Come on, admit it. You were one of those girls who grew up wishing the guy you ended up with would be the romantic type. Cruises at sunset, bush walks at the crack of dawn, rings engraved with messages – the whole nine yards. Oh, and did we mention the love letters? Yeah, he was supposed to initiate those, too. But here you are, months, weeks or days before you tie the knot to the most perfect guy in the world and – wait a second – none of those things have happened yet. The guy who was supposed to write you love letters has the handwriting of a 5 year old, cruises make him sea sick (and besides, he doesn’t see the point) and waking up at the crack of dawn to go trekking through mud is the equivalent of torture to him. What happened? How could this guy be The One if he doesn’t seem to have a romantic bone in his body?
People end up with their partners for all kinds of reasons. Some of these reasons are known; some are as cloudy as a glass of sea water. Sometimes, we’re just living life and doing our thing, when this new person enters the scene. Sometimes this new person stays. Sometimes they just pass through like a floating breeze. And sometimes they become the person we end up marrying. When we fall for someone we don’t necessarily take into account everything about them, weighing up their traits to decide whether or not they are worthy of our affection. When we fall for someone it’s often a decision of the heart before its one of the mind. So when it comes to things like seeing whether they are the romantic type, it’s easy to let things slide because you’re in the moment and this person is just so amazing.
But regardless of the person we fall for, if they fail to meet our romantic expectations is there still a way to bring romance into the marriage? Indeed there is. We belong to a culture that is heavily influenced by the media and television. Both those mediums are used to portray the ideal life. The only problem is that life isn’t quite as glamorous as it appears on television. In real life people are not perfect looking and their lives certainly aren’t either. When we get all kinds of idealized romantic ideas into our head they are often directly linked to the images we are confronted with daily and the expectations that go along with them. But life has a way of just being…well, just life, boring at times and often quite mediocre. When we realize that, and we lose some of our previous expectations, we’ll start to see that being romantic is only one part of a being in a relationship, and not the most important one.
So he can’t write a letter to save his life? So be it. Love letters, however desirable they may seem to a hopeless romantic, are not the foundation of a happy marriage. If marriage was a delectable dish, with many ingredients and a list of steps to put it all together, the foundation of the dish would be the actual ingredients. All the other aspects of it, such as the garnishing or spices used, are extras. Your marriage needs to be rested on foundations of trust, loyalty and friendship. The extra garnishing are like the small romantic gestures, are lovely when added, but not entirely necessary.
So next time you’re wishing your partner was a little more romantic, stop for a second and ask yourself: is it necessary? And – would your relationship be happier if it were more romantically inclined? If you genuinely believe you would be happier in a relationship with all the little extra romantic touches, don’t let anything stop you from initiating something instead of waiting for your partner to do so. Book a hot air balloon ride, take your partner strawberry picking, go on that bush walk at dawn. Just make sure to keep an open mind, so that when your partner yawns and says, ‘Did you really have to wake me up to do this?’ you can just smile quietly to yourself and think, Well, yes. Yes, I did. Being romantic is a hard job, but someone’s got to do it.