“4 out of 9?” said my husband, “And you posted my score on Facebook?”
I giggled sheepishly, “yes, but I also said you were a good husband…”
Okay, perhaps I hadn’t thought through my comment. I’d taken one of those quizzes on Facebook, it had something to do with how romantic or considerate your mate is. In truth, his score surprised me, because in fact he can be very romantic (and I said as much in my comment). I didn’t really consider how posting his score might make him look bad. Oops!
Our world is in love with the idea of love. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we are now being inundated with visions of romance. Hearts and flowers and chocolate, oh my! But (sorry, Forrest), life is more than a box of chocolates. So how do we define love and romance?
The quiz I took focused on things like opening your car door, helping you with your jacket, and kissing your forehead. These are all very nice gestures in my opinion. But they aren’t the only things. I believe romance is in the eye of the beholder. And for me, it changes with time.
When I was a young teen, romance meant receiving a card from the boy whom I had my eye on.
When I was an older teen, romance was found in gifts of flowers and chocolate from my boyfriend.
When I was in college and dateless, romance was found in Danielle Steele novels.
As a young bride, romance meant relishing the fact that I was a newlywed and well, let’s just say that for me that was a very fun time.
Later, love meant a nice dinner out with my husband (I still like this one!).
After kids, chocolate was still appreciated (and dinner out if we could find a decent sitter) but real romance came in the form of help: helping me with the dishes, and kids and sick duty.
As my little ones became older, love was (is) watching my husband care for and interact with his daughters. His love for them makes me love him even more. And the years he has given them each their own flowers for Valentine’s Day-well that about melts my mama heart.
This leaves the present. What is romantic now? I could answer this question in so many ways, but let’s just stick with…hanging out together.
With one daughter in college, one in high school and one just coming into her own in middle school, I now know time is precious. I love when my husband and I sit down and reconnect after a long day, love taking the dog for a walk together, find joy in sitting by the fire pit on a cool crisp evening. Romantic to me is just knowing how much I still enjoy hanging out with my husband. I’m beyond grateful for this.
So what is love to you?
I urge you not to get caught up in capitalist America’s vision of romance. Your husband/significant other may not be a flowers and chocolate kind of guy, but I’ll bet he’s a good guy. He may not be perfect but I’ll bet he’s been there for you when you needed him. Bet he’s even put up with you when you weren’t so fun to be around.
Most of all I hope you like hanging out with him. If so, consider yourself lucky, even if he’s never, ever kissed your forehead.