Between my best friend and I, I was always the realist between us.
I distinctly recall us as bright-eyed pre-teens, laying on her bedroom floor speculating about our futures. We spoke excitedly about what our husbands would look like, what shape we dreamt our engagement rings to be and how miraculous and joyous welcoming our first-born would be. We meticulously planned our futures, accounting for when we would graduate University, meet our ‘Soul Mates’, travel the world, get engaged, married and welcome 1/2 bundles of joy.
Much alike any child, we were idealistic and thought our futures were like play dough – with some gentle kneading and rolling, we could create the lives we so dreamt of. With age, came the wisdom that you can not foresee when you will meet a brilliant person, or when you decide to commit you life to another. It just, well, happens.
Heartbreak after consecutive heartbreak, I learnt that my timeline was bullshit. My twelve-year-old self had imposed unrealistic expectations on my adult self, that just wasn’t going to eventuate the way that I had hoped. Rubbing salt into that wound, it became apparent that they no longer make men like they used to. Long behold, the average Joe won’t buy you flowers every payday, he isn’t really into dancing with you (unless it’s at a club), it is highly unlikely that he will post you love letters or use you as a muse for poetry. Shame really.
My bitter realization led me to an adamantly that romance is dead.
Dead. Cremated. Gone.
Luckily for me, a wonderful and ever so gallant young man walked into my life at the peak of my ‘I don’t need no man’ phase of my life. This wondrous creature held my hand and led me back from the ‘I don’t need no man’, to the ‘men are okay sometimes’, to the ‘men can do decent things every once in a while’, ultimately to ‘I’m okay with men…sometimes’.
My partner has taught me that traditional romantics are still out there, hiding amongst
the rest of us. The type of romantic that follows you half way across the world to surprise you (in a non-creepy way), the type of partner that will pay incredible attention to detail and go out of their way to make you feel cherished and the type of partner that thinks highly of you, even after you binge eat a block of chocolate in your sweats.
Whilst I recognise that the average man isn’t as sentimental as my Yian, the moral is you will never really know what another has to offer unless you give yourselves a chance. Our friends and colleagues who have known my partner for many years, are shocked that this romantic side hid within. Similarily, you never really know how another will show their affections and sentiments; romance might just be hidden behind deep within.
To my girlfriends, with whom I sat on the floor talking about the future with – do not lose
hope. Whether you find that one person, who proves to you that romance is alive and raring now, or in a decades time – have faith and be patient. You do not always have to look for special people, sometimes they lay undiscovered.
I can not wait to see some lucky man fall head over heals in love with you (even if it is at the point in our lives where we hoped to already have kids).
Perhaps romance isn’t dead – perhaps, through various disappointments and experiences, we protect and condition ourselves into thinking romance is dead. Like scorched bushland, our minds become blinded by the desolation of ash and smoke and ignore the potential for renewal. Similarly, when you find yourself cynically wondering when romance died (and why you didn’t get the memo) – breathe. Allow your childhood innocence to take a front seat and guide you, after all, you never know what is to come next.