Romance or Love? (Roxann Delaney)

The question has been asked if romance and love are the same or different, so I did a little digging.

According to an article in the online Examiner, this is what was found in an internet dictionary:

Love is:
1. feel tender affection for somebody: to feel tender affection for somebody such as a close relative or friend,    or for something such as a place, an ideal, or an animal 
2. feel desire for somebody: to feel romantic and sexual desire and longing for somebody 
3. like something very much: to like something, or like doing, something very much

Romance is:
1. love affair: a love affair, especially a brief and intense one
2. physical love: sexual love, especially when the other person or the relationship is idealized or when it is exciting and intense 

3. spirit of adventure: a spirit or feeling of adventure, excitement, the potential for heroic achievement, and the exotic

So here's my totally biased opinion.

Romance is the showing of love.  It's a gift given--flowers, candy...a ring!  It might be remembering a special date and celebrating it.  But, more often, it's the small things, such as giving up a favorite movie or TV show.  Fixing breakfast or lunch or dinner.  A note on the mirror or in the pocket.  A hand held, a hug.  Or simply a look.

While it might be true for some that in a brief and intense love affair...vanishes as love goes on, how does that explain couples who have been together for years, yet still show indications of romance?

What we've done here this month is try to explain and list the ways that love is shown--the romance part of the equation.  Whether we have it right or wrong doesn't matter.  We've done our best to show what we believe is romance.  We won't always agree, but that's okay.

The funny thing is that while doing that bit of research, I've discovered that nobody really seems to know.  Even the experts.  Don't believe me?  Check out this article on Oprah's O Magazine.  And don't miss the comments!

Romance: Tendency To The Wonderful Or Mysterious

It’s always difficult to pen my blog after reading all the wonderful ones that have come before me. I always wonder, what can I say that’s new? I suspect not much, but I will attempt to dazzle you with my profound wisdom concerning romance. Not!

Romance can mean many things to many people. To me, it has always been that unexpected gesture of love. The little things that someone does  just because they love you.

To me, romance has never been about flowers and candy, movies or dinner. It’s about giving of oneself in unexpected and unasked for ways. It’s showing your loved one they are so important to you, that you are willing to go out of your way to do something nice for them.  

I miss that now that my husband is gone, knowing someone out there is thinking especially about me. I miss what he did, and I miss doing those little things for him.
            The single rose he picks up for me on his way home from work.
            Volunteering to take the kids to the park because I’m tired.

            Helping me with dinner, or the dishes, without my asking.
            Listening about my bad day when he’s had one of his own.
            Holding me when I cry, though crying makes him uncomfortable.
            Building me a bookshelf, with his bonus, while I’m out of town.

            Taking him a glass of iced tea when he’s working outside.
            Stopping by his job unexpectedly to give him a hug and kiss.

            Putting a love note in his truck, dresser, or lunch sack.
            Cooking potatoes at almost every meal because he likes them.
Some of these things may not sound romantic, but thinking about them still warms my heart. To me, the unselfish acts of love are the most romantic actions possible. Anyone can ply you with flowers and chocolate. The selfless gestures of the heart show the true depth of our/their feelings.  

My husband was not the “romantic” type, but he knew how to touch my heart. He romanced me a thousand different ways by all the little things he did that said, I love you, just because you’re you.

Unselfish acts of service, without expectation of repayment, tend to evoke a wonderful and mysterious response of love from the heart of the receiver. That is Romance.

Music - When the words for romance escape us (Melissa Robbins)

I admit.  I struggled with this topic at first.  I couldn’t find the words.  Then, as I was listening to my writing playlist, the realization hit me.  What have men and women done for centuries when the words for romance fail them?  Music!  Receive a mix tape from a guy?  A pin from Pinterest had me laughing out loud.  “Sad?  Depressed?  Heartbroken?  Cheated on?  Treated badly by a man?  Don’t worry…There’s a Taylor Swift song for that.”  So here are some songs I listen to when I need help in the romance department of my stories.  Some on the list may surprise you.  Hope you can find them on Itunes. 

Raul Menendez Theme (Nino Precioso): Call of Duty Black Ops – Huh?  What does a military shoot up video game have to do with romance?  Technically, the song is about a soldier’s daughter, but the music has that tango vibe.  My character Connor, who learned pretty quick that a guy who can dance gets ALL the girls, tangoes with his girl Fran to this song.  What’s more romantic than a tango????

