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The Color of Romance by Daniel Raphael, Ph.D.

The Color of Romance  by Daniel Raphael, Ph.D.

Romance is to love as color is to flowers.  In the scheme of partnering in loving relationships, romance adds the coloring of our shared appreciation for each other.  What is remarkable is how we feel about ourselves being in a romantic relationship.  And that's where the "color" comes from.  It is in our imagination before we join in an actual romantic partnering, then it becomes real and authentic when it is shared with our beloved in the moments together and apart.

The "color" of romance is an additive to our loving, partnering relationship that is nothing short of remarkable!  It is the zest of life, (le joie de vivre!) being experienced by ourselves, and appreciated by ourselves, as well as our partner. 

Love can exist without romance, and this is the staple ingredient of enduring, committed relationships.  But romance cannot exist without love.  Flowers can exist without color, but they would seen lifeless, dull, and with no seeming living energy.  Romance is the same for beginning, loving relationships.  It seems to be almost essential to what westerners define as a loving relationship. 

Romance, as people in western nations have come to recognize and appreciate, is a relatively new cultural development to enduring, committed relationships.  Romance is a seemingly spontaneous development making its appearance during the Renaissance.  When you think of colorful romantic poetry, we often think of Keats, Yeats, Browning, and many others.  And we think of that ultimate romantic poet who defined its fundamental elements - Sir William Shakespeare. 

Before this era of romantic relationships, enduring, committed relationships were enjoined by economic, political, family, or social need, more often than by romantic desire and fascination. Of these types of loving relationships, which adds the zest for life to relationships between two lovers?  I choose the colorful!  //