Friday, August 31, 2007

Why Romance?

Why do we women crave romance?

I was pondering this thought last night while I listened to an old cd of 98º. I think it was their first, and yes, I know just how cheesy that is, but their songs are sexy, sweet and romantic and I was just in the mood to hear that.

See, I was washing dishes, putting up leftovers while my husband was playing around on the computer looking at his sports news and I was wishing that for once, just once, he might actually wander into the kitchen and help me with the dishes...or at least OFFER to help me out without me having to ask or say something about it.

We've been together 6 years as of tomorrow, and he has made "promises" to help me out before, but after a while the "new" wears off and he just doesn't think about it anymore. In fact, while I was busy with all this other, he had to come in the kitchen, not with a mind to offer to help me, but to give me a long explanation about what happened to the guy who was "The Big Show" on WWE. (can we say my eyes almost rolled out of my head at that moment? LOL)

It's times like that I start thinking about the lyrics of these sappy love songs I listen to and the romance novels I read all the time. I wash my dishes with tears in my eyes that my wonderful husband overlooks some of the small obvious things that show me that he appreciates what I do around the house and makes me wonder why he never offers the tiniest bit to help me out.

So, why do we crave romance?

We do because in real life no man says the sweet things that are said in the sappy love songs. We do because in real life boyfriends/husbands don't ever express themselves the way we read about in novels. Oh, they do in order to "woo" us, yes, but that can quickly fade and get forgotten in the jumbled mess of real life.

We need to be reminded that we are beautiful, but even with the best of intentions, real men don't know how to express it and very rarely do. I must feed my craving with love songs and romance novels. I wish my husband would say things to me that I've heard or read, things that let me know I'm not becoming a frumpy housewife and mother. I guess that's why I love Robin Thicke's song Lost Without You. It would be nice to hear my husband say that without me he'd be lost. I know he would, but I don't think he'd be willing to admit it to me.

When I started dreaming of writing, it was around my pre-teens, when I started hoping I would find a happily ever after someday. I mean, come on. I was raised on HEAs.

Snow White and Sleeping Beauty were "awakened" to love by their princes.
Cinderella was whisked away from her tragic life by the handsome charming young man who could give her what her heart desired.
Rapunzel was locked away for her parents sins and rescued from the tower by a prince who lost his sight in the process and was later rewarded with regaining his sight so he could lay eyes upon her beauty and they lived happily ever after.

What more could any girl ask for? Right? My generation and probably plenty of others were raised to feel like, in the world of love, we're the damsels in distress, awaiting the prince charming of our dreams to come rescue us.

We want a man who wants us with all our flaws and faults and still loves us regardless and still finds us beautiful and tells us so. We want the strong handsome man who will support us. Nowadays it's not necessarily about financial support, because a lot of women have grown to understand they can take care of themselves, but we still long to have a man who will support our dreams, appreciate our inner beauty, our intelligence, our talents and strengths and even our weaknesses.

We crave romance to fill our hearts with joy and a sense of wellness. A sense that all is right with the world and that we are not completely going it alone.

For most of my teenaged life, having a boyfriend was all I dreamed about. I was overweight and the only time boys paid me any mind was to comment on the size of my chest. Yes, I was busty and in some ways it was embarrassing, but I still wanted a boyfriend. I wanted what all little girls grow up hoping for- their HEA.

Now that I'm a grown woman though, I see that life isn't about roses and candies and making love all the live-long day. Maybe that's why it's so nice to listen to those songs and get lost in romance novels. Real HEAs aren't as exciting, so we have to fill the void with something that keeps us going and still believing that maybe our man does feel that way, even when we don't hear it all the time. I know my hubby loves me, he just doesn't show it the way I wish he would.

My childhood fairytales didn't prepare me for the reality of my happily ever after. So in the midst of taking care of the kids, making sure the laundry is done, the dishes washed, supper's on the table, bills are paid and everything runs smoothly in our life, I do find myself grateful for sappy love songs and romance novels. It gives me an escape and fills my heart up with what seems to be lacking.

I crave romance most for what it once was and what it could be again. I don't think it's asking too much to have the man you love tell you that he loves you, to take you in his arms and look into your eyes and tell you that you are the most beautiful woman in the world to him.

Those were the things my teenaged dreams were made of. In a way, the craving is almost a desire to recapture that feeling of youthfulness again. That magical sensation you felt in your teens when you daydreamed of your first kiss, your first love. It was the dream of an everlasting love, that thread of hope that kept you believing that you would find the one who'd make your pulse race through your veins and make your heart pound like thunder.

Maybe that's it. Maybe the craving for romance is also about that physical reaction, the anticipation of feeling the most alive you've ever felt in your life. When it feels as though your skin could shatter into thousands of sparkling particles with one simple kiss, that your knees could turn to jelly with a few simple terms of endearment, that your soul could take flight in the arms of a man who adores you and only you.

I've always associated romance as the epitome of true joy and happiness. Days are brighter, life is sweeter and you feel everything more intensely, setting emotions free to be what they are meant to be. When it is lacking, there's an emptiness inside. Asking for it is a hard pill to swallow, so sometimes I think it's easier to escape into a romance novel or listen to cheesy love songs, than admit to yourself that you don't just crave it or want need it.

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