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Romantically Challenged

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

Romance is a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. It is a thermometer, in a sense, of the level that presently exists in a relationship and an outward expression of one’s feelings. Romance is love’s emotion expressed in some manner. And romance stirs the passionate nature that we all have. Therefore, a relationship that is romantically starved is on a slow slide to a cold and chilly existence.

What does one do if expressing your love does not come easy? So, you find yourself fumbling over words or acting awkwardly in an attempt to be romantic. Maybe you are not the affectionate type which makes it hard to be physically expressive, such as being comfortable with holding hands in public. Or, after years of marriage romance is “missing in action!”

My Dad was one of those that didn’t show outward affections. He was not a “hugger”. Many of his generation were like that. As a military man, he fought in World War 2, the Korean War and Vietnam. Known as “The Greatest Generation”, many were private, didn’t talk about their experiences, internalized many things and were not too emotional. I believe that this was a survival mechanism they took on in order to cope.

Possibly it is the case for someone you know, or for someone reading this now, where not being affectionate is due to some past experience that hinders being free to do so.

Many people struggle with shyness, not knowing how to share their feelings. We laugh at comedy movies that play on this thing called being “romantically challenged”. We find the characters cute and humorous. However, in reality, many people do struggle with this issue. And, for them, there is nothing cute about having to deal with it.

When romance appears to dissipate in a relationship, many feel unattractive, invisible, more distant from their mate while some deal with low self-esteem or depression because of it. To compensate it is not uncommon to try too hard. And in doing so come off as animated, insincere or in not being authentic. There’s no question that this presents a roadblock if dating, and in a marriage, it is the curse of death.

So what can someone do to overcome being “romantically challenged”?

The answer to this will vary from person to person. However, breaking through starts with making the decision to try doing just one thing. And, in doing something once, shows you can do something twice. This builds up courage, confidence and the realization you will survive YOU!

Just one thing. Think. What can that one thing be?

Possibly you may consider starting with something that applies a skill you already possess. Something you are comfortable at. This is what Jim Croce did. He was more comfortable as a songwriter writing.

Maybe you have a creative streak. Use it. It may be writing your own song, or poem, a letter, making a card to share your heart. Think of something you can build or make. Do a mixtape of songs that share your thoughts. Send a Singing Telegram from some local service and let them be your voice. An action such as planning a walk through a peaceful park. A picnic for two. Give it some thought.

Being romantic comes in different forms of expression. House full of kids and stacks of laundry she can’t get to? Wait until everyone is asleep at night and do the laundry. Fold it all up and put a note on it that simply says “Done with much love!” Or for him, making it possible for him to have some “guy time”. Is that romantic? Sure it is for the person on the receiving end.

Whatever it is, be sure it is enough for the other person to know that it was something purposefully thought of by you specifically with them in mind. A simple moment, a special gift, a thoughtful act. Find that outlet that will help you express yourself. Do it once and you will be on your way getting past being challenged to the freedom and joy of opening yourself up to the one you love. You will come to discover that the barrier holding you back is no longer. Baby steps lead to bigger steps.

There is great fulfillment in that! And, you will discover the benefit in strengthening your relationship!



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