Does romance really exist?

by mssinglemama on February 8, 2008

romance.jpgAs Valentine’s Day approaches it’s got me thinking about romance and the idea of romance. When it comes to romance – the ball is usually in the man’s court, because society tells us it should be. But personally, I can count on my hands the number of men who have actually done anything “romantic” for me. Somewhere along the line I just stopped expecting flowers, chocolates or sweet nothings – leaving those fantasies of romantic gestures behind with my youthful optimism. But when you’re a woman it’s not easy to lower your expectations. And should we? Or should we just take a look at our definition of romance?

Here’s the problem – every woman has a daydream tucked away deep inside. The dream of a man whisking us off of our feet. And even when we eject it from our conscious thought – it’s still there, lingering – buried deep down. This idea of the knight in shining armor has been ingrained in our heads from day one, thanks to endless stories and movies about Prince Charming rescuing the Princess. And then as we entered our teenage years it just got worse…movies and TV shows made romance seem like an every day occurrence. [Sixteen Candles, Say Anything, Princess Bride, etc.].

Here’s the problem – men really aren’t programmed for romance. By nature they’re supposed to be out hunting for food and coming back at night to bed us. So the forces of nature are working against them. Somewhere along the way (between the cave man days and present day) this idea of romance emerged and poisoned our brains with these ideas of passionate, earth-shaking love. Thanks a lot Shakespeare. But these stories and fairy tales had to have their origin in something – in some kind of palpable romance.

I grew up in a house where real romance did exist. Every day my father would come home from work and immediately seek out my mother…why? So he could see her – kiss her – say hello to her. He was in love with her from the moment he met her until the day he died, 8 years ago. A week wouldn’t go by without my father bringing flowers home to my mother, buying her chocolate. And a day never went by without the two of them cuddling on the couch and just enjoying each other’s company.

And you wonder why I have high standards? I know…I’m cursed. But I like to think that I saw real romance. As real as it can get. My parents weren’t perfect. They were real people with real flaws. I also realize that what I witnessed was the result of years and years of work between the two of them (before I came along) to create their perfect marriage. And my mother often reminds me that “it wasn’t easy.”

So here’s my definition of romance.

Romance is being in love. Romance is holding each other tight during a thunderstorm. Romance is smelling each other’s skin…not wanting to let go. Romance is making each other laugh. Romance is holding a child’s hand. Romance is cuddling in bed with a good book. Romance is lighting candles. Romance is taking a bubble bath. Romance is passion. Romance is a midnight walk in an old city. Romance is a rushing river, fall leaves and spring flowers. Romance is a mother’s love for her child.

Single or not – romance is all around us, every day. Men? I hope you’re listening. And single mamas…a knight would be lucky to have you…but don’t wait around for him.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark February 8, 2008 at 7:09 pm

Not all men are lacking in the romance catagory. The romance between my wife and I, is wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Guys you do all need to remember to show her your love or it could be the biggest mistake you ever made. Trust me I know.


dreamzzz February 8, 2008 at 7:15 pm

What you wrote made me think and I think you’ll find this interesting – I searched *romance* in and its synonyms it shows 1.. story, fiction. 4. falsehood, fable. 6. allure, fascination, exoticism.

I am not sure about that you know my mind says one thing and my heart the other. I am, like you have depicted, a believer – in love, in romance and in fairy tales. Lots of fairy tale things have happened with me and then they have disappeared too.

I believe men could be romantic but for short terms. Your dad was an exception ( we all aren’t lucky like your mom to be loved to such an extent ) but almost 99.99% men could be romantic only short term or between huge breaks. But then even that little time makes life so much more beautiful and gives me energy and desire and hope and yes, happiness.

I think romantic things done with all there heart is a way to show love but then there are other things as well that show love. So I think we should cut those men some slack and try to see the good things. I am glad they are atl east programmed for that little romance that they show.

