I used to think that grand romantic statements were “romantic”; I don’t mean grand as in Ed-throws-pancakes-at-Carol’s-window (because that was amazing, and it was cute). I mean grand as in dropping to your knees and trumpeting ridiculous sentiments like “I can’t live without you!” You know… stuff like that. It’s not romantic, it’s stupid. And speaking to this example, there’s nothing romantic about codependence anyways.
Romance though, is defined differently for different people; while some people revel in that smooth R & B song-type romance, others think it’s romantic to crawl through a culvert together or eat midnight pizza after a hefty pub chat at some seedy neighbourhood bar. When people (the cynics) assert that “romance is dead”, I used to agree with them, but I ask now – if romance is defined so differently from person to person, and its implications are so individual, how can the concept truly be “dead”?
The aspects of “romance” that we think of — chivalry, red roses, a one-kneed proposal – are indeed romantic. For most people, I’d say they are. But these things are signifiers of romance. They’re not romance embodied, and they may even hold a negative connotation for others. The most romantic gestures are tailored to that individual definition, and whether this is cheap or expensive, complicated or simple, easy or hard, is individual to both the person instigating the romance, and its recipient.
Sometimes I think of my ideal gesture of romance; what it would look like, the shape it would take, the fuzzy, dewy, eyes-half-closed happy soft feeling I’d gain. And I think that’s because I don’t know what it is until I see it and feel it. And this thought is the most romantic one that I can currently conjure up.