Published in the World Book of Values, 2013


Why do we always equate romance with subdued lighting and an intimate setting? Romance in stories and legends is rarely passive and quiet. Romance is passion, love unveiled. Candlelight and dinner is foreplay, not romance. Romance requires a baring of the soul, a depth of emotion that goes beyond words to describe. It may be a simple action – a thoughtful gesture or word of support that reveals the love we have for each other. It may be a grand gesture – Robin Hood risking his life to be with Maid Marion, Andrew Jackson (later President of America) fighting duels defending his wife’s honour, Prince Khurram building the Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife – romance is often a public declaration, a undeniable statement of what the other person means to you.

Romance is not the words we say although they too are an expression of love. It is in the actions we take, the way in which we show love that romance is born. There is romance evident in the world every day yet we often miss it. It is in the holding of your partner’s hand through a difficult time, the way in which we protect each other from hurt and sorrow. Romance is not a beautiful sunset, it is sharing that unique moment of the day with someone special, simply being together.

Romance is often seen as a soft thing, showing one’s softer side and emotions. This is only part of romance though.   It is also strength, steadfastness and courage. It is not doing the easy stuff, buying flowers or saying “I love you”. It is living out that love every day, being strong enough to overcome your own fears and prejudice in order to be true to that love. It is being there when needed and never faltering to do what is important and necessary for the one you love. Words are empty without meaning and sincerity. Romance goes beyond words and gestures – it is anything but superficial.

The Oxford dictionary describes romance as a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. A sentimental or idealised depiction of love.

I believe that romance is the ideal of love, how we believe love should or can be. There are those who believe romance is not reality – “Romance, like the rabbit at the dog track, is the elusive, fake, and never attained reward which, for the benefit and amusement of our masters, keeps us running and thinking in safe circles. “ Beverly Jones

Others, like me, believe it is real, an ideal to strive for – “romance isn’t an over-the-top act. It’s someone offering to help and to support me. Or if that person thinks I’m making the wrong decision, he’ll tell me. I want him to be honest, because being that honest takes a lot of guts.” Thora Birch

Regardless of its form, romance is selfless and honest. It puts the person that you desire and love before your own needs and thoughts. It is being true and committed, even when it is difficult.