Romance to me somehow only revolves around the significant other and I couldn’t make myself assure of the other definitions. The other things you mentioned are sure *beautiful* but thats all they are. They are simple joys of life but not romance for me.

As for valentine’s day, for me it’s always crap if I am not in love during valentine’s it’s depressing. I try to assure myself that a lot of things like valentines day are meaningless and just commercial – blah blah – but in the end I cannot restrain myself from feeling low for I don’t have a valentine to simply celebrate the love between me and a significant other.


mssinglemama February 8, 2008 at 7:44 pm

Mark – thank you, thank you – I was hoping to hear a happily married and romantic man contradict me. It would be great if you could add some specifics – how are you romantic? Any tips for the other guys out there?

Dreamzz…very interesting – the definition of romance! Wow. Thanks so much for that!


Mark February 9, 2008 at 1:26 pm

mssinglemama – It’s hard to put a definition on romance. I know alot of women and they all find different things to be romantic. Some see getting flowers for no reason as romantic, Others think romance can be a simple look that they can see the love in your eyes. My wife and I think it is more the small simple things, like having her tea ready when she gets up in the morning or just cuddling on the sofa watching TV at night. It can be as simple as a gentle touch on her cheek or coming up behind her and for no reason hugging her and whispering in her ear how special I think she is. Now don’t get me wrong, we aren’t without our problems but we work things out. To say what is romantic, you would have to know the woman you are romancing. Everyone is different and everyone has a different view on what is romantic. Bottom line, pay attention to your other half and let them know they are loved by your actions and not just you words. words can get old and repetitive fast.


Laura February 4, 2015 at 6:07 am

You’re on top of the game. Thanks for shnirag.


Sara February 10, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Thanks, Ms. Single Mama. I’m finding that you must be willing to let that romantic love come to you and when it does know it, see it, appreciate it. As much as men sometimes lack the instinct to give love in these little everyday acts, women (me) sometimes have a tendency to take them for granted. I had a love like this, but I let other things get in the way. I stopped appreciating what he was doing (almost all of the above) and now that love is gone.

So, yes, gentlemen please keep up on the little things. And ladies take a moment each day to put everything else out of your head and appreciate them. Romance is the act of taking a moment to look at your partner and really see them. The rest follows naturally from there.


Linda February 3, 2015 at 2:49 am

I love western rmoance because of my native American blood and I love horses and strong beautiful men as heroes.My comment was for Linda Miller. How do you decide your plot? Do you use places you know or have lived? Are these men in your books connected to any one man or person or your imagination? I love the name Slade since my grandon’s name is Slade and Boone since my great great great granddaddy was Daniel Boone.I love your book and your blog visited your Facebook and twitted it. This has been great fun. I hope I win!LindaHays-GibbsMyAngelMyLight


date guys November 1, 2008 at 10:02 am

Coach Scott, A forty- …


Jokingho June 24, 2009 at 8:00 pm

romance stems from love and love never dies, only changes form.


Gem March 25, 2010 at 10:12 am

I know I’m late here, but I read this and it struck a chord with me. I stopped being (quite so) disappointed about the lack of traditional romantic outpourings from the guys I dated pretty early on when I tried to think of things from their perspective. My boyfriend brings me lunch to work. He picks up little things for me that he finds. He lends me books that he thinks I’ll love. I don’t expect flowers and chocolates because that just isn’t how he (and the other guys I’ve been involved with) rolls. My dad is a flower, card and jewelry man. He’s traditional to the letter. I just learned a long time ago to take a man for who he is and he’ll show you in his own way that you are special to him, if he is worth a damn.


Ahmed Assi June 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Romance is the core of love relationship that humans often embrace it with passion and emotion in away of holding or cuddling eachother with a higher sense of emotionalism in its every way . Romance is a pure feeling that makes you love the woman whome you love and desire deeply even if she doesnot care a little bit about you ! Romance is the crazy world of imotion .


annoying sounds October 17, 2014 at 1:44 am

Your style is really unique compared to other people I’ve read stuff from.
Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book mark this page.


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