After having been married for 24 years and now divorced for nearly half as many, I have the chance to look back as a single woman with a clearer view of what romance is. Well, clearer than I did 40 or so years ago, that is. :) What I see isn't bad, in spite of the title of this blog post.
I enjoyed reading Pat's list of 20 things that, for her, make a hero. While reading Reese's list of romantic traits, I felt envy, and we won't even go into what Joan's roses evoked deep within me. ;) With that envy came a feeling of joy for them.
As Reese pointed out, it's the small things that make the difference. Love is putting someone else's wants and desires--and comfort--ahead of your own. Love is being happy that someone else is happy, even if whatever caused it isn't something you agree with or like. Love is sharing the things you enjoy and the things the person you love cares about. Love is giving someone space and time to be themselves, and then being there when needed, whether to wipe away a tear or to share joy. Love is making another person happy, just by being you.
All of the above comes down to one, simple thing: To love someone else, you must first love yourself. And while a sense of humor sits at the top of my list of what makes a hero, I know, deep down, that those of us who write romance in this particular place in time are creating not only heroes in our stories, but the kind of women who love themselves first and find the type of hero who loves them, too.
Love sought is good, but given unsought is better. ~ William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night - Act 3, Scene 1