The Impracticality of Romance
Valentine’s Day was about a month ago and, on that day, as my girlfriend and I enjoyed a nice mimosa-soaked brunch, I wondered, what is romance?
Is it a thoughtful gesture like bringing your lover flowers and chocolate when they least expect it?
Is it calling them to profess your undying love?
Or is it a Say Anything John Cusack-like moment where you stand outside their window blasting John Legend’s All of Me?
If you’re looking for a definition of romance somewhere, online dictionaries do not paint it in a positive light with definitions like:
"to try to influence or curry favor with especially by lavishing personal attention, gifts, or flattery"
"to exaggerate or invent detail or incident"
"to give special attention to (someone) in order to get something that you want from that person"
"to talk about something in a way that makes it seem better than it really is
The dictionary makes romance sound like a well-crafted manipulation as you kill your lover with kindness. It doesn’t sound good.
I personally find that romance displays part of or all your love through a particular action. This action is filled with passion, consideration and care for your lover. It can be successfully completed by doing something to make your partner as happy as possible by, for a while, making their happiness all that you live for.
It could be something as grand as renting out a restaurant and having the chef prepare a special meal for the two of you when your partner feels like you haven’t been spending enough time together. Or something as simple as good ol' Netflix and chill (PG-Rated) with your partner’s favourite take-out food within reach. Both examples should be followed by intense cuddling (mind-blowing sex is also a great cuddling substitute).
The point is to devote special attention to your partner without wanting anything in return … despite what the dictionary says.
ROMANCE VS. REAL LIFE
Romance and real life don’t mesh well together. I mean you shouldn’t be romantic on holidays only, because holidays get in the way and then you look like an asshole for not being romantic on a specific day. Let’s tell it like it is, if you only had to be romantic once a year (only on Valentine’s day), then I’d understand your partner making you feel guilty for not going above and beyond. However, that’s not the case.
Like last Valentine’s Day for instance, it was one of the best NBA All-Star weekends I’ve ever witnessed ever and if you were in a relationship like me, you either had to miss the Skills Competitions and the slam dunk contest (Saturday) or the actual NBA All-Star game (Sunday). Simply impractical. You have to be romantic because a random holiday invented by a greeting card company says you do? That’s bullshit.
I know romance is needed because it keeps things interesting, but sometimes it can be simply annoying.
I’m just going to come out and say it: cuddling is overrated, man. I know I recommended it earlier, but the shit is aggravating. Like when it’s too damn hot and you end up just sweating on each other. Spoils the mood if you ask me. There’s nothing romantic about that.
Forced romance is also incredibly impractical. There’s nothing worse than someone demanding for you to be romantic. Might as well ask someone to make a half ass effort to make you happy so you can shut the hell up.
Romance is also impractical mainly because the essence of romance lies in the organic creation of a passionate and caring action. Simply put: you have to want to be romantic in order for it to have a great impact.
Also, the definition varies with each person. My definition of romance is chilling in bed with my girl as we watch movies and order takeout because all we want to do is be close to each other and getting up to cook would interrupt that. That’s romantic to me because the time we spend together is special and it's all about us.
The problem with romance is that we base our our idea of it on what we see in movies:
- Flowers and chocolates
- Candlelit dinners
- Midnight cruises
- Horse and carriage rides
- Rose petals on the bed before love making
Or some needlessly sweet gesture that make it seem like everything is about them
By the way, horse and carriage rides are NOT romantic! Unless the smell of horse shit turns you on (weirdo).
You need to be careful with taking what you see in movies and TV as a guideline for what to do in your life. Remember that Modern Family episode where Phil and Claire try to be romantic for Valentine’s Day? That’s probably what would happen to you if you actually tried grand romantic gestures just for the sake of imitation or societal pressure.
RS FINAL THOUGHT
When it comes to romance, keep it simple.
Try to be as selfless as you can, think of what your partner likes or enjoys doing and make it happen. If you don’t know, you better find out asap. Romance doesn’t have to be extravagant or overly detailed. Life’s just too random to agree with every detail of your plans.
Just spend time with each other and show each other how much you appreciate the other’s company. Romance will then happen naturally.
No promises though.
written by Georje Wilden