I was recently on a date where I posed the question “Do you think you are a romantic person?” Over the next few minutes, the topic quickly changed to a different question, “What is Romance?” I feel by nature, women are traditionally more romantic then men. Then again, I feel by nature women get caught up in the idea of “romance” more so then men. Is this a bad thing? Should social media and Hollywood be to blame?
I spent the next day thinking about “What is Romance?” and found myself re-visting a topic that I was introduced to a few years ago. If we look at romance or romantic gestures as acts, they are largely based on the person and their concept of what defines romance or appreciation for their partner. In other words, we put value on these acts based on our own personal perception of romance or love. Enter “The Five Love Languages.”
In 1995, Gary Chapman wrote a book called “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate” . In it, Chapman explained that there are five ways we express love to our partner. These actions or gestures can be seen as romantic, but more often than not, are ways we express what we personally value in a relationship. In other words, rather than looking at words, lavish vacations or dozens of roses, it is the little things that should be closely observed in an effort to understand your partner and their needs.
The above graph breaks down the Five Love Languages. It also shows how to communicate them, actions to take and things to avoid. As I stated earlier, I was introduced to this a few years ago by a guy I was dating at the time. He explained that he found it helpful in understanding his partner and more importantly for his partner to understand him. What one person finds important may hold a different value to another. Knowing your own love language and ultimately your partners, will help answer a lot of questions in your relationship in the areas of romance, love, appreciation etc.
I would say that I am about equal parts three love languages. But if I were to be honest, I am mostly “Quality Time”. For me, I value those special moments with a person above anything else. I always like to mention this concept with a new partner because I feel the sooner you understand what I value, the sooner I can understand the same for you. So the next time you are wondering how to be more romantic or how to add romance to your relationship, instead consider you and your partners love language. You may be surprised that what you have done in the past as a kind gesture, is perhaps the most romantic thing they have ever received.