The Importance of Romance in Relationships
When I was doing a field work as a field laboratory specialist, I had an experience which got me thinking. We were doing a national survey on HIV/AIDS organized by the University of Maryland, USA. It was a household based survey; all selected households had all their members tested — all members including toddlers.
So when we(a team of 10) got to a particular compound and were on a particular household, I was about performing a capillary puncture on a three-month old baby girl when suddenly a boy of about two years or three rushed to the scene and held the baby around her shoulders and gave her a deep long kiss- a breath-taking kiss. The kissing lasted for more than a minute. We had to separate the boy from the little baby. When we finally succeeded in separating them, the little boy had this to say, “She is my wife” We were taken aback.
By Chinenye H. G Ofokansi
This happened in Abia, Eastern Nigeria – in society where such things are seen as taboos.
Growing up, I learnt from my Christian family and church groups how to keep off from all forms of sexual immorality including romance. I learnt how not to indulge in sexual affairs until marriage, but what my Christian home and church groups did not teach me is the importance of romance in male-female adult relationships. It’s an issue most Christian families and churches shy away from talking about or teaching the younger generation.
Up till last month , I had these conflicts in me about whether romance is sin or not in such relationships.
Did God abhor sex before marriage/outside marriage? — YES
Did God abhor romance before marriage — Certainly NO.
What do I mean by romance? Romance here means kissing, pecking, fondling, gentle touches etc. I do not mean going naked for the opposite sex.
One of the reasons we have high rate of sexual immoralities among the youth is the failure of parents/mentors to teach the young ones what they need to know about the opposite sex, what they need to know about training their minds and preparing them for what is to come in the adulthood.
One would quickly object to my view on romance, saying these actions I pointed out above could lead to sex. Yes, they could lead to sex because we have not been trained from our childhood on this, and we have not trained our minds on the limits to what we can do when it comes to romance in relationships.
One would also quickly throw in that romance is solely for married couples. If you read The Songs of Songs of the Holy Bible, you would understand that the man and the woman were not married. They were simply lovers dedicated to their love and relationship.
When a man and a woman are deeply in love with one another, when a man and a woman are committed to each other, romance is one of the ways to express their affection. It shouldn’t be seen as a taboo.
A lady walked into my office and requested to do a pregnancy test. The result was positive and she couldn’t believe it. She said it was just a play with her fiancé. She said it was just once. She said she was very annoyed with herself. She is a staunch Christian who preached abstinence from all forms of sexual immorality including romance. How could it be? Her fiancé is a reverend and they had not got involved physically with each other before this happened.
What actually happened to them?
They couldn’t control the tension because they were not trained on how to do that and the tension( the hormones) has built up over time— the urge was too much and they ended up having sex.
Romance when properly used has a way of easing tension in couples who are in a relationship. Those gentle touches, those kisses and pecks and hugs when utilized well could help you both achieve sexual purity. It takes your mind off sex.
God created us sexual beings and we cannot deny that fact. We should not be more Christian than Christ or more Godly than God. What we need do is to train our minds; and this should be done from childhood.
Now the big question is, when do I introduce romance in my relationship? Do I just kiss anyone, hug anyone passionately? Should I fondle or touch anyone who says “hi” to me?
No, romance are only for people in committed relationships. Romance is only for people who are looking forward to spending their lives together. The little boy said, “She is my wife,” — this is to tell you the boy was looking at having a future with the little baby. The little boy did not say, “She is my girlfriend” So if you don’t see her as your wife, if you don’t see him as your husband, please do not get involved in romance.
Romance helps to create lasting emotional memories for people in a relationship. Romance gives the feeling of acceptance especially for those whose primary love language is “Touch”
I had two experiences, one at a time. I was deeply in love with each of them, but I refrained from all forms of romance including touching. I saw it as sin because that was what I was trained to believe. It happened again and again . I didn’t know about love languages. They withdrew thinking I do not care about them. One of them was plain, he said he felt rejected from my attitudes. But I really do care about them.
I later realized that touching was their primary love language.
It is high time we stopped shying away from discussing these issues in Christian or church groups and other religious groups.
Parents, mentors, priests, pastors all have a role to play in this issue, so that we don’t lose the substance while chasing the shadow.