It’s Our Fight – Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon – What?  This is the song I was listening to when the idea for this post hit me.  Bet you didn’t know T3 was a romance, did ya?  Spoilers!  Near the end of the movie, Sam wants to go into the wrecked Chicago city controlled by the evil Decepticons.  Why?  To save his girl and stop the bad guys together!  This is the song playing in the background when he’s trying to get her back (with the help of special ops soldiers) and I just love the grandness of it.  What’s more romantic than a hero and heroine saving the day together?  Whether it’s in a plane or dodging bombing raids, Meris keeps up with Carrick without a problem.  So does Fran and Wren. 

Strength of a Thousand Men: Two Steps from Hell – My husband recommended this group.  Their instrumentals are epic with choirs and orchestras.  This is another one playing when my hero and heroine can save the day.  I can’t tell you why (I was a terrible musician), but it has this neat fallingness to it.   Let’s run and jump off a cliff together to get away from the bad guys.  Weird, huh?  Not that any of my characters have done that yet, but my money is on Connor to be the first.  Maybe Carrick.  

Can You See Jane?  Thor – Comic book guys think they are fooling us girls, but they like romance too.  I particularly like the fact that Thor’s girl is an astrophysicist.  However for me, this song from the soundtrack is hands down Connor and Fran’s theme.  Why?  It starts off sweet and melodious and then speeds up and becomes playful and fun.  Just like Connor and Fran. 

Just A Kiss: Lady Antebellum – Love this song!  This is such a Wren and Jack song and describes their relationship perfectly.  “Just a kiss on your lips in the moonlight.  Just a touch of the fire burning so bright.  No I don’t want to mess this thing up.  I don’t want to push too far.  Just a shot in the dark that you just might be the one I’ve been waiting for my whole life.  So baby I’m all right, with just a kiss goodnight.”  Even the guy on the music video smiles like Jack.  Search for it on YouTube.  You won’t be sorry.

Heart of Courage: Two Steps from Hell – I’ll end with this song.  To me this is Carrick’s theme song.  “I’m going to kick bum, but even if we’re battle weary, my girl will hug me at the end of the book” sound. 

This is just a handful of the songs in my playlists.  So readers and music lovers, do you have romantic soundtracks to help with the writing?

Today, For Me, Romance Is... (Penny Rader) -- Creative-Commons licensed content
The topic of blog this month is What Is Romance?

My answer this week will most likely differ next week.  Why?  I've been sick most of the week and that tends to skew my mind.  So, here's what romance means to me this week, not in any particular order:

  • Cuddling, for cuddling's sake, without further expectations.
  • Making sure the fan is on if I'm hot or off if I'm cold.
  • Ditto for my snuggly blanket...on if cold, off it hot.
  • At least poke me every couple hours to see if I need anything.
  • Make sure I stay hydrated.
  • Bring me a cold cloth for my head when I have a migraine.  Refreshen when it's warm and/or dry.
  • Help me keep track of if/when I took my meds.
  • Make sure the bathroom is stocked with soft tp.
  • Don't make tacos for supper when I'm sick with tummy troubles.
Made that all about me, didn't I?  My selfish, whiny self came out with a bang.

Next week, when I'm feeling better, my definition of romance will probably read more like:

  • Holding hands.
  • Kissing hello and good-bye.
  • "Just because" surprises.
  • Doing chores your spouse despises.
  • Cuddling and snuggling, without further expectations. 
  • Secret smiles and shared memories.
  • If one of us is out of town, calling to let the other know s/he arrived...and check in every day or so until s/he gets home.
  • Watching a show you're not interested in just because your significant other is and you want to spend time with him/her.
  • Remembering milestones.
  • Being patient and kind to one another.
  • Sticking together in good times and in bad.
  • Cherishing one another.
  • Listening.
Then again, maybe I have romance mixed up with love.  What do you think?  How are romance and love the same?  How do they differ? -- Creative-Commons licensed content

Romance: The Little Things

We all tend to think of romance as those big things.  Weddings come to mind first.  What better way to celebrate the love between two people?  Next come  Honeymoons, Valentine's Day, Anniversaries and all those things that have become big deals in our society.  Candy and flowers, hearts and cupids.  Those are the things we've been taught to think about when the word "romance" is mentioned.

I'll step forward and come clean.  I've been divorced for 13 years, after being married for 25 years, so romance hasn't been a part of my life for a long time.  To be really honest, it wasn't before, either.  And yet, I continue to write romance.  Why?  Because, after much thinking and soul searching, I still believe in happily-ever-afters.  They really are possible and happen more often than we realize.  People who understand romance will have more of it in their lives.

