Romance never appealed to me.
Until I realized what romance really is.
I have never craved the dimly lit setting of soft music, candles, and bubble baths (unless I’m alone). The traditional romantic settings have mostly felt forced to me. I really don’t need my partner to hand-feed me chocolates while staring deeply into my eyes – I’d much rather shove them in my own mouth while you look away and ignore the caramel stuck in my teeth. I don’t swoon over rose petals on the bed or horse drawn carriages. I’m more likely to swoon seeing an expensive bottle of vodka and a fresh jar of coconut oil in my bed.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy romantic gestures.
I realize I have been enjoying romantic gestures for the past 15 years. My relationship started because of romance. Well, actually it started because of the intoxicating effects of Captain Morgans and Vegas, but what came later was actually very romantic. After only a couple of months of dating and a trip to Sin City, I was nervous as fuck to upend my kinda-boyfriend’s life with the news of an unplanned pregnancy. Instead of freaking out (like I was), he simply said “I love you. Let’s do this”. I felt more loved and supported than ever before, and it only continued through his willingness to move across the country, knowing I needed to be around my family, embracing my ridiculous family, and becoming a better parent than anyone could hope for.
Of course those big, life-altering romantic moments are important, and make you realize why you are with who you are. But what makes you stay, even when you want to run screaming away from life? It’s romance. The kind of romance that makes you parmesan-truffle fries when you swear you just want kale. The kind that refuses to wake you up when you say “just give me 20 minutes”. The kind that knows when to say “let’s go have a drink” versus “go have a drink”. Knows when it’s time for a quickie or a coconut-oil, LL Cool J session. It never rolls it’s eyes over yet another technology-related question or favor. Never leaves the house without a kiss. And never, ever questions why there’s dog hair in the bed or if I really need another mule.
As I celebrated 11 years of marriage this past weekend, I realized I definitely want and crave and need romance, just a more personalized approach. And even then, it can change from day to day, moment to moment. Being romantic is not the action, it’s where that action comes from. Anything that you feel compelled to do out of pure, selfless love, with the only motivation being to make the other feel loved, is romantic.
Somehow, through all of the disgusting and delicious events in my marriage, we’re both still here, fighting for the right to show that romance. It was shown to me this past weekend through gobs and gobs of fun, laughter, a perfect blog takeover (former blog post, the takeover), and, of course, lots of vodka and coconut oil.
That’s fucking romantic.