What Is Romance?

Is there hope for hopeless romantics?

Ok, first up, I have a confession to make. I’m a hopeless romantic. Yes, I love the poetry, the new relationship energy, and the constant thinking of your love interest in your mind.

Your heart skips a beat when you see them, your stomach has butterflies, and you can feel the rising heat of their skin when you sit nearby them.

We want our current partners to show us that we still matter to them…

It starts innocently enough, a chance encounter, a swiped connection, or an introduction from a friend. You arrange a coffee date or a movie. You’re interested and they are too.

You put on good clothes, groom yourself, and you want to make a good first impression. The date goes well, your sitting side by side, and then the magic happens, you both lean in for a kiss and everything goes BOOM!

Rainbows! Clouds! Happily Ever After! Stars!

I know, I know, I went off the deep end but we all dream of romance whether we’re single or attached. We want a future lover to bring us flowers or share a candlelight dinner together. We want our current partners to show us that we still matter to them, and that goes for women and men.

Yes, we men want romance too and beyond the “show up naked with a beer and box of wings” cliche.

And, as a man, I want long-lasting romance too.

Romance is Universal

I was brought to think that romance was a one-way street. Men gave romance to women to woo them, attract them, make a connection, get them in bed, and then once you execute the “in a relationship” status with her, you can go back to doing what you’re doing.

What if I were to tell you that Romance is Time?

Millions of men think this way and millions of women are conditioned to accept this as the rules of the relationship road.

Bullshit. All societal norms that fuck up our natural selves. Our natural human selves. We all feel. We all want. We all need.

Yes, I get it. Once the fire of a new relationship simmers down and the realities of navigating the world with a new partner manifest, romance can quickly exit the relationship.

What if I were to propose that it doesn’t have to be this way? What if romance becomes more nuanced, different, but just as fulfilling and perhaps even deeper than ever before?

What if I were to tell you that Romance is Time?

Thinking of You!

I’ve written about this before but the most precious thing you can give anyone is your time. Time is not a renewable resource so spending your time (and being in the moment) with a lover or partner is a powerful example of your intent.

Romance is that signal of intent. The other person is asking you with symbolic gestures to see if you would be willing to enter into a deeper connection with them.

Romance equals time. It’s the time you put into place a person into your mind space and then actively work to put yourself into theirs.

“Its not the wind moving or the flag moving, but the mind moving.” — Buddhist proverb

That flower you get from a suitor, is it the flower you really care about or was it the thought behind it?

The flower is merely a representation of you being in their mind space. They spent time thinking about you, you were running around in their head.

Did she bake you cookies and give you a goodie bag with a nice bow on it? She was thinking of you as she tied the bow. Cookies are consumed, but her thoughts of you are forever.

Don’t neglect desire…

Although my partner will deny it, I made her chocolate chip cookies early on during our courtship as a way to “hook” her. It worked!

Nuanced Romance

If you find yourself in a long-term relationship with a partner that you wooed, romance will change.

Note I said it shouldn’t stop, it should continue, but it will be different.

Romance then becomes small gestures of love, appreciation, and even lust.

I wake early in the morning to write and my partner sleeps in. At 7AM every morning when she’s waking I make her a cup of coffee and bring it to her in bed. Sometimes I even do a silly dance when I bring it to her and we laugh, but I always give her a kiss.

I keep her in my mind space and she knows it.

On the flip side, she knows that romance goes both ways. She makes dumplings for us but always saves me a few extra ones, or we share some sweets together. We spend time together, side by side, skin to skin.

I know that she keeps me in her mind space and it makes me feel desired.

If Romance is Time, then Romance over Time is Desire.


We all want to be desired by our partners or future lovers.

Desire keeps Romance going, but it requires effort. If the desire is lost, you can regain it but it requires a lot of effort. If the desire is there, it requires just a bit of effort to keep going.

Desire is like pushing someone on a swing, at first it’s hard to get them going but once their swing away you just need to give them a slight push.

Don’t neglect desire, don’t neglect to keep your partner in your mind space.

Demand Romance

You, as a living breathing sexually charged human being, should demand romance. Period.

Both men and women should demand it and should use it to gauge the seriousness of any relationship.

You should enter into every relationship with romance at the forefront. Granted, not every relationship will last and some are as brief as a make-out session in an NYC bar (that story is for another time), but romance must be present. Desire must be maintained.

Why? Because you’re a fucking human being. Your body and mind are so amazing and there’s nothing like the feeling of being chased, wooed, and knowing someone right now is thinking of you. To be desired is hot as fuck!

We only have so much time on this plane of existence. I want to spend it being desired and romanced by my partner, just as much as she does. After all, what else is there for us but to love and be loved?

I want to thank Yael Wolfe for inspiring this post after reading her I Can’t Do Romance Anymore article.

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