So what is romance?  It's the little things.  It's a special connection between two people that doesn't happen with many others.  It's a touch, a smile, an "I miss you," a pillow fluffed, a phone call or text message or note, just to say, "I'm thinking of you."  It's an understanding of ourselves and another person on a level that isn't often reached.

Romance involves the heart, not only the quickening beat of it when we see that special someone, but a peace and calm within us.  A special kind of happy.  It involves love and caring.  Romance is always there, even when we aren't experiencing it.  It isn't just the grand gestures, but the little ones.  A look, a sigh, a twinkle in the eye.  It's caring about another person.

Romance can happen at any age.  Children experience it with a first crush.  Teenagers then experience it at a higher level.  Young adults, mid-life adults and older adults sometimes get the hang of it.  It can be learned by watching how others--especially parents--interact, day to day.  Some people simply seem to be born with a romantic soul.

Do I miss romance?  Sometimes.  But writing romance keeps me in touch with it.  Writing it has given me a much better view of it, and if I should be lucky enough to see it in my own life, I'd grab it in a New York minute. *grin*

Here's to Romance!  And for all the romantics out there, August is Read-A-Romance Month.  Pick up a romance novel by your favorite author, and immerse yourself in romance.  It will make you smile. :)

What is Romance by J Vincent

 The original meaning of romance (Free Dictionary) had nothing to do with love or sex.  A romance (until the modern definition of the word) was a long medieval narrative in prose or verse that tells of the adventures and heroic exploits of chivalric heroes like Arthurian romance.  Or a long fictitious tale of heroes and extraordinary or mysterious events, usually set in a distant time or place.

Today what most think of when hearing the word “romance” include a love affair; ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; a strong, sometimes short-lived attachment, fascination, or enthusiasm for something.

So what is romance?  Romance is the elaborate dance in which men and women who are attracted to each other for whatever reason, engage. It is the intangible tango of male and female maneuvering; of inexplicable choices; of actions not marred by reality or disillusion. The engagement of the mind, while not completely suspended, is not to reason but to supply the ideas with which to win the object of interest:  It is used to conjure witty conversation, sentimental gifts, pleasing experiences, or tempting adventures. Flirtation with wild swings of emotion is only part of romance.  All of it is the testing grounds by which a person discovers if the other is the “one.”  A romance can be a mating dance, a tango driven by lust, a waltz of desire, a jitterbug of wild give and take, or a free style of harmonious rhythm. It might also be a contest, a battle royal, a joust, a duel, a war.  So many kinds, so little time to get them all written.

If one is lucky, romance leads to love.  Love is what endures after reality intrudes be it in the form of shorts and socks routinely littering the bedroom floor to the realization of far worse flaws.  If one is truly lucky romance lives alongside love as the years go by.  This may mean the adjusting of what we think of as romantic but it still brings the unexpected rose;, or the offer to bath and put the kids to bed when you are nearing the end of your rope, breakfast in bed for no special reason, holding hands when you take a walk, and endless others things that having meaning between a man and a woman.  Romance with love is truly magical.

Has your dear heart done something romantic lately?  We celebrated our 46th anniversary last month.  He melted my heart last week when he used an endearment from when we were dating those eons ago.  I couldn’t even remember the last time he had done so.  Pure romance.  Please share yours.

Romancing the Stone --Age by Wilma aka Reese Mobley

Our topic this month is about romance and I’m betting that everyone who posts or comments has a different idea about what romance means to them.   It’s a personal feeling that falls along the same lines of beauty is in the eye of the beholder.   We recognize it when we read about it or see it on the movie screen but to define it in our own lives, well, that’s not as easy. 
To me, romance is all the little things that add up to one big thing.  The importance of the little things changes as we age and our relationships mature.  Before I got married the little things included getting a giant teddy bear in my car from a secret admirer or a token of affection from the boyfriend of the month.  Now, if a stranger left a stuffed creature in my car, I’d probably freak out.  Scratch that.  I’d be scared to death.         
My husband isn’t a particularly romantic guy.  He’s more stone age than Romancing the Stone.  Fred over the swoon-worthy Jesse.  That’s not to say he doesn’t have his moments, because he does.  Romance to us is being able to laugh at the little mishaps in life—rolling with the punches instead of obsessing over them.  He lets me hug our grandson first when he gets off the plane from Florida even though he wants to.  Sharing popcorn and watching TV together.  Saving his change for me so I can buy a pop from the machine at work.  Bringing me the good ice because I like it better.
Little things.
And for the record, my hubby of 31 years looks about as much like Fred Flintstone as I do Wilma.