Romantic love is amazing, exciting and thrilling. It also is not “true love.” Romance novels, movies, and television feed our unrealistic expectations of marriage. Our culture programs women to expect a prince on a white horse. A prince will overwhelm her with love. Can any man live up to this image? Men also have expectations that are impossible to meet.
Experts who have studied marriage say that "romantic love" lasts about two years. The problem is we are brought up to expect it to last forever—and with no effort. During courtship the relationship is fresh and new, and both partners put effort into pleasing and romancing each other. Emotions are high and intense.
After marriage it’s natural to drop the courtship behaviors and to fall into a routine. In addition, as time goes on we learn about each other's flaws and idiosyncrasies and we find out how we differ. These are often things we overlook in the heat and passion of romance.
We also are faced with the day-to-day realities of paying the rent, pursuing careers, washing the dishes, doing the laundry and so forth. Some couples are also faced with crises - illness, job problems, financial troubles—which add to their stresses. With all these pressures there is no way marriage can be as carefree and as intensely passionate as a romance.
However, there are advantages to being married. The comfort and security of a committed relationship is something most of us deeply crave. Although a couple may have less to say to each other than they did before marriage, there can be a quiet companionship between them as they carry on their lives together.
There are some things you can do to rekindle the romance in your marriage. Talk over with your partner the concerns you have. Talk about ways to make the marriage more romantic. Perhaps you need to set aside a special time each evening to talk personally, not about bills or work, but about your feelings, thoughts and dreams. A close relationship takes work. If you make the effort to be romantic, to be more involved the relationship will change. Praying together is one way to connect deeply and personally.
“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans NLT