I was reading something interesting over the weekend, about the factors that contribute to a solid long term relationship. It was talking about how men and women’s concept of romance differs drastically; a study had been done where men and women were asked to rate certain activities on a scale of 1 to 10, as to how romantic they were, things like running your partner a bath after a hard day at work, or giving her your coat if she was cold. The study found that women rated very simple things, such as those mentioned, as being romantic, whereas men did not. They only seemed to rate grand gestures as being romantic. It concluded that men are no less romantic than women, but only seem to be so, because they underestimate the value of small things.
Now this makes so much sense to me. When you’ve been with someone a long time, your sense of romance does begin to change (and probably should, if your relationship is going to survive long term). It becomes less about what’s new and exciting, and more about knowing that your partner doesn’t take you for granted, that they are thinking about you, that they care about your needs and value your companionship.
Tony, bless his heart, has never been a rose petals & poetry kind of man. There have been the occasional grand romantic gestures, but in general, he shows how much he loves me in lots of little ways, that might seem meaningless to other people, but have a great deal of meaning for me. Like the little scrap of paper he hid in my luggage when I went away, that said, “I love you!” And the times I come downstairs in the morning, and the fire is already lit, and a cup of tea waiting for me. And since I’ve been back from my trip, I’ve been really, really unwell – some nasty germ is whizzing it’s way round my body, first my tonsils, then my chest, then back up to my ears – and I’m still battling it. And Tony has been superb. He’s taken such good care of me, even though it’s dragged on and on. He’s cooked, and cleaned, and battled through the snow to get me medicine, and made me cups of tea in the middle of the night. Now that’s romance, wouldn’t you agree?