Romance Isn’t Overrated, You Just Haven’t Experienced It Yet

A lot of women think romance is overrated — I know because I used to be one of them, but it turned out I just hadn’t experienced the real deal yet. Romance isn’t what the movies make it out to be. It isn’t 10,000 rose petals or chilled champagne on the beach. True romance is part of everyday life and if you haven’t experienced it, you haven’t truly been in love.

  1. Romance is feeling valued. A surprise trip to the Bahamas is great but it’s not romantic. Real romance is feeling valued by your partner. What’s the point of going to the Bahamas if you spend the whole week trying to meet the expectations you think your boyfriend has of you? That sounds horrible! Romance is knowing that your partner loves and values you regardless of where you are or what you’re wearing.
  2. Romance is a really good hug. There’s nothing like the power of human touch — not down there… although that’s pretty great too! I’m talking about a hand on the lower back or a really good hug. Romance isn’t all about silk sheets and massages, it’s about feeling a real connection. Try hugging your boyfriend for a good two or three minutes and then you’ll begin to experience romance.
  3. Romance is looking into each other’s eyes. Eye contact is so rare these days. We’re all guilty of looking at our phones in the middle of a conversation and not actually giving our full attention to anything. If you want to experience romance, look your partner in the eye. Next time you’re having a conversation, really make an effort to make sustained eye contact. Don’t stare him down or anything — that’s a little creepy — but look at him. You’ll be surprised at how intense it feels. It won’t be long before you’re running to the bedroom!
  4. Romance is a little surprise. One of the most romantic things in the world is knowing that your boyfriend was thinking about you throughout the day. If you love Ben & Jerry’s and he comes home from the store with a tub of your favorite flavor, that’s romantic. Granted, it’s a tub of ice cream and not a diamond bracelet, but it shows that he’s thinking about you all the time. You’ve got to admit that’s pretty amazing.
  5. Romance is a simple kiss. Everybody can get on board with a hot and heavy make-out session but that’s just sexual. Romance is in a little peck on the cheek. Romance is when neither of you leaves the house without kissing the other goodbye. Even if you’re running late, you lean in for a quick kiss and accidentally get his ear, not his cheek. It’s not sexy but it’s definitely romantic.
  6. Romance is actually listening. Just like eye contact is fading away, so is listening. People often think they’re paying attention but they’re actually thinking about what they’re going to say next. Romance is listening fully. Part of feeling valued is knowing that your boyfriend is really hearing what you’re saying. He’s not just nodding along and grunting at the appropriate time; he’s listening. When you get that from him, it’s a pretty great feeling — better than walking into a hotel suite with a bath big enough for two!
  7. Romance is being willing to compromise. You know what’s romantic? When your boyfriend takes you to a concert even though he hates the band you’re seeing. Or when you brave the freezing cold to cheer him on at his soccer game on a Sunday morning. Knowing that someone is willing to spend time doing what you love just because they love you? That’s romantic.
  8. Romance is caring about somebody else. Getting flowers delivered to you at work is nice but getting a good luck text five minutes before your big presentation is nicer. Coming home after a crappy day and finding your favorite dinner in the oven — that’s romantic. Romance isn’t all about huge gestures, it’s about caring. Showing your boyfriend you care and letting him do the same for you is romantic AF.
  9. Romance is going out of your way to help. It’s easy to be helpful when it doesn’t require too much effort. Giving your boyfriend a ride to work when it’s on the way is really nice of you but not romantic. Picking him up at two in the morning because his flight was delayed — that’s romantic. One of the most romantic things a guy will ever do for you is go out of his way to help you.
  10. Romance is doing what you love. Ultimately, romance is different for everybody because it’s about doing what you love. If you’re an outdoor person, camping might be the most romantic thing you’ve done with your boyfriend. If you’re an artist, maybe a day of yummy coffee and photography is the best date you can imagine. Romance is doing what you love with the person you love. There’s no way that can ever be overrated.
Aileen is a freelance writer and recovering perfectionist. When she was consumed by perfectionism, Aileen was always confused, angry and frustrated. At she tries to help other women who feel the same because life after perfectionism is bloody great!