The Less Romantic A Man Is, The Better For Me

I’m the furthest thing from a hopeless romantic. I don’t care for long walks on the beach or holding hands while watching the sunset. In fact, I believe romance—at least the fairytale kind—should be left for movies and books.

It never feels genuine. I’m all about authenticity in relationships. However, many romantic gestures are totally false. Men offer women little trinkets to symbolize their love because that’s how society says it should be. We pattern our lives after fictional couples, but there’s a keyword here: they’re fictional. I’d much rather a guy get to know me first before offering me generic gifts to show his affection. A signed ball from my favorite college football coach may not be the most romantic thing in the world but it would be perfect for me.

It makes me uneasy. Romantic situations can be quite uncomfortable for me and I try to avoid them at all costs. I once ended things with a guy because he thought I wasn’t romantic enough. He unsuccessfully tried to turn me into someone who embraced silly nicknames or enjoyed the idea of feeding each other in public. Newsflash: That’s not me. I’m a simple girl who prefers to maintain a simple lifestyle in every area, including relationships.

I don’t like flowers. A date gets major points for showing up at my door without flowers in tow. What’s the deal with flowers anyway? They may be pretty but they smell awful. They’re also dangerous. Have you ever pricked your finger on a rose thorn? I have and it’s no fun. Flowers die and if it’s up to me to take care of them, they die quickly. I purchased my first live plant a few months ago and the poor thing is hanging on by a thread.

I prefer friendship over romance. I’m not a very good girlfriend. I struggle with empathy and I’m often very blunt. On the contrary, I’m an awesome friend. What I lack in romance I more than make up for in other areas. I’m supportive, honest, dependable—the list goes on. I also love to laugh. Give me jokes and giggles over hugs and kisses any day.

PDA is TMI. There is nothing more awkward to me than kissing a guy in public. I don’t even like holding hands. I remember walking into a play with a date once and he grabbed my hand. I almost lost it. This may seem a bit extreme to some but its a real thing for me. The weirdest part is that I’m not bothered by other couples’ PDA. It’s just something I cannot and will not do.

I don’t like to cuddle. An ex-boyfriend used to demand we cuddle whenever we watched television. Why? What’s wrong with sitting on the couch without being all over each other? I like my space. I’ve noticed the longer I’m single, the truer that becomes. For some it’s the opposite but I prefer comfort over anything else. Body heat doesn’t provide comfort in my book.

I hate stereotypical love. Growing up, I believed relationships were supposed to look and feel a certain romantic way. Thank God I grew up and learned better. I now know I’ll never fulfill the traditional gender roles we’ve been taught by society. I also know that love isn’t all happily ever after, nor should we want it to be. What’s a relationship without a challenge and eventual growth?

Romance does not equal happiness. I actually used to believe it did, but after several failed relationships, I realized the flaws in my thinking. If you’re constantly depending on someone or something else to provide joy in your life, you’ll find yourself on an emotional roller coaster. My happiness is no longer determined by external factors. Having a romantic guy around wouldn’t necessarily make my life any better.

Extreme romance could be a massive red flag. I’m always looking for warning signs when in a relationship. I’ve found men who are overly romantic sometimes have something to hide. These random romantic gestures could stem from guilt, often from being unfaithful. I’ve also known men to use their romance to control their significant other. I want no part in either scenario.

My past experience leaves me wanting more. I’ve had enough romance to last ten lifetimes but it’s not the romance that makes a difference with me. It goes beyond gazing into each other’s eyes. I don’t need another bouquet of flowers. I definitely don’t need any more boxes of chocolate. I love it when a guy offers something else. Give me your time, your honesty, your faithfulness. Give me the real you and leave that romance stuff for Hollywood.

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