It’s funny how you’re idea of romance changes over time.
I have spent 27 years of my life trying to make my husband be romantic in the traditional sense to no avail. It’s safe to say I can admit defeat now.
He used to give me flowers once a year – on New Year’s Eve, don’t ask me why. On our first New Year’s Eve together he told me he was going to give me a rose for every year we were together.
Knowing him now the way I do, he obviously hadn’t much faith in the relationship lasting. When we got to 24 years together, he nearly had heart failure over the price of two dozen roses so he snapped his wallet shut and that was the end of the flowers.
I used to be mad for writing letters and cards to him in the early days. Half the time he wouldn’t even read them or he’d look at me as if I was a bit of a bunny boiler so I gave up. Once to test him, I sent him a Happy Birthday card for our anniversary and he told me it was lovely!
I often told him if I was going to have an affair, it wouldn’t be for sex but so I could have someone to appreciate my romantic gestures and reciprocate them. Someone who would write me letters and poetry telling me how I am their one and only soulmate.
So I’ve had to reframe my idea of romance. The older I get the more I’m beginning to realise that real life proper romance is not in the love letters, roses and fancy cards but in the day to day things our partners do without asking to make life that little bit easier for us.
Like putting out the bins without being reminded. Bringing my car for a car wash and filling it with petrol (probably as expensive as the two dozen roses these days!), Bringing me my breakfast in bed at the weekends even if he does overcook the eggs and cleaning the hair out of the shower tray despite the fact he has no hair!
Then randomly last week, he gained the most brownie points ever when he cleaned out the entire cutlery drawer and put all the knives and forks and spoons in the right order. I fell in love with him all over again, even if he was only doing it to ease his own OCD.
And it’s not a one way street this romance thing – Oh no. I may have given up on the letters and cards but I always give him his favourite dinner on a Monday just because it’s Monday. When he goes out with the lads I leave Solpadeine and a pint of water beside his bed and he gets full ownership of the remote control when Liverpool and Ireland are on the box,
Who says romance is dead?