So it’s Val’s Day, which I imagine is a very big deal for a lot of people, but not for me. I don’t think I’ve ever been wined and dined on 14 Feb in my life. If Bartolo brought home a dozen roses I think I would just feel a bit embarrassed for us.
Romance is dead, as far as I’m concerned. At least, the ‘romance’ you can buy should be pushed off a cliff stat. Valentine’s Day is a manufactured sham that’s churned out in my least favourite colour. I’m a loved-up gal, but it’s not a love built on squishy bears and lacy red lingerie. Red looks terrible on me at the best of times. Red and lacey… shudder.
Needless to say, I’ve never bought into the ‘down on one knee’ proposals either. It’s all so scripted. The doves, the grandiose announcements and, god forbid, the sky writing. I can’t actually imagine anything less romantic than waiting for a plane to pump out “Marry Me, Bron”, because it always ends up sort of illegible, like “#$^&* Me, Bron”. And that’s not good for anyone.
I’m telling you this because just today, a friend wistfully said, “I wish my husband was bringing me something for Valentine’s Day” and I suddenly realised I was wrong about Valentine’s Day all along. Sometimes we’ll take a forced kindness when no other kindness is offered.
Men who hate having to buy the flowers and do the cutesy Valentine’s Day thing should take heed. If they did a few little kindnesses on the daily, they wouldn’t have to stump out for $100 roses that wilt faster than a mother’s will to live during witching hour.
See, true romance is merely a sum of little kindnesses. When you’re a kind person, you’re pretty much romancing the whole world and lifting that kindness to the next level for your spouse is what it’s all about. I’m talking about things like:
A meaningful kiss hello and goodbye – taking time for something more than the kind of peck you doll out to the kids eleventy billion times a day. Pausing together to acknowledge a departure and celebrate a hello, now that’s romance.
Reducing the burden – when I overhear Bart say quietly to the kids, “let Mum rest today, come see me if you need something”, it’s like foreplay. Or I might come home and he’s cleaned the house. Or he arranges to take the kids away to his sisters’ for a night without me. When we feel cared for, now that’s romance.
Missing each other – I might get a little text telling me he’s missing me at the pub. Or he might come home from the library with a couple of books he thinks I might like. Or he’ll go three blocks out of his way to buy the brand of tea that I like. Constant thoughtfulness, now that’s romance.
Putting each other first – he’ll knock back a night out with the boys if he thinks we haven’t spent enough time together. He’ll tell me daily that he loves me and why. He’ll tell people he’d rather spend time with me than anyone else in the world. When you know you’re someone’s favourite, now that’s romance.
He’s always got my back – I know Bart will always stand up for me, even when we sometimes both know I should pull my head in. He’s never put me down in front of anyone (actually, he’s never put me down, full stop). He’s my biggest champion when I’m trying new things and my biggest console when I’m not. Being able to rely on someone like that, now that’s romance.
You don’t need to spend a penny to make someone’s heart flutter. Just let your sweetheart know that they are heard, that they are desirable, that they are loved, that they are irreplaceable. You can’t buy that, it’s far too priceless.