Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Romance Might Be Close to Death...But It's Still Twitching About Somewhere

The title of this blog post seems so morbid.  But I really meant it to be sort of darkly humorous.

Firstly, Happy Valentine's Day to You All!
vintage valentine
Secondly, this post was inspired by recent events and the fact that it is Valentine's Day.

I've always loved Valentine's Day.  I can understand how uncomfortable it must be to be single, as I am now, on a holiday so focused on romantic love.  But I always took the opportunity to be a little bit kinder to myself.  I also really enjoy handing out candies and making Valentine's cards for my co-workers.

The other day at my after school job, some roses were distributed among the kids to give to their parents.  Somehow one of the roses ended up with my supervisor.  At first, we joked about how funny it was that he received a rose, but then I encouraged him to take it to his girlfriend who he happened to be meeting after work.

At first, he scoffed at it, stating that he felt really cheesy bringing a rose to the bar.  But I absolutely insisted that he do it.  Why not?  What could he possibly lose from bringing a rose to his girlfriend?

I laughed with the administrative assistant about how the reason so many women are single is because none of the guys treat them special anymore.  I said, "No one wants to be romantic anymore!"  But, I kind of meant it. 

In the end, his girlfriend loved the romantic gesture.

More Romance, Please
One thing that I didn't include in my 2012 Goals was that I'd like to be open to more romance.  Now, I didn't necessarily mean this in the relationship sense.  In fact, I just wanted more happiness and joy in my daily life, and I think that starts with having slightly-rose-colored glasses on.

I think somewhere in the sadness of my previous relationship, I lost sight of my joyful and cheery disposition.  This was partially why I included dancing and making music more, because I know those two things bring me a lot of joy.  There's something lovely and romantic about being creative.

Perhaps because I've been trying to be open to more romance, I'm trying to encourage it in others as well.  It's also shown itself in my life again as well, which has brought up a couple of questions.

Closet Romantic Meets Feminist
Now, let me back track a little bit.  I'm secretly a big fan of romance.  I'm a sucker for some of those romantic comedies.  In fact, I will sit through another viewing of "While You Were Sleeping" if it came on t.v. right now.  Secretly (or perhaps not so secretly anymore), I would love to have love fall right into my lap.  I would love that swell of music to play as a fountain lights up in the background.  I would love that kind of stability and knowing.

But then there's the part of me that values equality. I want to be able to pay my own way before someone else does.  I don't need someone to open doors for me, or pay for my dinner.  Actually, when I was in my early and mid-twenties, I basically insisted that I handle my own way.

I'm a big girl, and I want to be treated like a responsible adult.

As I've gotten older, however, I can definitely see the value of being treated like a lady.  There's something to be said about being wined and dined and treated like I am someone special or someone more important than the material things or even more important than a quick hook up.

But of course, I wonder if romance and feminism are at odds with each other.  Would a woman still be able to maintain her independence while having someone else open the door for them?

After Googling a bit, I found some articles (here and here) that seemed to say that feminism actually benefits relationships.  Because it creates a somewhat level playing field in the relationship where both partners could have some level of control.  Each partner being able to act independently makes them a whole person, and they're able to bring that whole person to the relationship.

I realize it's not necessarily about the gestures.  The gestures are just established traditions from older generations.  The gestures aren't necessarily what makes the romance.  What makes the romance in relationships is the respect and adoration for the other person.

My Romance Won't End on a Sorrowful Note
Suffice it to say, being single has been fun so far.  I'm definitely having fun with it, and that's all I'm going to say about that.

I've gone on a couple of dates with different guys, and they've all been quite pleasant.  One date, however, definitely threw me for a loop.

Firstly, he offered to pick me up - which has honestly never happened unless they were already my boyfriend.  When I expected him to just call me when he arrived, he legit parked the car and rang the doorbell.  He opened car doors, ordered for me, bought me drinks and dinner, and took me dancing.

It was perhaps one of the nicest (and funnest, I might add) dates I had ever been on.  And it felt WEIRD.  I really didn't know how to react at first.  In my head, I could see some of my friends rolling their eyes, while another set of friends were telling me that that's how I deserved to be treated.

There is a part of me that wants to insist to be treated like another friend.  Like one of the guys.  But maybe that's why it hasn't worked, because at the end of the day I make a pretty awesome woman.

I reminded myself that I wanted to be open to these sorts of gestures and that I wanted a bit more romance.  Here it was.

Today, on Valentine's Day, we had a Valentine's Lunch.  I insisted I didn't want anything fancy, but just chill and tasty.  But we ended up at a French bistro.  Honestly, I was impressed.

On a personal note, while I'm not necessarily ready to jump into another serious relationship, it has been lovely to be treated like this.  Perhaps it's just the physical manifestation of the romance that I was trying to be open to. Regardless, I'm learning to be open to this as well as more romance every day.

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