Receive LOVE in your mailbox

Try our weekly newsletter with amazing tips to bring and retain love in your life

Why you need to dump romance to have a happy marriage

When I was sixteen, I was waiting for a dashing, charming suitor to sweep me off my feet with a grand gesture of ‘love’ and carry me on horseback to a beautiful land of love- where it rained kisses, where trees bore heart-shaped fruits and birds sang of our tale of love. In short, love was ‘romantic’ and all-consuming.

At twenty-five, that ‘shiny veneer’ of ‘romance’ that (rightfully?) belongs to fairy-tales, books, and movies has worn off, and love, in its tattered and worn out form, is still beautiful. And more importantly, I am HAPPY.

Suggested read: Most romantic lines from literature

You know why? Because the former is a picture painted by a li’l girl’s idealistic imagination and the latter the reality of a woman’s heart-food.

couple on a beach

Image source: Shutterstock

Happiness is not a function of sweeping strokes of ‘romance.’ It is a summation of all the tiny moments that are part of the several unglamorous folds of the wrapping paper of the heart-shaped package that you’d wanted when you were sixteen. It is not frilly, gorgeous ribbons, glittery heart confetti, and li’l love notes. It is the ordinary contents of the extraordinary package that cannot be explored without having to tear through the sparkly covering.

And when you do, you might not find the dashing, charming suitor who’d sweep you off your feet but rather a pointed, jagged personality who’d be cooking dinner at home for you whilst you are out shopping for those taffeta dresses for your sixteen-year old’s prom-night!! 😉

Suggested read: Reel to real life Hollywood romances

And while my sixteen-year-old self might frown at finding this sweet, kind, and thoughtful partner, I know my twenty-five-year-old present person is smiling a sorry smile for the young duped dudette!

What I am getting at is this – a marriage isn’t about ROMANCE and no, I am not denouncing romance. All I am saying is we’ve grown up with the wrong definition of romance. And we can definitely place the blame on books, movies, and to a certain extent, our own idealistic imagination.

wedding ceremony (2)

Image source: Shutterstock

Marriage, in reality, is not about your honeymoon in Greece, it is about the third day of the thirtieth vacation you take together; it is not about celebrating the day you move in to your new home but about having dinner in that house for the 5876th time – happily!! And that sure takes more than butterflies in the stomach, furtive glances, kisses in the rain, and candle-light dinners!

It needs two ‘partners’ – in every sense of the word.

Two partners who can look beyond the deceptive and dangerous allure of ‘romance’ and live their 20,000 forgettable Fridays, happily.

And here’s how you make that possible:

1. With an EPIC Friendship

This is the foremost necessity for a ‘happy’ marriage. Sometimes, the time spent with people who mean a lot to you can gradually fizzle to an obligation. And you are the only person who can ensure that does not happen with a person you’d spend 20,000 Fridays with. The checklist is pretty simple for a partner who is not just a friend, but someone who can make the ‘journeying’ as enjoyable as possible:

couple outdoors (2)

Image source: Shutterstock

  • A ‘click’ with humor – Coz you don’t want to ‘fake laugh’ all your life, do you?
  • Fun – Coz not all long drives, airport trips, family picnics, and house errands will be ‘fun.’ So, you’d need someone who can extricate the ‘fun’ from the ‘fun-not-so-much’ situations.
  • Mutual respect – If you do not respect someone’s mind and the way they think, they’ll never double up as a partner for you. You’d never be able to share your life’s yin-yang aspects with them as you’d not care much about what they would have to offer.
  • Common ground – You don’t have to match perfectly. But a decent number of common interests, habits, and hobbies shall make a few of those ‘forgettable Fridays’ friggin’ awesome. And the rest would still be friendly and fun! J

2. By building that feeling of ‘home’

Marriage is a commitment. And you’d rather not subject yourself to a commitment that causes you a feeling of ‘perpetual discomfort.’ For you to spend 95% of your time with someone, it is necessary that you feel ‘at home’ with them. You need to be completely yourself with them and that takes a few inevitable ingredients:

couple in each other's arms

Image source: Shutterstock

  • Trust – You cannot feel at home with someone unless you trust the person and get the same back. You never feel the need to keep secrets in the relationship and that is how you build and sustain those 50 years of togetherness! After all, worrying about hiding something for fifty years isn’t great fun!

Suggested read: How to identify a healthy relationship?

  •  Easy and unhindered interaction – Talking to your partner should come as naturally as breathing. Easy conversations are the most invigorating and never seem to bore you. This keeps the relationship on healthy ground. If there is hesitation, awkward silence or a forced communication occurring, it wouldn’t be long before you exhaust all your ‘patience’ in the process.

couple eating ice cream

Image source: Shutterstock

  • Positivity – A ‘vibe’ that you’d be around forever can only be of this kind. Negative vibes wouldn’t be able to sustain and hold the marriage for long. If the number of fights you have > the number of times you have healthy, positive interactions, you’re likely heading down a downward spiral of a failing marriage.
  • Accepting the imperfections – All relationships are flawed and people more so. Accepting those flaws is part and parcel of the package you chose to accept (with or without the sparkly packaging, remember). This does not imply that self-improvement can be thrown out the window, only that constant criticism and reprimanding can only add to the stifling sense of entrapment. One needs to remember that the flaws are part of the ‘choice’ you consciously made to live a ‘forever’ with.

Suggested read: 7 simple steps to communicate effectively with your partner

3. By making the ‘work’ easy

A marriage is ‘hard work.’ Expecting a marriage to work out without giving it its due is like expecting to grow in a career without putting in any effort. One has to put in lots of hard work towards maintaining a successful, healthy, and happy relationship. It is akin to maintaining a beautiful garden. The beauty is evident to any onlooker, but only the gardener knows what went into achieving it. Both partners have to work hard at working out all the tiffs and differences. A differing level of effort than that of your partner might cause rough patches. Communication is not to be ruled out. The degree of pesky exchanges and the interims at which they occur is being called into question. While men need to address their women’s need for such talk, women need to pick opportune moments for the exchange. The need for reassurance and the necessity of talk has to be gauged by both parties and then addressed accordingly.

couple disagreement (9)

Image source: Shutterstock

Growing into a pattern of unhealthy fighting and unequal power dynamic is to be avoided at all costs. And that is precisely where effective communication and the ability to understand your partner’s needs comes in handy. Because those pretty flowers that fill your married life with their irresistible fragrance aren’t going to grow by themselves. All we are asking is to learn to enjoy getting your hands soiled and allowing your ‘partner’ to tuck away that playful lock of hair that keeps falling on your forehead while you’re at it, and he’s making a steaming cup of coffee for you to share!

Suggested read: Top 10 reasons why married couples fight

I hope you get why ‘romance,’ as we know it, is worthy of being thrown into the trash, because more often than not, the land to which a real ‘Prince Charming’ shall take you will be one where you’d both be tilling, shoveling manure, sowing the seeds, and harvesting, whilst stopping at intervals to admire what you’re building together. That is the real deal, ROMANCE in its naked simplicity. Of course, a song at sunset and kisses can always be chipped in! 😉 J

Featured image source: Shutterstock

Article Name
Why romance is not essential for a happy marriage
Seems that people have deluded themselves with rose-tinted glasses of romance. Here's why you need to dump romance to have a happy marriage.
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."