Over the past few weeks we have discussed budget and trending. Finally today we discuss our very last mortally misrepresented good word turned bad.

A word understandably close to my heart and business: Romance.

Take a second to imagine the images you connect to romance. What pictures come to mind? Be honest!

For me its red roses, heart shaped chocolates in shiny silver wrapping, a picnic on a sunny day or if I’m being a little risqué a sexy little black number that smells like vanilla.

What about you? Similar images? Yes, no? Maybe I’m just too stereotypical and a sucker for advertising.

If you think about it the concept of romance has been used to sell everything from steam cookers to DSTV channels. Unfortunately along the way this word that should be as clean and clear as day has become this muddy little puddle of expectation.

Unrealistic romantic expectations and the hurt that is caused when they are inevitably disappointed is the main reason I don’t believe in porn, a dependence on social networking sites or those waste of paper romance novels that are given away every December with a magazine…But I digress.

Romance should be about one person putting someone they care about before themselves. It should be about doing something no matter how big or small for someone, not because there is a reason to, but just because you want to. It is a cup of coffee in bed, a kiss in the morning or doing the dishes when it’s not your turn. Romance really is a way of life and not just a once a year thing.

How do we save romance from the velvet hearts and red roses of Valentine’s Day type nonsense? Try this:

  • Be honest about what you are expecting from yourself, your relationship and your partner. Is it realistic, mutually beneficial and healthy? People aren’t disappointed… only their expectations of each other are!
  • Celebrate the small things, every kiss and every gesture, every day. Your life is now, not in 3 months’ time when it’s your anniversary!
  • Never, I repeat NEVER compare your relationship to anyone else’s. Things are never what they seem, not the good or the bad. You may just be wasting a whole bunch of time and energy coveting something that sucks.

 

This is very much a word and a concept that can have a different meaning or way of being for every single person. I don’t by any chance attempt to define romance here. I do however make the claim that generally it is ill-treated! Don’t you think we would all be a lot better off if we stopped trying to live up to a prescribed version of romance and just started living our version of love!?

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