What is Romance?

Maybe everything we think we know is wrong.

Maybe romance isn’t flowers and poetry. Maybe it isn’t surprises or grand gestures. It isn’t candlelit dinners, expensive jewelry, island getaways, or public proclamations. Maybe, just maybe, romance is laughter. Or nicknames. Or 10 minute visits before work, 3am texts from work, telling his family about you and wanting to know your last name. Maybe it’s him calling you the minute he heads home in the morning or wishing you happy birthday nearly a dozen times. Maybe it’s funny stories of the past or exchanging nothing but emoji conversations.

Maybe the beginning of a relationship doesn’t need to be so serious. Maybe we don’t have to have those deep conversations. We don’t have to question what is happening or how long it may last. We don’t have to compare notes about where we’ve been or where we are going. Maybe we don’t have to feel nauseating butterflies or fear meeting their family. We don’t have to worry about what we order for dinner or how we look first thing in the morning.

Maybe in order to build a future you have to be present. You have to be open to what is unfolding in front of you instead of trying to make the relationship hit every check point on your list. Imagine letting go and having fun, being surprised by each revelation; piecing together and building a foundation based on who you are now, not who you think you want to be, and certainly not who you think you want the other person to be.

Can a love like that be possible?

In the past I thought I had to have certain things figured out right off the bat. I thought those serious conversations were a must. I worried about the time we’d have together and would either of us be flexible or understanding enough when it came to restrictions. I would dwell on deal breakers, stubborn and unwilling to make exceptions. I was nervous about how we’d get along with each other’s families and friends. And what if he had no passions?!

As I age and gain more experiences, I feel as though I’m beginning to see relationships in a completely different light. They aren’t linear and don’t follow a pattern. They don’t follow your expectations either, no matter how low key they may be. Relationships aren’t like the movies or books or like other people portray online. And the best ones are often so unlike anything you could imagine. When we let go and let them take on a life of their own organically and without prejudice, we could very well create the deepest love we have ever known.

 

I never wanted to be set up with someone again. It hasn’t ever worked in my favor. And I was just barely open to the idea of even meeting someone or pursuing anything. I’d convinced myself that I was perfectly fine with my narrative of being single and being ok with that for the rest of my days. I would tell everyone ‘sure it’d be nice to meet someone and share experienced with them but…’ I’d repeated these ideas to myself so much and for so long that I actually believed them to be true!

Of course until I met him.

We aren’t anywhere yet other than at the start, so very fresh and new. Though already everything I thought I knew about the type of relationship I wanted has been completely dismantled. Maybe it’s age. Maybe it’s history. Maybe it’s a little bit of magic.

Whether this is or isn’t something beyond what it is now, I can already tell I am going to be forever grateful for the door that has been opened. For the widening of my eyes. For the tender touch upon my heart.

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Invisible.

Have you ever felt like a visitor in your own life? As though you don’t belong anywhere? Not among any group of people, not in any situation, relationship, space or time? A deep rooted feeling of not belonging. Unable to shake. Unbearable to carry.

Yet this is my life.

For as long as I can remember I never felt like I fit in. Not in school, not at a job, not with friends, not in romantic relationships, and not even with my family. I have always felt like “that one over there.” People kind of like me, or maybe they like the idea of me, yet no one wants to claim me. No one wants to call me their own, part of their tribe, a piece of their puzzle.

I can only get so close to people. I can only do so well at work. I can only do so much for others. Still going unnoticed, head down, and constantly fighting for a place in this world.

Being a loner hasn’t always been self imposed. It’s just that you get tired of feeling less than. It hurts more to stand along the fray of the crowd than to omit your translucence from the picture. It hurts more to stare at the phone waiting for someone to care enough to ask how you are and really want to know. And it’s crippling to continue to put trust in the wrong people who are all to quick to take advantage of your generosity and kind heart.

This is why I long to live between the mountains and the fields. My bones ache to feel more connected to the earth than to its people. The sun a more steady presence than most, and the moon more faithful than any man I’ve ever been with.

I yearn to come and go as I please, answering to no one, asking for comfort from the stars and kisses from cool breezes.

I don’t belong here. I’ve never belonged anywhere. And no one would miss me if I were gone.

Some day my time to roam will come. Some day I will find a sense of belonging within myself, and there I’ll make a home.