Romance and Reality

Let’s talk about love. I’ve avoided this subject on my blog for a few reasons. 1. I am happy in a committed relationship and I don’t want to flood you all with my gushing about that. 2. I am still very young to offer any kind of authoritative opinion on love. Let’s be honest – I might think I know what love is about, but I’m still in college. I really am just now learning. However, I do want to toss out some of my observations, both from my relationships and other people’s.

First, read closer than you think. That short post describes a major concept to me. Romance and love are not the same thing. I’ve seen too many girls wishing for a guy who will bring them flowers every day and sweep them off their feet with romantic gestures. Romantic films perpetuate this unrealistic desire. Romance is defined as: A feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. Not love. Feelings related to love. Too much emphasis on the excitement and mystery undermines the foundation of a relationship.

I would not say that I’ve ever dated a guy who is overly romantic. I’m like any girl – I love being surprised and swept off my feet. But I also appreciate love. Without the mystery. And that’s what I want to talk about here.

I’ve found that the moments I appreciate most are the simple ones. The ones when I know that it’s not the excitement or mystery driving his actions. I know that it is love, unforced and rational (as it can be, at least). It’s there when he asks about the things I care about. When he thinks I’m beautiful, even though I’m sweaty and just downright nasty from exercising. When he is patient with my ridiculous moods. When he knows to just hold me. When he never complains about me being distracted by school. Or that I was too busy to call him for three days. He doesn’t complain that I spent an evening with my friends. He shares what he loves with me. He never holds back. He always tells me the truth. He doesn’t complain that I moved 400 miles away for the next 4 years to pursue my education.

That is all so much more important to me than flowers or chocolate (nice as they are). That is what will last for another 50 years, even if his gorgeous hair and addicting smile don’t. Hollywood movies: stop giving us expectations about all the romantic things our guy has to do. None of our relationships are going to look like that one. Let us appreciate the ones we love for who they are and the way they love us, even if that doesn’t always include flowers and chocolate.

(Next in my series on relationships: couples and facebook. Come prepared for a rant.)