A recent study by Dalhousie University and University of New Brunswick, both in Canada, has found that “romantic beliefs are associated with greater satisfaction and commitment [levels, in romantic relationships]”. This study further stated that, “romantic beliefs do not appear to foster false or unobtainable expectations for romantic relationships, and the concerns regarding the endorsement of these beliefs may be misplaced.”
City-based psychiatrist and counsellor Dr Riddhish K Maru confirms these findings. “Couples who go on romantic dates, at least once a week, without their children or parents, and share romantic thoughts with each other, are known to be happier and healthier,” he says.
Men and women have different ways of conveying their romantic feelings. Generally, men are perceived to be hardened, whereas the cliché is that women are more emotional and can easily shower their partner with affection. However, the findings of this study apply to both parties, and are not limited to one gender.
The method of showing one’s affection may change according to the stage a relationship is in — if they’re dating, engaged, married or have kids. But the fact that a couple’s romantic beliefs are associated with higher emotional and physical satisfaction stands true at every stage, state experts.
“Understanding and appreciating your partner’s affection is what romance is all about. When there is appreciation, care and love along with the freedom of expression, the bond only gets stronger. It is a positively reinforcing cycle,” says Shyam Mithiya, relationship expert.
Don’t overdo it
1 Too much affection from one partner can make the other feel claustrophobic. More possessiveness results in lesser freedom. Partners should realise that apart from their romantic lives, several other circles, such as your extended family or work circle, also exist. It is important to understand that, at times, an individual can socialise without his or her partner
2 Expectations from each other should be realistic. Expecting only one partner to initiate romance is wrong. Unrealistic goals and expectations can lead to fights and depression. In extreme cases, they can even lead to commitment issues and, in turn, cheating
3 Do not turn romance into a competition. Being jealous or comparing your partner with others will do no good to your relationship
4 “Do not take your partner’s adjusting and compromising attitude that comes out of love, for granted,” says Maru.
MAKE AN EFFORT
Spend more time: Irrespective of where you do it, spending more time with your partner — whether it is cooking together in the kitchen, visiting a shopping mall or going on a weekend getaway — always makes a difference. Helping each other, getting involved in activities the other considers fun, or cultivating common hobbies goes a long way in contributing to togetherness.
Communicate better: Just a simple, ‘How are you?’ can work wonders to relieve the stress between couples. Discussing all kinds of silly matters with each other and laughing together are the simple keys to happiness when it comes to relationships. Also, discuss your issues, arguments or fights, and resolve them on the same day. Make time to peacefully address each other’s weaknesses, and overcome them, as no two human beings are alike or perfect.
Have fun: “Try to be filmi. Surprise your partner by gifting him or her flowers or chocolates. Go on a romantic trip. Keep the passion alive by spicing up your sex life,” says Maru. Mithiya adds, “It is okay to party hard, irrespective of how old you are. Once in a while, it is good to let your hair down.”