What is romance? It's such a weird concept to some, beyond their grasp, but for others romance is what not only drives a relationship, but it's also what drives their lives, gives the world color, and gives them something meaningful to look forward to. Romance is almost synonymous with the word love when you ask the majority of people. If you claim to love someone, romance comes with the package, like it or not.
The bigger question is: What makes a person a romantic? An even better question is, how does one continue to be a romantic even after they've endured a heart break? That's an easy answer to give: Hope.
Hope is the thing that drives the defining line between the optimist and the pessimist, between the romantic and the cynic. Hope is the force that gets us up in the morning and on our way; it's hope that drives us. Different people invest their hopes in different things, but it's that desire to love, the faith that one day we will meet that person that will be there for us through thick and thin, the hope that shines the light in our lives, that make some people fall into the category of a romantic.
Romance isn't fiction and different people have different ways of describing what is romantic to them rather than what is meant to be romantic to the vast majority. A lot of people just don't believe romance is necessary. It is, it just depends on who you're with. For some men, having a feel of romance is just as important as it is to women. Traditionally it's the woman that needs to be wooed and to be swept in romantic fare, but men need it as well--just in a more subtle sense. The romance that men need has to do with keeping their attention, showing them that you are attentive to their needs, and catering some of the things they want sometimes. Just as women want to be paid attention to, kept interested, and catered to at times as well. It's also not all about roses, chocolates, diamonds, teddy bears, and breakfast in bed. For a few that's what will get them to like you, that's what will make them swoon. For others it's a bit more complicated than that. With some people you have to get to really know them, get into their head and heart and not just do the things that you've done with and for your exes in your previous relationships. One girl may love the fact that you took the time to fill the room with candles and rose petals and took her to five star restaurant, while another girl may love the fact that you offered to fix her car for her or straighten a situation out for her that she either couldn't handle herself, didn't want to handle herself, or was afraid to handle herself. Not every girl has to have flowers and candlelight. One guy may have the need to wow his girlfriends, to have them feel special, and if you're the kind of girl to brush that sort of thing off, you could very well hurt his feelings. Another guy may secretly want his girlfriend to do sweet things for him like send him love texts during the day, it doesn't have to be anything corny, just an "i miss you" or "love u" text; or he maybe the type to smile ear to ear because he suddenly got an e-mail from you at some random time during the day. I personally wouldn't send a guy flowers, chocolates, or teddy bears to his job, I honestly don't think any guy would want that (could get very embarrassing for him), but he would like to know if he's appreciated in the relationship, if he's loved, and if he's wanted. Cook his favorite dinner for him if you know he's had a stressful day, give him a massage with soothing oils, take a bubble bath together and be playful, give him a gift that you know he'll like at a random time during the year when there's no special occasion to warrant it (maybe a book on architecture, a power tool he's been eyeing, or tickets to a game). Women aren't the only ones who need some form of romance, guys need it as well. Don't get so comfortable in your relationship that sex just feels routine. Don't lose the spark, keep the passion alive by staying attentive to what one another wants and feels. I know that sounds easier than it is with the stress of everyday life: bills, kids, jobs, and being tired after long days. But if you truly want to keep what you have alive, you have to make some sort of effort.
You'd be surprised to know what something small will do for your relationship. A walk around your favorite area in your town or city, after work one day instead of sticking to your routine drop the kids off at a friends' house or your parents' and just go to Coldstone Creamery or Krispy Kreme and catch up with one another.
Sometimes it's not necessarily about being a romantic, but staying in touch and in tune with another. It's so easy to lose people in our lives, whether we pass away or grow apart, and when you cherish a relationship with someone you have to cultivate it so you won't regret not doing something later on.
I'm not a hopeless romantic in anyway. I don't really even consider myself a romantic at all, but I believe that every relationship needs hope to survive what it will go through during the years, if you actually want to stay together for years to come. If there is no hope in someone's life it's like they're giving up. Hope is faith. Hope is staying positive. You may never believe romance will happen to you, but you should acknowledge its existence, that it's all around us. It's not all about happily ever after, but a romantic realist will know that it's something to get lost in (maybe it's books for some people) and something to imagine (could be that you dream about it), and maybe it isn't present in their life, but it's definitely real. Love is all over, same as romance, whether it's real or pretend. It may or may not happen, or it may not last at all, and you can also love in vain (one sided feelings).
There are different categories of romantics as well: Eros, Ludus, Storge, Pragma, Mania, and Agape. Eros are the exotic lovers that desire a strongly committed relationship. They have an understanding of passion and most often high expectations and can be dominating in a relationship, but they're faithful people that give fully and intensely in a relationship. They are highly romantic individuals (think Charlotte York on the old episodes of Sex and the City; that should give you a clear cut example). For a ludus love is a game that they never take seriously. Relationships don't have great depth, meaning or importance to them and they'll always flirt and play around with many. Long term relationships for these individuals are highly unlikely. A storge is one who sees love as based more on a deep involving friendship. Their viewpoint can be described as pious, pure and unbreakable. Their's is a loving, caring, respectful relationship with their partner, it is unpretentious and it isn't mysterious or mystical; love isn't something they rush into and it can take a long time to develop, but it can last a lifetime. Pragmas are logical, rational, sensible lovers that will think twice before making any decisions. They're more than likely independent souls who always plan to settle down and have a serious relationship. Head is above heart and they tend to find satisfaction in long term relationships. The manias are the high emotion, very possessive and highly dependent crazy lovers. They're intense and the whole world revolves around their lovers. They may have hidden low self esteem, are highly suspicious, and are capable of being violent lovers. They also tend to have a lack of satisfaction in relationships. The agape lover is very tender, gentle and devoted. For them happiness lies in the happiness of their partners and they'd be ready to endure anything to keep their lover happy. They believe in sacrifice and would rather suffer themselves than to let their lover suffer. They are passionate and intense lovers.
Which ever kind of romantic you are, if you are one at all, just remember this: understand that romance exists in many different froms whether you engage in them or not. Whether romance is more sentimentality for you, or if it has to do with the physical aspect of things, don't knock those that love romance and have a penchant for it, because you may be the next to fall head over heels and become the sappiest person that no one can stand to be around (xoxo). :-)
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charity mtisi from Johannesburg on November 14, 2019:
Great article i have come across man that aren't romantic at all, just wandering if romance is something that a person builds up over the years or if its an inborn trait that man fan with time.
I think a relationship without some romance dies really fast, maybe thats why marriages breaking up fast these days.
Hailey on June 13, 2013:
Sweet, I love romance, especially when a guy make something special for me, then I want to make something special for him.
jaykatt from Covina, California on August 21, 2011:
Very helpful for a guy like me. I have to remind myself sometimes, to do something sweet and romantic for my girl if it's been a couple weeks. I'm gonna check out those links you've provided...