It is easy to be romantic in the beginning of relationships where our focus is on the pleasure and the positives. But when the relationship continues, we get annoyed, hurt, frustrated and angry with our partner at times. And we are supposed to be romantic anyway?
Yes – pain is inevitable and pain is not the block to romance. The block to romance happens when we let the pain disconnect us. Our role models (mainly parents and grandparents) were not very good at staying connected when they were experiencing emotional pain towards their intimate partner. The reflex is to “fight or flight;” to either yell or argue one’s point or to withdraw in one way or another. We have not been taught to make the connection stronger than the pain. The problem is that when pain takes over the relationship, we are not able to repair our hurts and then we become make believe enemies; make believe because partners are not true enemies. Partners are just managing their pain by protecting themselves one way or another.
However, if we make our connection stronger than any pain we feel towards our partner, then we can repair the current wound. If you can hold your partner’s hand who just stated that she or he is angry with you, your angry partner will soften. People in emotional pain soften and become more vulnerable when the intimate partner stays in emotional and/or physical contact with him or her. I see this happening in my office every day!
The best response of pain is to stay connected with that person. This is not a time to disconnect; it is the most important time to connect. If this is done on a consistent basis, what happens next- pain is dissolved; feelings of warmth and love take over. When feelings of warmth and love take over, couples can now be romantic. They have repaired the pain and are now free to be loving, compassionate, creative, sensual and playful.
So remember to keep looking at our partner, hold his or her hand and stay curious and interested even when your reflex is to leave or defend. Pain will take its rightful place and just be a mere speed bump on your way to romance and pleasure with your partner.