Why the draw towards romance?

I received the following question a couple weeks back from a reader named Fellow:

“Why does everyone feel this massive pull towards “romance” and a passionate, vibrant, life-bringing friendship…we all long for that…when we know it doesn’t exist.”

What a question!

Call me a hopeful romantic, but I believe such relationships do exist Fellow! The desire and pull that we have to find a “passionate, vibrant, life-bringing friendship,” as you described it, is evidence to me of that. How else could our hearts whisper to us of this yearning unless it was rooted in truth, unless it spoke to something greater, something that could actually be realized?

We may have trouble seeing it in the relationships around us, or struggle to find it ourselves, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

We hear songs, read poems, and watch movies that all strive to capture this romance, this unique friendship that seems so elusive. Would we be as intent in our pursuit if we didn’t first have the desire? Or would we settle comfortably into whatever life brought our way, never pushing ourselves to seek after and work towards more?

Fellow, you wonder why we have such a draw to romance and this vibrant relationship.

I believe it’s because we were all created for intimacy, to know and be known by those around us.

For many of us, that finds its fulfillment in a committed relationship such as marriage. There are others who don’t ever get married, finding the emotional intimacy they desire in their friendships with those of the opposite or same sex. They do not have the romance and the physical intimacy but they are still finding and enjoying vibrant friendships that fill their life and spur them on.

As you are searching, yearning, and waiting for a relationship that provides both the romance and the emotional intimacy you crave, don’t take for granted the friendships you currently have. They are a great opportunity to learn how to be open, how to work through conflicts that arise, and serve as a mirror of where we have work to do. When you find that relationship that is what you described, you’ll have already built a foundation upon which to build a strong, vibrant, and successful romantic relationship.

How can we be intentional in pursuing such relationships?

Photo courtesy of h.koppdelaney via creative commons.

3 thoughts on “Why the draw towards romance?

  1. Thank you. That is encouraging to me and makes me want to save myself for a realistic and wonderful romantic relationship some day.

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  2. How can we be intentional in pursuing such relationships? Don’t save the DTR (define the relationship) talks for romantic interests. Have DTR talks with good same-gender friends where you say, “Hey, I’d like to take our relationship to the next level – not physically or sexually, but emotionally, spiritually and relationally. I need someone to walk me through past pain or help me with an addiction or just plain old pray for me.” Just like romantic relationships not everyone is going to say “yes.” In fact, I only have these talks with very few people who’ve I’ve gotten to know pretty well already, but speaking as a guy who’s been EXTREMELY joyfully married for almost 20 years, I STILL NEED DEEP FRIENDSHIPS WITH GUYS! My friend Nate Larkin (http://samsonsociety.com/) says we all have same-sex needs. They just aren’t sexual. Thanks for the GREAT question, Joanna. I’m looking forward to others’ answers.

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