Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Whether you love or hate the holiday, it certainly inspires equal amounts of excitement and dread across the country. Personally, I love the recent SNL spoof about drugstore gifts for your sweetie, but that’s another post.
This year the big romantic pressure-cooker got me to thinking about romantic reality versus romantic idealism. The holiday certainly panders to the idealist in us all—the dreamer who wants his or her life to mirror a silver-screen love story at least some of the time. But oddly, a lot of big gestures can backfire in unforeseen ways.
Take the photo I’ve posted here. Looks romantic, right? Can’t you just hear soft music and crickets, taste the wine and cheese, imagine the tingles of the awesome sex that is sure to follow such a lovely evening?
But hold on…because in reality it might not be so great. Ever been outside at a lake in the evening? You know what you’ll find? Mosquitoes. Lots and lots of mosquitoes. Suddenly that romantic visage doesn’t look as appealing once you realize you’d be swatting at bugs and smelling like Deep Woods OFF all night. Maybe pizza night with the DVR isn’t so bad?
Does this mean I’m down on romance? Hardly! But I do think hearing about other people’s grand plans can be deceiving and, if not kept in perspective, can rob your own relationship of its brand of romance. So, if your sweetie didn’t knock your socks off with a great gift or unique plan for the weekend, don’t despair. Stay focused on the little shared moments of affection and attention. That’s reality, and that’s the kind of love story that will endure.