While I certainly enjoy the extra attention Valentine's Day can bring, I've found that I don't really put as much emphasis on it anymore.
Not that it isn't a nice idea to have a day devoted to appreciating the one you love. I am all for that! And giving our men/significant others a little reminder to appreciate us can never be a bad idea. But really, shouldn't that be an everyday thing?
There was a time (pre-marriage, pre-kids), when I wanted all of that Romance, with the capital "R." I wanted the flowers (roses, if you please), the intimate dinners, the moments filled with heartfelt declarations, and all of the grand gestures of True Romance.
Flowers and pretty sentiments are all well and good, on Valentine's Day or any other, and while I enjoy those grand gestures when they come around, I don't require them in quite the same way.
Now, don't get me wrong -- I certainly won't dream of turning down a dozen red roses if they're offered. ;) But they're not necessary in the same way other things are, maybe because what I consider romantic or sexy has changed as I've grown older.
Interestingly (maybe oddly?), my favorite heroes of the romance novels I've read in recent years aren't the type for grand gestures, for the most part. They're more quietly appreciative, with love expressed more in word and deed than with flowers and gifts. I'm far more impressed and intrigued by a man (fictional or not) who can truly appreciate a strong, independent woman while understanding the value of a gentlemanly gesture, or one who can give his woman strength when she needs it, but knows she can hold her own and admires her for it (Outlander's Jamie Fraser comes to mind...easily my favorite romantic hero).
Back here in the real world, though, sometimes it's simply the little things that I find sexy or romantic. For instance, here are a few of the type of moments that can make me melt more than a box of chocolates on a sunny day:
A big man cradling a tiny infant in his arms...
Fathers dancing with daughters...
A cup of coffee refilled without asking...
The words, "No, honey, you sleep; I'll get the baby/let the dog out/make the coffee."
Sharing a glass of wine while the kids are settling into sleep...
Being told, "Don't worry; I'll take care of it." About anything.
The gas tank being filled so I don't have to stop...
Finding my car warming up in the driveway just before I was going to do it myself...
Well, you get the idea. :)
Real romance is just so much more than can be captured in one day of expression, isn't it? It's in the most ordinary of moments sometimes. And for me, it's everyday mutual respect and consideration that I find truly romantic. And worth so much more than an annual bouquet of short-lived flowers.
Things to ponder...Who's your favorite romantic hero, from book or movie?
Feel free to share in the comments! :)
Image courtesy VintageHolidayCrafts.com