I was watching this movie the other day where a man intends to take his love interest out for a night on the town, and of course leaves the proverbial red dress on the bed for her to wear. I’ve always been cynical, and liked to think that I was beyond all the superficialities of romance. But after being happily married for a year or so, the complacency set in, and I realized that I did yearn for romance, real romance – spontaneity, imagination, impulsiveness, in other words an effort. I know this doesn’t come naturally to everyone, I’m sure my husband doesn’t come home and think, “Ooh, it would be really nice to light some candles, or sprinkle some rose petals on the bed.” And whenever I try to do something romantic, I almost feel as though the effort is wasted, because nine times out of ten, he won’t even notice.
What bothers me most is the feeling that my husband isn’t present, and it affects his ability to be romantic. If we go out, and there’s a TV on, it distracts his eye. If a friend calls, he has to answer his cell phone. Even when I just try to look in his eyes, his gaze is always darting around, almost as though he’s avoiding me. There’s a certain level of agitated discomfort, as though he’s eager to rush through everything, including romance. There were times in the beginning of our relationship that were romantic, when we were both wholly present in the passion of the moment, and it felt like an affirmation of life to be with him. But now the initial thrill of me is gone, I am no longer new, and I no longer excite him. Whenever I try to make my husband devote a night to being with me, he just gets even more restless, or he gets tired, I guess from lack of stimulus, and just falls asleep. It doesn’t occur to him to do something romantic, or be tender with me. It makes me feel unappreciated, like he’s saving his energy for something more important than me.