Valentine’s Day is coming and our thoughts turn to romance, love, and the expectation of signs of affection. Where do we get our views of romance? The media bombards us with images of hearts, lingerie and kissing couples. Sagas of romance can be heard in most popular songs. But what is it really? As defined by Webster, it is a “tale in verse, a popular epic or tale in prose with an extraordinary tendency to the wonderful or mysterious.” No wonder Hollywood creates fanciful and extravagant views of romance – it sells and romance always frames the picture of true happiness.
What is Romance?
Romance has evolved to mean a show of affection, an expression of passion, a way to demonstrate appreciation for another person. It usually implies the presence of a partner or significant other, and wanting romantic gestures is natural; but why rely on another person who may not be in your life at present? Why not take steps to honor your own needs with a bit of self-love and “romance”?
Shelves are filled with self-help books designed to guide people toward loving themselves more. The popular expression is, “You must love yourself before you can truly love another.” True, so why the resistance? Why do people think that taking care of oneself is selfish? When I buy myself something new, my sister-in-law comments on how well I treat myself. My response: “What’s up with that; don’t you matter to yourself?” I need to remind her that she ought to be her own top priority and give herself the same love that we all have for her.
Many of us struggle to overcome feelings of guilt for expressing love for ourselves. Self-love can be a journey and mixed emotions often surface around a holiday such as Valentine’s Day.
But we can take life into our own hands and delight ourselves with “romance.” When we romance ourselves, we do the things that nurture us. Imagine that you are head-over-heels in love with yourself; what things would you do for this wonderful person? Fresh flowers in your home or office space. Hidden love notes inside a book or pocket. Scheduling time for theater, a museum, a class. Lunch with a special friend. A massage, or turning off your phone and curling up with a good book and a glass of wine.
Spread the Love
In a recent report by MarketingProfs, Stacey DeBroff says that “roses and romance are a thing of the past. The celebration has moved from significant others to include family, friends and even co-workers.” “Romance” doesn’t have to apply only to intimate partners; it can include everyone we care about. Whom do we choose?
I feel something I can only call “love” for people such as:
Our business coach whom I’ve never met in person or a gal I’ve connected with online only, who has become a treasured friend;
The friend who calls me daily to clear our concerns from the day before and to set the tone for the day ahead;
The two friends I’ve had for 45 plus years that have shared many stages of life with me;
My trusty band of five friends who formed a writers group 18 years ago and who won’t let me quit;
Siblings: how blessed I am to have a sister, half-sister and sister-in-law, all of whom I love deeply;
Communities: the people I have come to call “friend” via comments, exchanges, seminars, and groups.
I’m sure you have similar lists.
Gift from the Heart
Romance, as we’ve seen, can be as Cupid’s arrow: flying both inward toward self or outward toward others. Consider the love which goes into creating handcrafted jewelry and imagine the message this thoughtful gift will convey to your mom, sister, best friend or daughter. Sweep them off their feet with a gift from the heart and remember to romance yourself as well.
The Romance Collection