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Keep Dating Alive: Differences Between Love and Romance


differences between love and romance
differences between love and romance

“I know she’s now your wife, but she’ll always be your girlfriend.”

My mentor Phil texted me this when we got back from our honeymoon. The premise behind his words is this: If you keep dating alive, you won’t take the relationship for granted.

Complacency kills chivalry.

complacency kills chivalry

Author Elie Wiesel said, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” If you want to keep love alive, if you want to keep a relationship from becoming stagnant, you simply have to care. Unfortunately, chemistry is generally not long-lasting. Many people give up when it’s gone.

Romance is the sump pump that kicks in when indifference rises.

Let’s discuss the differences between love and romance:

Romance is a feeling, but Love is unconditional

You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’
Now it’s gone…gone…gone…woah

The Righteous Brothers

Research suggests we lose “that lovin’ feelin'” or the passionate feelings of romance at around “18 months to—at best—three years.”

Feelings come and go, but unconditional love stays; it is long lasting and faithful.

Romance is the action when Love is content

Even though romance is feelings based, it’s still an important component of love. Romance keeps love from becoming complacent. We celebrate and prioritize this action hopefully at least once a year…often Valentine’a Day.

February 14 is when guys roll out the red carpet, and many believe this is the hallmark of romance: flowers, dinner reservations, love poems, and chocolate.

I know men who make small gestures a habit. One of my friends consistently gets his wife flowers every single week.

Romance can be self-centered, but Love serves

“The passion of romance is always directed at our own projections, our own expectations, our own fantasies,” Jungian analyst Robert Johnson writes. “It is a love not of another person, but of ourselves.”

Romance caters to needs and expectations. Girls swoon when a guy swoops in and exceeds expectations, and guys go overboard when they meet a girl who goes beyond their wildest dreams.

“I married my best friend.”

These are the words of love because love is a constant companion, even when needs aren’t being met. Love is there to take care of the other when they’re sick, heartbroken, or even angry.

Romance is momentary, but Love is a lifetime.

Romantic love…distinguishes moments and situations within intimate relationships to an individual as contributing to a significant relationship connection.”

On a graph, romance might look like the peaks of the relationship. Love, though, is the constant line, parallel with the x axis or rising after each peak.

Romance includes the thrilling moments, but love is forward-thinking and is in it for the long haul. Romance still contributes to the relationship progression, though.

“…romance is the part that offers adventure and intense emotions while offering the possibility to find the perfect mate. On the other hand, intimacy offers deep communication, friendship, and long lasting sharing.”

Romance is frivolous, but Love is often practical.

Romance makes for movie box office magic, but it’s often responsible for divorce as well. When the chemistry and attraction dry up at times, people often give up on the relationship.  But true love is the commitment and even the discipline that contributes to the relationship survival.

Romance is a part of love, but love can continue without romance. On the other hand, romance won’t last long without love. A good relationship is a healthy place where love and romance coexist.

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