February is a month full of romance – or at least it is if you are one of the millions of us who buys into Valentines Day and it all it represents! The shops are swathed in red and pink and everything as far as the eye can see is heart shaped and fluffy or covered in chocolate.
Men the land over groan at the prospect of having to come up with a suitable gift/ gesture or trinket to ensure the smooth passageway of love throughout the year, whilst women happily peruse the aisles of cards and affectionate tokens searching for just the right message…true story? Or stereotypical perhaps?
Whether you are married, single or dating, let’s take a look at what exactly romance is and whether or you not you just ‘are’ romantic or is it something we all can (and should?) be doing more of…
I think it’s fair to say that women are more romantic than men naturally, forgive me for categorising but from where I am stood in this life, it seems to me that the fairer sex do just run to the romantic a little more easily. It’s in the small things we do everyday like choosing a favourite food for dinner, picking out an item of clothing we know our partner really needs but can’t be bothered to shop for, choosing a gift based on a few tiny things we have lovingly observed (rather than a catalogue laid out open at the page with a big ink circle around ‘that handbag’!)
On saying that when a man IS romantic it really does have some impact! Not only on the lucky lady but on the couples around them too. Some men may accuse that romantic chap of ‘ruining it for the rest of us’ You know who you are….
For example, I have a very dear friend whose hubby is outrageously thoughtful and knows exactly the right words to say and the perfect gestures to make. It’s a joy to behold! Never cheesy, always adorable. My husband feels the pressure more and more with every passing year yet whilst he should be learning from the master, he just doesn’t seem to be able to translate it into our lives. Bless him. Luckily for us I am easily pleased (cue snorts of derision from him indoors).
Which brings me back to the point above…is romance something we can all turn our hand to or is it a natural gift? As always I spoke to a few of you lovely ladies to hear your thoughts on the matter…
Laura told me “I think everyone is capable of romance, it’s how you display it that differs and that will depend on your personality. Some of us will be more elaborate than others but the intention will be the same. I think my husband’s proposal was pretty romantic – on Christmas Day he took me to the seaside where I used to spend the summer as a child and got down on one knee in front of the lighthouse. When we arrived back home, the family had been busily decorating the house with banners and balloons and the fizz was waiting on ice. It was unusual for my hubby to involve others which made it somehow even more special. I loved it and still do. ”
Karen said “I think romance is relative – what is romantic to one person will not be at all to someone else, it’s hard therefore to say who is and who isn’t. As long as the gesture is from the heart and done with love then it’s romantic!”
Katie recalled “My husband proposed to me whilst in New Zealand. He was forever taking photos and it drove me mad but unbeknownst to me he had set the camera up to capture the moment he asked me – which really was very romantic because we have that photo forever.”
One thing I have noticed whilst chatting to you all about this, is that most of us fall back on our proposal story when talking of romantic gestures from our partners, which leads me to think that maybe our everyday lives are lacking a bit of this sparkle! Perhaps it’s something we all should look into a bit more and try to pepper our partnerships with a bit of spice…
One truly romantic thing my other half has done for me recently was to leave me some notes around the house when he went away for a few days. I kept finding another one in the middle of a mundane chore and it really did bring a smile to my face and a rush of affection towards him. No money spent and no grand gesture but a lovely thoughtful thing to do and I loved it! Why it has taken him 12 years to do it again (he did this for me once back in the early days of our relationship) I will never know! The last romantic thing I did was probably putting together a video of my favourite photos of him and our boys. Took me AGES but as I perused our albums I remembered all the special moments so it really was filled with love and meaning by the time it was complete.
Catherine’s story is possibly one of my favourites “We had been together only a few weeks and he had noticed I had no shelves in my fridge. One night he arrived with a huge present beautifully wrapped – he had sourced the shelves using the serial number and ordered them for me. I knew then he was a keeper!”
Starr told me “I think we are all capable of romance but I think it’s a real gift to have a sense of TRUE romance. I’ve seen responsive romance on so many occasions and it just doesn’t measure up to the small gestures that come from the heart. A random kiss on my forehead tops a dozen roses. The most romantic thing my partner has done for me was to take me for a walk in the countryside so we could hold hands and talk – away from anyone else. He helped me through the puddles, the mud and over the rocks. We explored and explored before sitting down and chatting in the cold and the wind, all snuggled up. He’s a man of few words and even fewer gestures so I knew that this was his version of romance. I loved it for that reason.”
Then there is my lovely friend Elena who blew me away with the revelation that her husband learned to play Duran Duran on the piano because she is their number one fan!
So, to sum up… I think romance is in the details and the emotion behind any gesture rather than the gesture itself. Each of us has a different idea of what is romantic and most of that will be preconditioning or social influence. Perhaps if we scratch beneath the surface of all of that we will find our own version of romance and that will be the one that has the most effect? It does seem though that anything done from the heart is worth doing and if you receive something that is well intentioned you should try your hardest to see the romance in it, even if it doesn’t immediately fit the tableau of hearts, flowers and fluff!
Ladies, as always I would LOVE to hear your opinions and your tales of romance! Please cooment below or join the discussion on our social media pages.