I really don’t like the phrase, “hopeless romantic”. I prefer being called a hopeful romantic, forever in love with the idea of being in love. This
hopelessness hopefulness has lead me down the rabbit hole and through a few trap doors. And here are some things I’ve learnt about sustaining romance through the test of time.
1. The Very Essence Of Romance Is Uncertainty
My mum always told me the most romantic period of life is between engagement and marriage. It was her old school way of acknowledging that there is something erotic and exciting about experiencing mutual love without the commitment. It leaves room for daydreams and inspiring thoughts.
2. Romance Isn’t For The Faint Of Heart
Romance isn’t all red roses and expensive dinners. Sometimes it’s pouring your heart out in the middle of the night and getting no response in return. It is your heart racing when you see their name on your phone, out of the blue. Love stories aren’t picture perfect like movies and novels lead you to believe, romance is work. How are we supposed to have the kind of romance our grandparents had if we’re easily swayed by the next best thing and often overly confused by our choices. Romance requires patience and perseverance.
3. Push And Pull
Accept it. Sometimes you will be really into the other person while they aren’t interested/ready and sometimes vice versa. For lasting love and romance, you have to accept the runner-chaser dynamic that each relationship goes through. No one is always perfectly in love ALL THE TIME.
4. Romance Is A Dirty Business
There is nothing messier than human emotion. Romance involves vulnerability, conflict, sacrifice, anger, jealousy, disappointment… and everything in between. Discard any beliefs that state that romance is gooey-eyed perfection. Like two sides of a coin, you must embrace it all.
5. A Journey Of Self Discovery
Although it is completely about and related to another person, nothing teaches you more about what makes you think and question yourself like a strong emotional attraction to another. Will he want me? Am I good enough? Is he/she good enough? Do I look good? Could it work? From all the insecurities that pop up, you have a chance to learn and grow.
6. From Romance To Realism
We all know romantic notions are never grounded in reality. When we first fall in love, we put on our rose tinted glasses and everything lines up. Hello Cloud 9, 10, 11, 12… But the survival of romance relies on taking off the rosy filter and assessing the reality of the situation from time to time.
What happens after? I have no idea, but there is no experience quite like the joy and pain of keeping a romantic flame alive. At the very least, you WILL learn about and strengthen your core values in the process. And if you do it right, the romantic progress could lead you into the arms of the one you love someday