Saturday, April 21, 2007

Traditional Romance vs. Intentional Romance

I believe there are two types of romantics.

First, there is the traditional romantic. Now, let me start of by saying there is nothing wrong with this type of romantic. They operate with all of the optimism and hope that we should continually strive for. I believe that they keep the concept of love alive.

The traditional romantic works within the confines of a socially-set romance. Examples of this would include: purchasing a dozen roses and having them delivered to a significant other, that box of Godiva chocolates set out for Valentine's Day along with an "I love you" card, breakfast in bed, dinner and a walk on the beach for an anniversary. The list goes on and on. This type of romantic cries at romantic comedies and sappy films, holding onto the notion of true love and being swept up in the whimsical.

Then there is the intentional romantic. This type of person does not operate within the system of "romance" that most ascribe to. Giving a dozen roses is trite, buying chocolates is a waste of time and calories, and sappy movies are great but nothing to get all wrapped up in. Many people will often look at this person as a non-romantic because they don't live in a world of soul-mates and they don't sigh or fawn everytime someone tells a sweet story about their partner.

Or so it seems on the surface.

The intentional romantic operates with pointed effectiveness. Giving a dozen roses is trite and impersonal; knowing your partner's favorite flower, then strategically placing one on their nightstand, their bathroom counter, the seat of their car, at their desk at work, and finally a dozen in your grasp as you greet them when they come through the door after a long day is impactful. Gifting chocolates is conventional and fueled by a multi-million dollar industry that focuses on the crafting of "Romance"; remembering the little trinket that they mentioned in passing as you window-shopped one day during a great afternoon together, and then surprising them with said trinket when they least expect it is touching. Breakfast in bed is a staple of Mother's Day and romantic comedies; finding out their favorite meal from their favorite restaurant, talking to the management and chefs from that restaurant to find out how to make the meal, practicing cooking that meal several times until you get it *just* right, and then preparing that meal for them on a random night of the week when you know they have had a rough day is genuine. Intentional romance is where connection, forethought and effort meet. Examples of intentional romance are hard to identify and explain because they cannot operate outside of the connection between two people.

The difference between the two lies in the philosophy behind each type of romance. The traditional romantic is in love with the idea of romance; on some peripheral level, it does matter to them WHO they happen to be romantic with. But at the core they love the idea of love and romance; whoever they are with at the time reaps the benefits of their detached notions of a romantic relationship. The acts that are seen as "romantic" are impersonal; they are a set of romantic ideas with which we have been indoctrinated over time.

The intentional romantic does not see the need to hold onto the notion of romance as it stands within a societal context. Rather, the romance spawns from the love they feel for one person. The ideas and expressions of love come from the connection with that special person; the things that intentional romantics do for them are romantic because they are personal and intertwined with the love and affection that is specifically felt between them. This type of romance is carried out on a daily basis because it is not confined to the cliches set out by our culture. It is borne out of that specific bond and can never be repeated with another person.

I am an intentional romantic. I don't share myself or my affection with every guy I meet. These things are reserved for those that touch me at my core and make it all worthwhile.

In my head, all of this made much more sense. Now I'm not so sure. It's difficult to explain, but I know that I am a romantic at heart, despite the fact that I joke about being "dead inside" (like Chandler Bing!). You don't see my romantic side because it is shared with one person, not the world. And I intend to keep it that way.

I'll stop rambling now. I think I lost my point about 5 paragraphs ago, ha ha ha.


Nikki said...

HELLS YES. As someone who really, really abhors long-stem red roses, this totally spoke to me! :)

Joshua said...

There's nothing wrong with being "dead inside". LOL. Nice to find someone with a decent blog out here in blogger. Most of these fruit loops have nothing of any sense to say.