True Romance in 21st Century Life

It’s Valentine’s week and women love romance. You only have to peruse best-sellers on Amazon to see the evidence. Considering that about 70% of books published don’t make a profit, publishers are very discerning about what they invest in…and romantic fiction is still thriving. The same is true for movies having a strong romantic component.

There is such an emotional connection as we follow a story of people finding their way to each other and ending up in a life-long love affair. Think of The Notebook. A young couple so obviously meant to be together, but complications break them up until they find their way back. We see the passion of youth and infatuation, the grief of separation and the abiding spirit of honest, selfless commitment. Even the painful parts are sweet and lovely.

Unfortunately life doesn’t typically follow the story line of a novel or the scripting of a movie. While real women have romantic relationships and marriages that likely include the stages of blind adoration, a smidge of discord and (hopefully) long-term commitment, there is also life outside the frame of the screen.

We battle our self-image issues, strive to stay fit and attractive, seek to find relevance, worry about our children, care for ill or aging loved ones, squeak out financial provision…and for most- all the while deeply desiring the absolute love of one man. We want him to tell us we’re beautiful…and make us believe he really thinks so. We want him to point out the ways we are significant, to reassure us about our children, to partner with us as we care for others and to work as hard as we do to provide. That’s romantic contentment.

That’s the way we’re wired and it’s no mistake because all those things are according to God’s model for romance and marriage. But in order to achieve this picture-perfect design, there is one major requirement: Two people who are willing to hold up their end of the equation. Many women don’t get that. They want the fabulous leading man but don’t see that instead of being the leading lady, they’re the lazy, sarcastic, self-absorbed side-kick. Or maybe they have good hearts but aren’t really putting in the time and energy it takes to keep their end of the teeter-totter off the ground.

We can’t expect to be regarded as a princess if we act like a commoner. As daughters of the King, our first priority should be to make sure our lives reflect the character of our Father. If so, we’re worthy of (and will attract) a man who wants to treat us accordingly.

Perhaps you are holding up your end but the guy at the other end is slacking. You’re the living definition of a wonderful woman but he takes you for granted, doesn’t help out and seldom seems to offer praise or compliments. If you’re not married to him, think about losing the dead weight and focusing on becoming the best you can be, trusting God to intersect your path with the right man as you walk on. If you are married, well–I suggest you touch base with a good counselor or coach (like me) to help you find equilibrium in your relationship, then perhaps the romance will emerge. Consider reading Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas and The Man Whisperer by Rick Johnson.

Whether you’re single or in a committed relationship do you feel that you’re lacking romance? Why is it important? What can you do today to add a little pizzazz to your life? Please share opinions and pass this post on to encourage others.

Diane Markins

  • Great post, Diane. It’s so easy to consider the other person as the one at fault, or the one who needs improvement, rather than the woman we gaze upon in the mirror each day. I remember a counselor once telling me, “You’re not responsible for the actions of others, but you ARE responsible for your own actions.” Indeed. Let’s encourage each other to make changes in our own thoughts and behavior and allow God to do His work in our relationships!

  • Likewise, men get harped on about how women over the past have been treated- in class at my college this was brought up as we covered Feminism in Communication Theory- I pointed out that men opening doors and loving their girl friends/wives shouldnt feel they ought to- they should look forward to wanting to and carrying it out. Love is inherently wanting and acting upon the absolute best for someone regardless of what you desire. It simply makes sense that men would do the same for the one they love- in both the little things- and the big things.

  • Another thought-provoking blog post, Diane. The thing is: rewarding relationships don’t just happen automatically. It takes work, authentic sharing and of course, 2 sides of the love coin: the giving-patient side and the just/strong side. Hard stuff sometimes.

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  • I love your brand, Diana. I like the post too, but your brand really caught my eye. 🙂 Mine was pinned on me by an ACFW friend. How did you come by yours? It’s good and definitely not one you’d ignore.

  • Great post, Diane! My dh and I married before we were Christians. It’s a learning curve to be the husband and wife we were meant to be in the Lord. Married 24 yrs this month.