Redefining Romance

A girlfriend pointed out that it is about one month since Valentine’s day.

She was reminiscing about all the romance and love some Martian showered on her and also planning and longing for next Valentine’s day. How sad! Like my friend, many women I know long for this one day in 365 because that is all the romance they ever get – some version of flowers, a teddy bear, chocolates and something heart-shaped. The luckier ones get dinner or some other romantic aenture. That is it, until the next year. How sad is that?!

As I am no expert, I went in search of the definition of romance and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Urban Dictionary agrees with me:

True romance is doing something special or unexpected for someone you love, even though you don’t have to. Romance isn’t a greeting card, it isn’t Valentine’s day, it isn’t a box of chocolates, and it certainly isn’t a dozen roses … It is completely individual.

Romance is for showing the person you love that you’re thinking about them. It shouldn’t feel forced. There are no limits to romance it can be shown by a handwritten note, by going for a walk, or even by making someone a sandwich. Romance is something simple and sweet that reminds your partner why they fell in love with you in the first place.

What else can I add to that? I only have a story for the cynics who think it cannot be done or that it is not necessary. Once, I spent a week with married friends who live out the romance defined in the Urban Dictionary. Theirs is no fairytale.

They have weathered a few storms at different times, each one of them wanted to leave the relationship. The whys and wherefores are a story for another day but the long and short of it is that they chose to stay.

I will call them John and Mary. They are like best friends who happen to live in the same house and have kids. That is how easily they get along. Meals were planned together if Mary said she would cook, then John offered to go shopping.

Then John set the table and cleaned up after dinner as Mary put the kids to bed. All the while, they play: there was a pat on the butt (shocked me!), a hug on the way to the fridge, a joke about how John forgot milk and would be required to go borrow some from the neighbours… Being around them makes you want to be married exactly like that!

Of course Mary whispered that she thinks sometimes he goes the extra mile because he wants no excuses of fatigue later on (ahem!) but she isn’t complaining. Also, I know for a fact that Valentine’s day, anniversaries and birthdays are not marked on their calendar. If it is convenient, they may do something special otherwise, it is just another day. But seeing how they live, they sure do not need a date to love each other.

Before you all groan about how much work you have to put into being a romantic partner, think about the tranquillity, bliss and other pleasures in John’s life. When you take time to make your woman feel wonderful, she will make your life wonderful.

Source : The Observer

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The Disability Law and Rights Centre (DLRC), School of Law, Makerere University with support from
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