Why Romance Dies

It’s sad when romance dies. Some couples stay together for entire lifetimes after romance is gone. It can be lost in a short time, or slowly, over a period of years. Some couples have a wonderful fairy-tale romance that lasts a lifetime and others end up living lives of friendly and often boring platonic or friends with benefits relationships that have about as much spark as a worn out zippo lighter.  The saddest part is that it doesn’t have to happen. Ever. Here are some reasons why romance dies. If you recognize any of this in your relationship, take heart. Virtually every relationship has the potential for romance to be revived, and I’m here to help you make that happen. 

Routine: We live by routine. That’s what humans do. We go to work, go to school, pick up kids, make meals, pay bills, watch our favorite TV shows and go to bed, only to get up and do it all over again. On our days off we have chores, housework and laundry, we have yardwork, we have kids’ sports games and practices. Nowhere in this list is there romance, right?  When all of our energy is given over to routines, romance dies. Sometimes the only times we see our partners are 30 minutes in the morning and a couple of distracted hours in the evenings. We might have a standing “date” weekly or twice a week worked into the routine, but is that romantic? No. It’s not spontaneous or exciting at all. It begins to feel just like one of those chores on our to-do list.

The Answer? Shake it up! Do something spontaneous (even if you must plan it), show up with a gift; show up naked and ready to play when your partner is not expecting it. Give your partner romance every time you see them. Whether it’s a love note in a pocket, a whispered flirt on the way out the door, or a text during the lunch hour; you can keep your routine intact and still find time to romance your partner. 

Familiarity: A wise king once said, “There is nothing new under the sun”. Chaucer said “familiarity breeds contempt” but I say familiarity kills romance. When you do everything the same way every time without fire or passion, romance dies.  When you know exactly what to expect from your partner in your daily interactions, in your sex life, and in your conversations, romance fades. 

The Answer? Restore the spark!  Get out! Take your partner places neither of you have ever been before. No doubt there are places within a short distance from home that you have not explored. Have adventures together, make memories. Challenge each other and yourself to do something a little bit scary, exciting and fun. You both used to have dreams and interests outside of your relationship. Why not explore them together. Take class or try a hobby. Join a bowling league or play billiards. Be competitive, have some fun and be unified in trying something unfamiliar together. This may very well spark some romance between you. Fire and passion can lead to some wonderful times. When you see the spark in each other, romance can be rekindled. 

Apathy: Lack of effort is sadly why many romances die.  Why bother to try to be romantic when your partner is not receptive? Maybe they’ve just given up on romance, and you haven’t. Perhaps your partner feels like they’ve won you, you’re together now and there’s no need for all that romantic stuff anymore.  This couldn’t be further from the truth. You and your partner need a healthy daily dose of romance, and should never give up on courting or romancing each other. If you’re not the “romantic type” and you were just trying to win over your partner, it’s not going to be a good feeling for them when they realize you were not being authentic. If you don’t think you’re romantic, you’re right, but I would advise that you get romantic and figure out how pretty soon because when romance is gone and your partner is yearning for some loving attention because they are not getting it from you, your relationship is at great risk. 

The Answer? Start over. Treat your partner the way you did when you first met and were getting together and falling in love. Romance can be authentic and true. It’s simply a way of communicating to your partner that you’re in love with them and don’t want to be with anyone else, are grateful for them in your life, and that you want to stay with them forever. How hard is that? Be kind, be appreciative; tell your partner how you truly feel about them. Show them by doing things that will make their day better. Whether it’s bringing home a pizza so your wife doesn’t have to cook or giving your partner a pass on chores on their day off and treating them to an afternoon out.  Show up with a thoughtful gift, fuel up their vehicle. Pick up their favorite wine and have a movie night or better yet, take your partner out for a weekend getaway and focus all your loving attention on them for that entire trip. Show them in tangible ways how much they mean to you. If you can make your partner smile, tear up, say “Aw” or give you a giant hug and kiss, you’re on the right track. 

It’s never too late to be the romantic person for your partner. The key is to continue to court each other no matter how long you’ve been together. Keep romance alive every day by showing how much you love and esteem this person and appreciate having them in your life. 


About the Author:

Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships. As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channel and by subscription in Stuart's Daily Notes. Stuart is happily married and a devoted father of 2 daughters. His office practice serves the greater Phoenix, Arizona area including the cities of Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa.