A friend of mine, Luanne, had mentioned that she had not seen her boyfriend (soon to be fiancé, if all turns out well) since he got back from his travels. She mentioned that there would be a “date night”.She made that distinction of not simply hanging out, to distinguish that night’s purpose as a date. I found this…not so much odd, but a little formal. It seemed rather purposeful. She explained that it helps to make it so that things are not taken for granted. I’m not sure about what other people do in their relationships, but I don’t believe I would ever let the romance stagnate in my relationship.

Once you’re in a relationship, you’re no longer gauging each other. You’re learning about each other.

I don’t know if it is my romantic nature or rose colored glasses when it comes to my mate (when I have one that is), but I can’t imagine that my girlfriend would have to remind me that we are dating by stating that we are going out on a date on Saturday night. These things should be natural. What is the sense in having a girlfriend, a romantic partner, if you do not have romantic feelings towards her? If one must be reminded, it truly is a shame, for a true romance borne of the heart is carried in the heart for as long as that love exists. One should not have to remember to think, “I am so in love with her.” An expression of that love and affection should come most instinctively. When one must be reminded, the purity of that love no longer exists. That love has become distilled into a watered down infatuation.Back to “dating” in a relationship. I see going on dates as an opportunity to gauge the romantic possibilities between two parties. These dates, in my opinion, should start casually, perhaps in a coffee shop or something of that nature. Once common ground has been established, and there is a mutual attraction, these dates escalate into something more romantic: fine dining and perhaps a Broadway show, a walk in the park, things of that nature. Once there is enough romantic interest in both parties, they agree to become exclusive. I would imagine that upon entering an exclusive romantic relationship, the attraction,infatuation,and romantic feelings are at an all time high. I don’t suggest that people can maintain that feverish romance forever, but needless to say the feelings of attachment and love are at a particularly high level. I say that traditional “dating” ends there.Once you’re in a relationship, you’re no longer gauging each other. You’re learning about each other. Because you have made the promise to each other to eliminate the threat of competition, the learning process is much clearer and more truthful. Not that there is no longer a need to remain attractive to each other, but it is a different type of attraction. I believe that an exclusive romantic relationship is a wonderful opportunity to learn the truth of a person.

One’s love feeds the other, and it becomes an unending circle, undying and forever nourished.

Moving on. I don’t feel that it should be necessary to specify the need for a so-called date night when you are a couple. If either party is beginning to show signs of stagnation, then perhaps a frank discussion is in order. However, to force a systematic semantic reminder that the night is meant as a romantic evening and not simply time spent together…I feel that it is unfortunate that such things must be done. Especially when marriage has been mentioned, a couple with such intentions should have reached a state of equilibrium and understanding.

I can’t imagine myself being with a girl for any length of time if I stopped having romantic feelings for her. I certainly would express my feelings in a variety of ways, and I would hope that she would do the same. Because I am not one to take things for granted, it may be in my nature to express my gratitude and other positive emotions more frequently than others.

Love is a tricky thing…but i think the most beautiful kind of love is one where both the man and woman have an eternal love for each other, one that will last the test of time and the inevitable struggles of the difficulties that emerge in life. One’s love feeds the other, and it becomes an unending circle, undying and forever nourished. Perhaps one day, I will be so fortunate.