Monday, January 23, 2023

Thoughts on Romance

Who does not love a little romance? I am a fan of romantic songs. I love reading romance books. I love my fair share of romantic movies and series. I may not be as romance-crazy as I used to be in my younger years, but I still enjoy a bit of romance now and then. In an episode of the Fandesals Podcast (episode embedded at the end of this post), I was able to share my favorite romantic moments from movies and series that I enjoyed watching. 

Image by Angela Yuriko Smith from Pixabay

One thing I realized from watching the episode that we recorded is that my definition of romantic moments has changed through the years. If I remember correctly, when I was younger my definition of romance was being swept off my feet with grand romantic gestures, flowers, big gifts, and public displays of affection. I equated love with passion and excitement, with big moments.

Now that I am older and more mature (?!) I find that the most romantic moments for me are the simplest of gestures. In the podcast episode, the moments I mentioned that I loved are different from my definition of romantic in my teen/young adult years. 

Sometimes these romantic moments that I love in films and series today can be as simple as a slow smile exchanged between the two characters: it is when you see their faces glow, and their eyes meet and sparkle at the sight of each other. It could also be a simple hug reassuring the other person that it will be OK. Or in the case of the show Castle, it could be as basic as showing up with a coffee for that person every day.

The simple things that show love for another person are now how I define romance. That scene in Crash Landing on You where she loses her way in the market, and he holds up a candle so that she can find him in the crowded and dark marketplace? That was beautiful. And the way they arranged books on a shelf to send messages of love to each other? That was not only romantic but creative as well.

In Korean dramas like Business Proposal, the strong and tough characters show vulnerability as they pursue the one that they love. I love seeing how characters like this let their guard down around the person they fall for. How they learn to open their hearts and minds to the world of that person because they want to be with them. As we said in our podcast, it is not that these strong characters need that other person to survive, and it is not that the person needs saving. It is more of that person finding that one person whom they can allow themselves to show vulnerability with because they know that person is the one who will have their back when they need it. 

My favorite romantic moments in movies and series usually involve couples who have solid friendships apart from their romance. It is because of that friendship that they can be themselves with that other person. For me, love is not just about romantic moments, it is also about a partnership between two people. A commitment to be a pair (like tsinelas/slippers, as we mentioned in the podcast). You choose to be together not just in the romantic times but in the most ordinary of moments too. 

As we have mentioned in the podcast, we find that the words “I choose you” can be more powerful than “I love you.” People can love for the wrong reasons or have the wrong kind of love because passionate moments, romantic gestures, and whatnot can blind them. But choosing a person, deciding to commit to that person, and allowing that person into your life, feels more romantic to me. You choose someone who will be there not just for the romance, but for the other things in life as well. Someone you would want there for those ordinary times, someone you could sit beside and do nothing with, but it would still be the best moment ever.

Maybe I am old(er), maybe I’m boring, but that is what an ideal romance is like for me these days. And that is why the moments I have mentioned in our podcast resonated with me the most. Love means different things to different people, so moments that we find romantic may not always be the same. There is so much romance out there in the media, most likely to ensure that there will always be something that resonates with everyone. I know it may be overkill sometimes but still, it does not hurt to have romance from time to time, right? 


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