Friday, 16 April 2010

The romance doesn’t have to die…

The romance doesn't have to die…after 31 years of marriage, my Dad and Mum still have an incredibly romantic relationship which is such a great example tome and just lovely to see...

Romance can be defined as; thinking or behaving in a romantic manner. To court or woo someone or to have a love affair with someone... []

Courting (courtship) is the art of try to gain the love or affections of a woman, especially to seek to marry. Or to attempt to gain the favor of by attention or flattery []

Wooing is defined as seeking the affection of someone with intent to romance. To seek to achieve; try to gain affections; or to entreat, solicit, or pursue.  To court a woman []

These definitions put butterflies in my stomach at the thought of long walks on the beach, a long stem red rose, a love poem, and a mixed tape of love songs or serenading from a loved one…romance…what a wonderful thought! In my experience of dating and courtship I discovered the importance of romance at the very beginning. The first romantic gesture I received was a lovely lunch, a dozen long stemmed roses and a box of chocolate on Valentine’s Day; poetry, perfume (Montana and Splendor being favorites I still buy and wear today), shopping trips, movies, walks in parks and mixed tapes when I was at school (don’t tell my parents!)

In my adult life, looking back over the years I can identify three particular acts or romantic gestures that brought me to tears and are second to none; the first being a young man serenading me (he sang ‘When a man loves a woman’); the second was receiving poetry…there is nothing like someone sitting down with a pen and paper, in their own handwriting, expressing how much you mean to them…Finally,  receiving a get well pack in the post when I was sick (this contained a hot water bottle, hot chocolate, medicine and a few other bits to cheer me up). I have heard of a girl whose boyfriend took her to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and proposed at the top and there are many more where that came from…Over all the stories I have heard and experienced myself, the very best ones are always the ones that don’t require great expenditure but a great use of heart and imagination and also a test of one’s own limits and stretching one’s abilities…

My parents fly the flag on romance for me…For as long as I can remember, my parents have always made the romance in their marriage a priority and no it was not easy because from the first day they met, they had four children and as they went along my brother and I added to the brood (not quite the environment for romance!). Needless to say my parents had to be creative and make a conscious effort to make time for their love affair with each other…any they did. I remember when I was younger how my dad would take my mum away for their wedding anniversary, her birthday and then she would for his, and vacations too! As a child I did not understand why they would go on holiday without us, even on the occasions when they would only go out for a night (dinner and stay over in a nice hotel). However now I am older and I understand the vital importance of romance in a relationship. I am really grateful to my parents for this powerful example of this key ingredient (romance) in keeping the fire burning in relationships.

Romance is not just the big expressions and vacations and gifts on particular days…no, my parents are both as involved and as committed as each other to keep the romance alive in their relationship. It is in their day to day lives; being considerate of each other, listening to and respecting one another, doing the little things that make the daily challenges of life and work seem less troublesome and more bearable. They support and encourage one another and work together as a team and I think that this is just as if not, more romantic than a getaway to an exotic location.
So romance is not for the rich with disposable incomes but for everyday people who study one another, grow together, learn how the other wants to be loved and make themselves available to love the other in that way… More than any, when it comes to living out your love, this is the greatest expression of romantic love and everything else is just the icing on the cake!

Thirty – one years on at the ‘ripe young age’ of 71, my dad this week planned a romantic getaway for my mum’s birthday (14th) and kept it a big secret! On Monday she told me that all he said was to take time off work because he was taking her away, and she sounded so excited and giddy not unlike a school girl with a crush, it was lovely to hear and I was so proud yet again at how my dad continues to woo and court my mum after all these years…I am therefore convinced that romance is not just for the pre-marital state of  courtship, but it is something that can be a part of a long lasting and committed marriage relationship if those involved give romance its rightful place in that relationship as my parents do. Furthermore, there is a need for every man to recognise that wooing the heart of a woman is a lifetime activity and not just a phase in the process of courtship; many a young man could learn a thing or two from my dad!

P.S Happy Birthday Mum! x


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