Everyday Romance: Stages of Romance

Last week my husband and I were eating out at a favorite restaurant. Beside us, an “upper-middle age” couple sat beside each other in a booth, sharing both a main dish and an entree, and speaking in hushed tones the whole time. When it was time to pay the bill, they split the check, which I found quite amusing and ironic. I couldn’t decide if they were just beginning their romantic journey together or if they’d been together awhile, but it was clear from their body language and the kisses they shared before leaving that they were quite enamored with each other.

Hubby told me later that he was amused at the marked contrast between the couple beside us, and the couple he’d seen leaving while we were eating. The woman was following her husband, her hands full with take-home boxes and the man just walked through the door, not bothering to hold it for her. What interested my husband is that she didn’t react at all – she just caught the door with her foot and kept going, as if it were an everyday occurrence she lived with all the time. Whether or not they have romance at home, it wasn’t evident while they were out that night. Perhaps it was a rough night, or just one of those days, but romance wasn’t on the menu just then for those two, sadly.

I often wonder what people think of my husband and I when they see us out together. There’s the age difference, but since my husband looks younger I doubt most people notice that much. He likes to read the Tidbits papers while we’re waiting for our food, and I sometimes will read upside down while he’s browsing. Often we hold hands across the table, but as we eat, we’re often quiet, eating and observing the other people in the restaurant. I like to think that we’re in that middle stage of romance, where we’re over the anxious, can’t-keep-my-hands-off-you stage but thankfully still romantic enough to hold hands occasionally, open doors for each other, and generally be solicitous of the other person. I realize it sounds a lot like common courtesy, but I think taking care of my husband and in turn having him take care of me, right down to the little things is very romantic.

Have you noticed people in different stages of romance lately? If you’re in a relationship, what stage do you think you’re in?

10 comments on “Everyday Romance: Stages of Romance

  1. Rhoni at CKYBooks

    I agree. Those “small” “common” courtesies aren’t really small, and sadly, not necessarily common. But they ARE important. So often we are nicer to total stranger than to those closest to us.

    I’ve wondered what people think of my hubby & I too. We aren’t, and have never been, really giggly/cuddly/handsy in public and we pick on each other a lot. But we laugh a lot, we talk easily and we respect each other.

  2. Erica

    Hmm. That’s interesting. My hubs and I are definitely beyond the cant-keep-your-hands-off stage… I’m not a hand holder either, but he does open doors for me here and there, he fixes me dinner (as you know) So I’d say we’re in the middle somewhere ;o)

    Great post! Sounds like what you guys does works well!

  3. Cynthia Schuerr

    I love to people watch in restaurants. Couples, especially. You can tell a lot about someone by the way they treat their partner.

  4. SidniM

    I love this post, it is so right on. I also wonder what others think of Mr. M now that we are 13 years in and sometimes just like to sit quietly while we eat. Just being in each other’s company is romantic when you really love someone!

  5. Jamie D.

    I think people can generally pick up on the “vibe” going on in a relationship. It’s normally fairly easy to tell whether a couple is teasing/picking in a loving way (we do that a lot too), or with malice in mind. My in-laws squabble *constantly*…but it’s obviously all in good fun, so it’s fun to watch.

    Other couples ask all the time how hubby and I make marriage look “easy”. We always have the same answer – it’s all about respect.

  6. Jamie D.

    Thanks Erica. You know what’s weird? When we’re sitting, we more often than not are holding hands or touching each other in some small way. But I *hate* holding hands when we’re walking…don’t know if it’s the height difference or what, but it’s physically uncomfortable. I don’t like taking his arm when offered either. LOL

    Sometimes I wish my hubby cooked….

  7. Jamie D.

    Indeed you can, Cynthia. Good for character study too, I’ve always thought…

  8. Jamie D.

    Thanks – glad you stopped in!

    And that’s another good point about relationship “stages”…in early stages, silence can get kind of awkward. Once you’ve been together awhile though, it’s perfectly comfortable and natural. Hubby and I have been married for 5 years now…but we dated for 7 yrs before that, so yeah, we’ve got that “romantic, comfortable silence” down pat.

    And then other times we talk each other’s ears off. LOL

  9. Carol

    I love this post Jamie!

    There was a couple I used to love to watch at the yearly bowling banquet. They were an elderly couple and they always seemed to be so considerate of each other. Watching them dance was truly a pleasure.

  10. Medeia Sharif

    I can’t believe that guy didn’t help with the boxes since he was there and available.

    I love people watching and guessing stages of romance.