The definition of romance has changed for me over the years.
As a little girl, it was seeing my father bringing flowers home for my mom, or giving her a jewel-encrusted bracelet on Valentine’s Day. It was the image of a prince on horseback, rescuing a princess from her sleeping prison.
As a middle-schooler, romance was a Journey song that I quietly wept to in the back of my parents’ car, thinking about the boy I had a crush on.
In high-school, romance was a secret kiss at a friend’s party, or a boy I liked telling me I looked “hotter than I usually did”. And it was still a Journey song I wept quietly to.
As I got older and relationships got more serious, I defined romance as something surprising, like a gift I wasn’t expecting or a note under my pillow. It was a special dinner out, or a candlelit dinner in. It was flowery words and passionate sex. It was youth and fun and… Journey.
I’ve been with my husband for 15 years, and in April we will celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. We’ve never been big on celebrating Valentine’s day or exchanging opulent gifts. We don’t tend to go out for many fancy meals, and we’re not really the “carriage through the park” people.
But yesterday, my husband took me in his arms and hugged me with all his strength. He thanked me for being his partner and for going through this life with him. And I am telling you, with all my heart, that that was the most romantic moment I have ever had. And Journey wasn’t even playing.