How do you remember not comparing your relationship with that of other people? I think I probably start by not reading stupid polls about romance.
My longtime friend of five and I have this long-time joke of moaning that I didn't buy flowers, and he replies that if he gave me them all the time, I would just expect them and then they would be nothing special.
That is true. I can imagine that if I were showered with gifts and flowers all the time, I might be spoiled. NOPE actually. I would love it.
I hate to admit it, but I love cards. I love presents. I love flowers. I love STUFF. I am a massive consumer and I buy fully in all commercial BS; Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas, the lot. I love every excuse to give or receive some kind of gift. I spend an absolute AGE in card shops and torture myself with the perfect card selection for every occasion. I love cake. I love balloons full of helium that hang around and gently bump against the ceiling for days after a birthday until, unfortunately, they are slowly bagged and closer to the ground every day.
I love the ceremony of giving and receiving gifts, whether for an occasion or "just because". The thing is, however, that my friend is much more practical. I remember it right at the beginning of our relationship when I went to a newspaper shop to buy chewing gum or something and bought a scratch card and a candy bar and some sweets. He couldn't believe I had wasted my money on the scratch card and I never bought another. I spontaneously bought a gift in my head, wasted a five in his mind that would be better saved or spent on something else. Fair enough. After all these years, I now know that my spontaneous gift purchase is better spent on my mother or father, who are just like me and usually arrive with a small bag for lunch.
So we are not a particularly traditionally romantic couple, although we do a lot together. We go for nice dinners and treat ourselves well on birthdays by booking trips, trips where we remember why we are together. Flowers are not everything – OR ARE YOU?
Warner Leisure Hotels conducted a study of people in the UK and how they have a successful relationship. According to their results, London is the flower capital of Great Britain. Over 1/3 of respondents turn to flowers to show their partner how interested they are (or to apologize for something – OK, I'm just cynical). Apparently the Scots interviewed have decided to surprise a loved one with chocolates, and the Welsh go straight to the bedroom. No mess.
In Northern Ireland, the most common way to show romance is to cook for the other person. Here I'm probably blocking much of my friend's romantic side – I tend to cook because he destroys the kitchen. He would like to cook more for me, but the idea scares me because I can imagine the carnage. I have to relax.
However, romance does not only consist of gifts, gift packaging and long love letters.
Respondents placed particular emphasis on listening to your partner, spending time together, and never going on an argument to keep a long-term relationship running smoothly. I am very guilty of thinking about an argument and having it fester and sprout into something dark and ugly if it should be better discussed and quickly put to bed. I go to bed angry and wake up angry. I go to work, live more and then come home angry.
I value things that probably don't mean much at all. I want flowers when I have total devotion. I am offered a cooked meal and I do not want it. I want something else. I have someone listening but I see people buying chocolates for their partner and I want THAT even though I don't like chocolate. I just always want something that I don't get because I think other people get it. I think everyone has this massively romantic time, although what I have is so much better and more meaningful than some flowers.
I tend to focus on stupid little things when I have to look at the big picture. An offer to have breakfast on the weekend shouldn't be shot with a short "Eugh", but you'll just screw up the kitchen. And I don't want scrambled eggs anyway. "- It's a friendly offer, romance in its own way. I carry a touch of annoyance with me because there are no big gestures in our relationship, although small gestures actually happen every day and I choose to ignore them focus on what I don't get when I get a lot.
Relationships begin and thrive due to an intoxicating mix of lust, emotional availability and hopefully a lack of luggage. We do things to impress the others who fall by the wayside later – I bet I was a lot more fun than I was together than now; Back then it didn't matter. Afternoons bled in the evening, bled in the morning, every little thing was significant. I would be almost jealous of myself, the smug glow of new love that shoots from every pore into the eyes of everyone around me. Things like jobs were just background noise and inconvenience because they kept us from seeing us for a few hours a day. We ate fish and chips in my bed and I didn't care if the batter got on the covers.
Long-term relationships are different. They are compromises and do the housework and feed the cat. But they are also stability and a shared story and jokes. They are not always flowers and chocolates and stay in bed all weekend, but they are consolation and a deep love that changes and evolves over time. And you know what? Sometimes I just have to remember and thank the universe for having someone who loves me very much, even if we are unfriendly to each other for a while.
How romantic are you – are you a person with flowers and chocolates or do you hate all of this? What do you think is romance? And how do you remember not to compare your relationship with that of others? I think I probably start by not reading stupid polls about romance.
Written by Natalie