What Does It Mean To Be Romantic?

I was walking with friends through the city when the partner of one of my close friends swooped her up and gave her a big wet kiss on the lips. I thought his little performance was adorable and so I told them “Awww, you two are romantic!” they both froze and looked at me like I had two heads. I was expecting them to laugh, but no, they looked like I just ran over there cat. I thought there response was interesting so I said a few words… something along the line of… “he loves you, you love him, he took you out for lunch and held out the chair for you while you sat down – romantic. He bought you lilies for your birthday and took you to the movies – romantic. You decorated your bedroom in candles and lay waiting for him in nothing but a tie – romantic! He swung you up into his arms and kissed you until your lips turned puffy – romantic! Don’t worry, it can be our little secret.” They didn’t know how to respond.

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Why is it that when you tell some people they are romantic they look they want to run for the hills? It seems that the idea or ones own perceived understanding of romance seems to give some people the ‘heebie geebies’. For some people, just the thought of getting a bunch of flowers is enough to send them into a panic. I was shopping in my local grocery store a few days ago when a guy gave his girlfriend a small wrapped bunch of pink carnations. The gesture was sweet, but by the look on her face and the snarky remark she made, you would think he handed her a baby alligator. Her face was all screwed up like she was constipated, and the guy…he looked really hurt. His definition of romance, was not the same as hers. Though I didn’t think she had to be a bit## about it…

Since Monday, I have been thinking about our perceived ideas of romance. So I asked friends, family…even a few strangers how they define romance and whether or not they felt romance was over rated. Here are some of the results –

Question 1 – How do you define romance?

“The art of total love and devotion to another human being, adoring that person and wanting to make each minute spent with them perfect” – Norma 

“For me, I think romance is making loving gestures that show how much you care” – Mitchell

“For me, romance is putting someone else needs before your own” – Eliza

“It depends on how well you know your wife or girlfriend. If she likes the footy, she might think going to a game is romantic” – Tony

“I don’t think romance can be defined because what one person perceives as romantic, another may not. Some people may just hold hands and think that is romantic. Some people feel they have to go to much greater effort and lengths to try and be romantic” – Liz

Question 2 – Is romance over rated, and if so, why?

“Absolutely because it is great while it lasts. However it generally doesn’t last and is then replaced by something much better such as devotion, reliability, trust and caring” – Norma

“No, because it’s an important part of expressing your feelings” – Mitchell

“No! We need romance. We all want to feel special. But I think romance and how we define it changes over time” – Eliza

“My parents have been married for 64 years. My dad still buys my mum red roses” – Lyn

“It is what ever you want it to be. It’s about recognising your feelings and portraying them in actions instead of just words” – Tanya

“No. It’s about taking that extra step, from mundane day-to-day life and moving it to a level of fantasy and intrigue”. – Ryan

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So why do some people turn their nose up at the mere mention or thought of romance? I think some people confuse romance with what they see in the movies, on tv and in magazines and books. For me, I love all that ‘hearts and flowers’ fanfare. But some people don’t, and there is nothing wrong with that. But does that mean they are not romantic? No, it just means what they would consider to be romantic is not the same as my own.

For someone who loves fishing, taking someone up the bush and pulling out a fishing rod and some fresh bait might be one of the most romantic gestures ever made. For that person, he or she felt like they were understood. That is their idea of fun, and their way of sharing a special intimate moment. Just the two of them, side by side on the bank of a river fishing. I would think it would be the least romantic thing to do, but it comes down to individual personalities and their own definition of romance.

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Romance is not what today’s society has been taught to think it is. It is completely individual. Romance is for showing the person you love that you’re thinking about them. It shouldn’t feel forced, it should feel natural, instinctual. There are no rules as to what it should or shouldn’t be, romance is what ever you want it to be. It can be going for a walk, taking a bath together, or just laying together on the couch watching tv.

Romance is a sweet, simple gesture that reminds your partner why they fell in love with you in the first place.

Leave a comment and let me know what your definition of romance is…..

x x x

  1. I liked to take my wife camping. I know she loved it but she wouldn’t admit it. I suppose she couldn’t admit to the romantic undertones of the bush and dust and bugs. Think I’ll plan another romantic gesture!


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