In ancient times many of the first marriages were by capture, not choice. In our medieval romance novels we imagine petite Anna with her long golden hair and wind blown skirts being chased through the village by a 6ft Adonis (picture Gerard Butler). He grabs her around the waste, blows warm words of seduction in her ear and throws her over his shoulder. Now I wouldn’t mind Gerard Butler throwing me over his shoulder, but the reality of life in medieval and ancient times would not be as romantic as we would like to think it was.
During the Victorian Era, courting became an art form in the upper classes. If a dashing young gentlemen (picture a younger Sean Connery) found you to be endearing, he could not approach you and ask you to take a spin around the manor in his coach. Even after being introduced, it would be some time before it was considered appropriate to speak to a lady.
In todays society, it is much easier in many aspects for men and women to meet through social interactions, develop friendships and possibly pursue a physical attraction. In essence, romance is still alive and well and much easier to find in todays society. Or is it? In many aspects, our lives are far more stressful and busy compared to poor Anna with her long golden hair, whose days are filled with being ravaged by Gerard and birthing a dozen babies 🙂 We have less time to relax and explore activities that make us feel happy. We no longer have to dig up fields, gather furs for the colder months or worry about small pox and measles killing our children (oops…yes we do!) but for many men and women around the world, finding a happy balance between having a career and family life is a challenge.
I am sure our mothers and grandmothers didn’t know that by burning their bras in the late 1960’s and 1970’s we would be giving up so much more than afternoon tea parties and potty training. Working and contributing to our households is one thing, killing ourselves over stress, long hours and crappy pay is another. More than ever we are travelling longer distances for work, not only that, we are also putting up with terrible public transport just to get there. We live further from our families as our mothers and grandmothers did, meaning we don’t have the support they had when raising a family. The rise of childcare costs and the long hours away from our children is causing much heartache, guilt and worry. But this isn’t just about women, men are also experiencing the similar dilemmas…just with better pay 🙂
Romance, chivalry, who has the time for it? As my sister Kellie told me recently “By the time I get home, it’s chaos. The kids are grumpy from being in childcare since 7am, dinner still has to be cooked, kids still need to be bathed, washing still has to be done…by the time its 10pm the last thing we are thinking of is soft music and candles.” My eldest daughter said “It is so much easier to go on Tinder, who has the time for getting dressed up and going through the drama of trying to meet someone?”
The problem today is peoples misconceptions of romance. It isn’t all about going out to a romantic restaurant each week, or buying flowers every day on your way home from work. You don’t have to hire a limo and dress up in a tux or a sexy black dress and hire a honeymoon sweet in the city just to be romantic. Romance is quite simply acknowledging and showing your loved one how much you care. Yes, you can make big extravagant gestures, but that isn’t what romance is about. It’s about the small things you do, the little displays of affection that can make all the difference. Yes we are all busy, but it really isn’t that difficult to make your loved one a cup of tea. Pick a flower out of the garden and put in on their pillow. Walking to the car to do some shopping? Be spontaneous and lift her up, plant a big kiss on her lips and tell her you love her.
Romance isn’t dead… it is inside us all. Remember when you first met your partner, those heated hook up sessions? When you just couldn’t wait to get your hands on each other? When you would make the effort to express your love, the day you proposed and asked your loved one to spend the rest of their life with you? Life is busy, it’s damn hectic and incredibly stressful but we have to find the time, we have to make an effort and show how much we still care. Romance is about the little things, we need to remind ourselves and each other that we care. That we appreciate each other, that we value each other….it’s those sweet heart felt gestures we make that help to keep the romance alive and well.
x x x