A Woman's View of Romance (Part Three)
FamilyLife Today® Radio Transcript
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Creating A More Romantic Marriage
Day 4 of 8
Guest: Barbara Rainey
From the Series: A Woman's View of Romance
Bob: Welcome to FamilyLife Today. Today we're speaking frankly about how a woman views romance.
(Music: "Love and Marriage")
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the broadcast. We are beginning Week Number 2 of our look at Creating a More Romantic Marriage, and I just want to encourage folks, if you missed any of last week's programs, or if you're going to miss any of this week's programs, this is a series that husbands and wives ought to get and listen to together, and then they can talk, they can interact, about what they hear on the tapes.
Dennis: You know, this subject of developing and cultivating romance in a marriage relationship is a discussion that is long overdue among Christian couples, because we ought to have among the most passionate relationships on the planet. Our God created romance in the first place.
Bob: Well, we're going to talk on today's broadcast about how men and women view romance, and we've brought your wife, Barbara, back in the studio with us today. Barbara, welcome back to FamilyLife Today.
Barbara: Thanks, good to be here.
Bob: And one of the things that we want to do is look at research.
Bob: You commissioned that be done at our FamilyLife Marriage Conferences across the country – we had a researcher who talked with women about how they view romance, how they view it primarily, is that right?
Dennis: Actually, this Top 10 list of romantic acts came from both men and women.
Bob: Well, let me go over the list, Barbara. I'm going to go from 10 to 1, and I'll read what people indicated expressed romance, and then I want to know, as a man, and I want to know how I can keep these ideas in front of me and sprinkle them into a relationship as a way to express romance – again, with no hidden agenda, no – not driving for anything. Number 10, hands are romantic; holding hands, particularly, is romantic for a woman. Do you like holding hands with Dennis?
Bob: Why is that romantic for you?
Barbara: I do it because it says, "I want to be close to you, and I like you, and you're my friend, and I want to be next to you." I mean, those are the kinds of things that communicates to me, and that's the reason that I initiate it, and I think that's probably the same for him, too. So I think it's the closeness that it communicates.
Bob: Okay, how about Number 9, which is massaging one another – rubbing the neck. Do you like when Dennis reaches over and rubs the back of your neck? Dennis, massage oftentimes will have a sexual connotation, and some women may pull back from liking massage because they think it's just foreplay.
Barbara: Exactly. I think that's right.
Bob: So if it's non-sexual massage where it's just – "Let me rub your back, and you can fall asleep," then that's okay?
Barbara: Oh, I think so, yeah.
Bob: Number 8 on the list is serving – serving the other person – common courtesies – opening the door, holding a chair out for somebody, doing little acts of sacrifice. Is that romantic for a woman?
Barbara: To me, I don't think of that as being as romantic, if I had to define them, as, say, holding hands but, again, I think it's important to do. I think it says "I am denying myself for you. I am going to serve you," and I think that anytime a husband can serve his wife sacrificially and do something for her, he's communicating to her that he cares about her and that he loves her and she's special, and he wants to make her feel special.
Dennis: Let me make a comment on this next one – number 7 – because this made this spot in the combined list – 75 percent of the men picked this item as number 1 of what was most romantic. So this, again, kind of lets you know the men viewed this substantially heavier and weightier than the women did because, together, it became number 7.
Bob: So men had it at number 1, women –
Barbara: Someone must have had it a lot lower for the average to be seven.
Dennis: It must have been a lot lower.
Bob: And number 7 is a kiss – an unexpected kiss, a nibble on the back of the neck, or just kissing each other.
Dennis: Now, why do you think, Barbara, the women would have ranked that so much differently than the men?
Barbara: Because I think it probably, if the truth be known, they might have felt that he had another motive, and I just wonder if some of the women were feeling suspicious. I think some of these other things might be able to be seen as an individual fact or as an individual gesture –
Bob: – so if he opens the door, she doesn't feel he's up to something, but if he kisses her, she wonders what's goin' on in the back of his mind.
Barbara: She might go, "Okay"—yeah, right – "I wonder what he's thinkin'?"
Dennis: And the rest of this list, really, if you look at it, with the exception of this and the massage – really, are statements of a relationship and women view romance through the eyes of a relationship. They want to be loved, known –
Barbara: – understood –
Dennis: – there ya go –
Barbara: – accepted, valued, appreciated –
Dennis: – she knows the words – why did I even try, huh?
Barbara: Well, you did a good job.
Bob: It just wasn't complete. All right, number 10 was holding hands; number 9, massage; number 8 serving one another, opening doors, common courtesies; number 7, kissing; number 6 was walking. Now, there's a romantic 30 minutes – we went on a walk together – that's romantic for women?
Barbara: Well, it's very relational. I think if you go for a walk, chances are you're going to go for a walk away from daily responsibilities – away from the telephone, away from the television, away from the children, away from work, away from whatever – and it allows you to focus on the relationship without having to sit on a couch and look at each other eye-to-eye and be relational, which is sometimes very threatening.
Dennis: And I think the reason why most men would respond just as you did, Bob, is because of what Barbara just said – it's not sexual. When we think of what's romantic to us, and we really evaluate it, we would not put walking at the top of the list.
Bob: We're going to talk about this next week – but it is interesting, because I hear you saying in this – part of what speaks romance to a woman is "Get me outta here." In the day-to-day of life with all of the kids and with all of the responsibilities – get me away from this for a little while, and that will be so refreshing to me, it will speak volumes. That's at least a part of it, and then – have a relationship with me.
Barbara: I think that's part of it, mm-hm.
Bob: All right, number 5 on the list – something written – written notes or letters or poems or cards or notes on the bathroom mirror or just some written remind of affection – is that romantic?
Barbara: Mm-hm, I think it is. In fact, I found this note, and I don't know how old it was, but Dennis had taped a note in the bathroom, and it said, "Have you found all the little notes around that say how much I love you?" It was just fun to see that and read it again, and I thought, "You know, that's still true," and I don't know what the notes all were, but it was fun to see that.
Bob: As you said that, I was thinking it was years ago – I don't know how many years ago – but one night Mary Ann had gone to bed, she was exhausted, and I sat up, and I wrote a half a dozen of the notes, and I scattered them around the house in places where it might be weeks before she would find them, and one of them was in a recipe folder that she had for chicken dishes, and I just put it in there figuring, you know, it could be six months from now, but she'll find it, it will be a surprise. Well, five, 10 years later, it's still in the same – every time I'm goin' through there, I go –
Dennis: – has she never seen it?
Bob: Oh, she's seen it.
Barbara: She's probably seen it and left it there.
Bob: But she's never thrown it away, and I keep – you know – why don't you throw this thing away? I mean, it's old, it's on old stationery.
All right, let me read through the list here again – number 10, hands; number 9, massage; number 8, serving one another; number 7, kiss; number 6, walking; number 5, something written; number 4, going out on a day – time away –