Romance is one of the ways to sustain a relationship. Its importance cannot be underestimated as it strengthens love between partners.
Being romantic to one’s partner is about expressing love and being intentional about it in a way that is unmistakable. Expressing genuine love can be in diverse forms; paying attention to details, doing small things that matter, gestures, being clingy, telling one’s partner how they mean to one among many other beautiful things. However, the most important thing about being romantic is the intentionality and originality of all of the actions.
On her view about the issue, a graphics designer and wife, Hauwa Sanni, noted that being unromantic was relative, stating that the efforts the unromantic partner put into the relationship mattered a lot.
She stated, “I used to be the unromantic one in my marriage. It was tough because it’s a natural thing, getting mushy all the time does not work for me at all. Growing up, I never got to be that person who does sweet stuff. It sort of pisses me off. While we were still courting, my husband saw this and helped me.”
She noted that because she saw that she needed to be better, she started putting in the effort and things were becoming better.
She noted, “After we got married, I had a personal resolve to start becoming better. I would write love notes and place them in his box which he takes with him to the office. I would stay all by his side when we were at public events and when he saw the efforts, he became even more romantic and I can gladly say that he made me a better person.
“And to be clear, I wasn’t like that when it all started, I’ll always be distant at parties, not extremely distant but not like having his arms over my shoulder. I don’t see those things as important but because I was ready to become better, his intentions were rewarded.”
Sanni noted that coping with an unromantic partner depended on the unromantic partner because it would be biased if one was not willing to match up the energy being exerted by the other party.
On his part, a bank worker, Festus Agu, told Sunday PUNCH that he cannot cope with an unromantic partner.
He said, “How would I invest my all and the person would not return even as little as sending me romantic texts? That’s not something one should accept. Before I got married, I had a courtship that failed because the ladies were not putting in the effort. Being unromantic is something I can’t cope with.”
Agu stated that unromantic partners were like deadwood and only made things harder in homes.
He noted, “When the home is going through a difficult period, romance can be a way of salvaging and saving the home. That little appreciation and affirmation from your partner can keep you going and set you over obstacles. For me, being romantic isn’t about sex, it’s about genuinely showing love to one’s partner.
Agu stated that his wife was unromantic at first, stating that had become better.
Also, a nurse, Biola Mathew, noted that dealing with an unromantic partner was huge, adding that one had to understand that people cannot be the same.
She noted, “I’m a lovey-dovey person and got married to someone who is always glued to work and barely has time to do the things. Even when he has time, he does not. It was hard when we got married because I tried to change him but as time progressed, I got to understand him and we are living in absolute unison.”
Commenting on the issue, a relationship expert and counsellor, Ganiyat Akanbi, noted that many unromantic people do not intentionally become unromantic, stating that certain things made them that way.
She said, “With my experience, I have realised that many people who find themselves in this situation were products of some experiences and that has reshaped their thoughts. Following the natural order, it’s normal to do these little things but many people were victims of certain circumstances.
“However, we have learned that these people can also regain their natural being only when they are open. Yes, a lot of times, we have seen people become better but some people are completely shut out and would continue to be the same.”
She noted that the other partner had to understand the differences to have a lasting relationship and a beautiful home.
She stated, “Many partners nag a lot about what their other half cannot do and most times, compare with another family but I can assure you that it won’t solve the problem. Some persons have become completely shut that one has to be totally softened to bring them back from where they are.
“When you compare your partner with others, nag at all times, the partner, in his/her human-like behaviour would not take you seriously. Why? Because you do not have trust or confidence in them, even if they are the type that could be easily influenced, that would make them harder to break. Partners have to understand these differences and only then would they attain bliss.”
Also dwelling on the issue, a marriage counsellor and relationship expert, Durojayeola Philip, said that humans were generally different.
He said, “I used to have a friend who would always do things effortlessly for other people. When you have events, he would be around a few days before. But I realised I was not like that. The only thing I would do is to help financially.
“So, there was a time he was to bury his father and I got there on Saturday and he got angry with me that why was I not there as early as Thursday because if the situations were different, he would have been days earlier. He got angry and after the burial, he realised that I gave him the most money as support for the burial. He asked why I was always contributing financially to people’s occasions and our other friends explained to him that humans are different and have different ways of communicating their loyalty.”
Philip noted that his situation with his friend mirrored what happens in love, relationships and marriages.
He stated, “We have people that don’t talk. They as well don’t know how to write beautiful words or make fantastic love gestures. But deep down, they are in love and their actions will tell you this. They might not be romantic how you want but the love they have is uncompromising.
“When you say someone is unromantic, it is relative, and it depends on the individual’s definition of being romantic. If someone gives me a flower or writes love notes, I won’t appreciate it because I don’t give it as well. It means nothing to me and that’s not my own definition of being romantic.’’
He urged partners to study themselves to know what the love language of their partner to be able to cope.
He said, “Everyone on earth has a love language, their own mode of being romantic and one needs to understand this then flow along with them. Some people appreciate books. It is their way of being romantic. Another person may just want to sit next to you and watch movies. They don’t like going out. Inasmuch as you understand individual differences, there won’t be problems. Observe your partner’s body language, flow along with it and you will be able to unlock that part of them.
“State of mind sometimes may be the reason someone is being unromantic. I always say that there is no one on earth that is not romantic; it’s just left for one to unlock it. If you study their state of mind, you will be able to identify how they want to be related with.
“The upbringing of your partner also matters. Make sure you understand what your partner has passed through, some people have passed through things and some of the experiences do not allow them to express their love again. If only you know what they went through, you will be able to cope and deal with their situation.’’
He noted that he recently counselled a lady raped by her uncle, continued living with him and couldn’t tell her father. Philip said, “With the experience, how would such a person not feel cold? She told me that her partner complains about her not being romantic but it’s a result of the traumatic experience she had.
“I advised her to open up to the partner because it was becoming too serious. She gets regular flashbacks such that when they want to make love, she gets defensive thinking the partner wants to rape her. This was due to past experience. A partner may want to look into the past experiences and where they are coming from to cope with them.
“Observation is important, no matter how vile one is, he or she will have a soft spot. A partner has to understand this. Being romantic is relative and it differs from person to person.’’
The marriage counsellor added that if a partner’s attention was only focused on his or her definition of romance, there would be problems in the union except the person looked beyond such a preference.