From my work in progress at Wattpad...
Romance and Relationships
The next chapter is about romance and relationships, and I am sure it will piss off a lot of hopeful youth, even as the older generations will sigh in resignation of living it, themselves.
Here i the crux of it. Romance does not remain in relationships. In it's place is substituted a system of expectation and criticism.
I wish it were not true; however, my own experience and almost every relationship (if not all) around me validatess its truth. People are hot and heavy at the start. The love being around each other, make the other person their primary focus, and do and say things to please each other...simply to make the other person smile.
Over time, that voluntary desire it exchanged for keeping track of whether the other person had complimented them, noticed their efforts, or done as much as they have done. As it goes on, women go without being noticed for their beauty or given gestures by men, and men go without being noticed for their work and provision. Each begins to feel less romantic toward each other, because they have a growing need that is going unmet, which affects their desire to give to the other person, and it snowballs from there.
Each person does more to try to please the other person, but those efforts only serve to cause separation. This breeds resentment, as each peson starts to feel the other person is spending more time on themselves than their partner. The man feels that the woman is more concerned with herself than his needs and feels unsupported, which makes it difficult for him to acknowledge her beauty. The woman feels the man is more interested in the job than her and resents his gifts.
Unfortunately, I do not think this cycle is able to be broken, and I don't think society disagrees. That is why most marriage or life counselling suggests that each look to satisfy their needs with others. Women are told to go to other women for validation. Men are told to achieve work success for recognition at their employment.
When couples ARE told to say and do the things desired by the others, it is not original....it is forced IN ORDER to get what they want, as an expectation, and we are back to the system of he did/ she did balancing lists that began the whole cycle. Instead of fixing the problem to get romance back in their relationship, the final conclusion is one of two things.... you either settle for rare romantic times and exchanges and turn marriage into a business arrangement, or you leave (or find satisfaction elsewhere).
Again, I WISH it weren't true, but I have concluded from my OWN life experience that romance is something that is present at the beginning of relationships but cannot be expected in later stages of any relationship. However, if you are lucky, you might be able to maintain a FRIENDSHIP with the other person that can last, forever.