy – in the kitchen, of course!

One of the best relationship tips for spending quality time together when you both have busy schedules is to cook meals together.[6]

Spice things up and try and prepare a four-course meal or a fancy French dish together. Not only is this a fun way to spend your time together, but it also promotes teamwork.

If all goes well, you’ll have a romantic date night meal at home that you prepared with your four hands. And if the food didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped, you are guaranteed to have a laugh and create new memories together.

6. Have a Regular Date Night

Couples experience a greater sense of happiness and less stress when they are spending quality time together.[7] One of the biggest relationship tips for a healthy partnership is to include a date night in your weekly routine.

The National Marriage Project found that having a weekly date night can make your relationship seem more exciting and helps prevent relationship boredom.[8] It also lowers the probability of divorce, improves your sex life, and increases healthy communication.

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Some great ideas for what to do on your date night include:

  • Have a movie marathon – Gather up your favorite flicks and cuddle up on the couch.
  • Play games together – Cards, board games, video games, and other creative outlets are a fun way to spend quality time together.
  • Recreate your first date – Go back to that restaurant and order the same meal you did when you first got together. You can spice up your evening by pretending you’re strangers meeting for the first time and see how sexy the night gets.
  • Plan a weekend getaway – There’s nothing better than traveling with the one you love.
  • Dinner and a movie – A classic!
  • Try a new restaurant – Make it your mission to rate and try all of the Mexican restaurants/Irish pubs/Italian trattorias in your area.
  • Have a long sex session – Intimacy promotes the release of the oxytocin hormone which is responsible for a myriad of great feelings.[9]

Here’re even more date night ideas for your reference: 50 Unique and Really Fun Date Ideas for Couples

Final Thoughts

The benefits of spending quality time together are endless. Here are just some of the ways it can contribute to a healthy relationship:

  • Improves emotional and physical intimacy
  • Lowers divorce rates
  • Improves communication
  • Reduces marital boredom
  • Bonds couples closer
  • Improves friendship
  • Boosts health
  • Reduces stress

These are all excellent reasons to start making date night a regular part of your week.

It’s easy to have a healthy relationship when you set aside dedicated time to share with your spouse. Try new things together, make your spouse your workout buddy, and look for innovative ways to be close and connected.

These relationship tips will bring great benefits to your marriage.

Featured photo credit: Allen Taylor via unsplash.com

Reference

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