We’ve all felt it. The flutter in the chest, the butterflies, the feeling of possibility and a new connection with another person.
For some of us, as we age, that flutter feeling becomes less automatic than it may have been in our 20s. This can happen because we’ve been in a partnership for years, or because we’re so comfortable and happy with our single selves that it takes a lot for someone else to spark us up!
What’s interesting is we become “more” as we age. We’re more confident than ever. We’re more sure of ourselves. We have more wisdom. We have more intelligence, more humor and more experience in handling life. We know who we are and what we want. All that makes us more attractive.
But sometimes, being “more” means it takes more for someone to really blow our minds!
Personally, I think “romance” is a little overemphasized in the media. It’s not the end-all and be-all in terms of human connection. (I also like intimacy, commitment and independence). BUT! It’s a wonderful energizer. It’s something that can really charge us up and give us a little boost of excitement and joy.
Romance helps us reconnect to the truth that there are always new possibilities, no matter how long we’ve lived.
The great thing is, romance isn’t hard to access—it just needs a little cultivation. Here are a few ways I’ve found are great for sparking it up…
Don’t expect it to just “happen.”
In my unscientific opinion, the myth that romance should just “happen” is its number one killer.
We’re raised with this idea—that if romance is real, it will occur totally magically and spontaneously. And that if we try to make it happen on purpose, it’s either fake, or it’s forced, or we’re smothering something “natural.”
Now, many of us have experienced the feeling of romance occurring spontaneously—and that’s terrific. But it doesn’t have to show up that way to be real.
Romance is about discovering what’s new. Often, once we’ve been on the planet for a while, and we have rich, full lives, committed friendships and relationships and people we know deeply, that sense of discovery doesn’t happen unless we cultivate it.
The good news? It’s really easy to cultivate it. We simply need to be open to new things.
So try new things—on purpose!
I’m a big believer that “romance” is an experience in the wonder of discovery.
It’s the excitement of possibility through connection. If you look at it that way, “romance” becomes really easy to cultivate because there are always new, exciting things to do and try. We just have to carve out time to do them and find someone great to do them with.
It’s also worth noting that “romance” doesn’t even need to occur in the context of an intimate relationship. I’ve had incredible adventures with dear girlfriends, with whom I felt deeply connected, that felt just as intoxicating as any “date!”
So whether you’re in a committed partnership, you’re dating or you’re with wonderful friends, you can intentionally spark your sense of wonder by doing exciting new things.
When all else fails, travel.
There’s nothing like travel to shake us out of our habitual patterns, take us on a ride and give us a totally new lens on the world.
Travel is one of the most reliable ways to tap into a sense of wonder and novelty. And you don’t have to hop a plane to Italy (though that’s pretty fabulous, if you can swing it).
You just have to go somewhere new that’s also appealing and exciting to you. Most of us have new places within a few hours’ drive; so, pull out a map and start exploring!
How do you keep the romance and wonder alive? Let us know in the comments!