Friday, November 07, 2008

What Is Romance?


Dictionary.com reads “a novel or other prose narrative depicting heroic or marvelous deeds, pageantry, romantic exploits, etc., usually in a historical or imaginary setting.” That was the most common definition at number one. Number four was “a baseless, made-up story, usually full of exaggeration or fanciful invention.” Encarta Dictionary said something similar. Same as Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary.

Hmmm, I believe there's a trend here. Are you feeling that the definition needs updating?

Well, American Heritage Dictionary has got it together. It reads “1.a. A love affair, b. Ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; love...” BINGO! By George, I think they got it!

Why are these definitions so important? One, I look up words on Dictionary.com often and depend on it to get them right. Two, I overheard a reader say romance was sex. I disagree.

Sex is a by-product of romance. Most of the time. I believe there can be romance without sex. Just as you can have sex without romance. (Yuck!)

Romance is the best part of the books I love to read. The emotions, the way the man and woman become attached to each other. The need to be closer, to connect, even if it is only to hold hands. Or maybe they can’t touch, can’t be together. The hunger in their eyes, the wary glance, the need to hear a voice or brush shoulders. The gentleness in their tone when they say that special someone’s name. The tremor in their fingers when they finally touch for the first time. The way they sacrifice a part of themselves to be together.

Oooh, romance.

There’s nothing more satisfying to read.

6 comments:

Diane Richmond said...

I agree with you Carla. Often times the most romantic moments do not revolve around sex at all. Now, don't get me wrong. They may lead to sex but that is not a requisite.

The most romantic thing my guy did for me was before we were married. I was working back to back 60 hour weeks. Over a hurried call at lunch I complained that I was exhausted and couldn't go out that night because I had to grocery shop after dinner and do the laundry, not to mention clean the house the next day.

Imagine my surprise when I came dragging home to find the house cleaned, the laundry done and the things we needed most from the grocery store purchased. I just stood there and cried. I was so happy. Did I mention we still didn't go out that evening? We didn't but we found something to do that left us both satisfied.

Karen Beeching said...

Amen Carla! And Amen, Diane!
Woo hoo!

I love romance. It's the most important part of everything. Without it, I think life is empty.

Two weeks ago when I had major surgery, my husband picked me up the next day to take me home. I was in so much pain I couldn't bend down to put on my socks and shoes. Before I could even get frustrated or upset, he knelt at my feet and did this for me.

Talk about making my heart melt. It's not sexy, but wow. I'll take that over great sex any day.

No, wait. Let me think about that a little longer before I commit...

Carla Swafford said...

Diane and Karen, I agree. As we mature, we realize thoughtfulness is a big turn on.

JoAnn said...

Great comments, ladies! I wholeheartedly concur. Romance isn't about sex. It's about love.

Louisa Cornell said...

Lucky ladies, Diane and Karen!

Romance is all of those things. The grand gesture and the smallest touch. The impassioned speech and the quiet "Thanks, babe."

My Dad was a big romantic lug. He sent my Mom flowers on each of us kids' birthdays. I always thought that was cool.

My late DH made sure that I got a separate gift, card and dinner on my birthday. A very big deal for someone whose birthday is December 29th! The most romantic thing he did was LISTEN to me. Really listen. I miss that.

Its the little things, the big things, the looks, the touches, the sex and the common memories - that's romance to me.

Carla Swafford said...

That's beautiful, Louisa.