A few days ago I came across a post on Facebook that started as a bit of fun – one of those ‘Build Your Ideal Man’ posts which lists a number of attributes and you can only pick a certain number of them. It was posted in a Mother’s Group and we all had a great time participating.
We soon realised though that most of us chose the same attributes – Funny, Smart, Faithful. We discussed the fact that no one chose ‘Romantic’ as a favourable attribute in our ideal man, and that got me thinking – as mother’s/wives/partners when did we push romance down the ‘must have’ list in our relationship? Did we no longer expect romance? Were we too tired and busy to give a crap about romance?
I started remembering how in my naivety as a young woman I bought into the whole ‘romance’ hoopla and I had high expectations of how romantic I wanted my poor boyfriend (now husband) to be. I wanted the flowers, the candlelit dinners, I wanted to be swept off my feet. And bless him my man did his best! He would send me flowers on special occasions (or just because), he took me to the best restaurants, would whisk me away on little romantic getaways and would spoil me with pampering days at my favourite Day Spa. I am one lucky lady.
But then as our relationship progressed and we became engaged and then we were married everything changed. My perspective of what I defined as ‘romantic’ shifted. I no longer cared so much about the expensive dinners and the flowers (although I am not going to lie, it was still nice when we indulged!). I felt that the money could be better spent on things for our home and our new life together. Instead I found the little things to be the most romantic. Like when he would come home with my favourite movie on DVD because he knew I had been dying to find it (and he had secretly been trying to track it down for me). Or the cake he would bake for me because he knew I was having a bad day.
Then we had children and that shifted my perspective again – I mean who the hell has time to watch a freaking movie when you have a house full of boys?! We are lucky to get a ‘date night’ once a year let alone have the time and energy to go out for fancy dinners and romantic getaways! What are those again? My idea of a getaway these days is being able to use the toilet for more than 5 minutes without having an audience!! BUT having said that – there is still romance in our relationship – it’s just morphed again into a different form.
NOW romantic gestures are when my husband wakes up next to his drooling, snoring, crazy haired wife, kisses my cheek then quietly leaves the room to start the day with our beautiful boys and feeds the baby so I can have a little sleep in.
Romance is when he is faced with a frazzled wife who is still in her pjs and is rocking a killer birds nest hairdo because she has had one hell of a crappy day, is crazy enough to still think I am his ‘beautiful wife’, kisses me and sends me on my way to enjoy some free time to have a nice hot shower or bath so I can relax for a moment.
It is so freaking romantic that my husband comes home with ‘care packs’ of chocolate, breast pads, nipple cream and pain relief because he knows my boobs may just fall off any minute thanks to my breast feeding efforts.
So do women forget about romance after marriage and kids? I don’t think so. We just appreciate different things at different stages of our lives. That’s not to say that after years together and a few kids later we don’t appreciate it if we are swept off our feet and showered with flowers, diamonds and days spent at a Spa, but after a while the simplest, most genuine and thoughtful gesture can be the most romantic thing in the world.
What do you define as ‘romantic’ now?