Why Romance!

A passion clad 15th century young Knight, about to compete in his country’s most prestigious jousting tournament, summons his love. Being the star-favored, he wants to tell her, he’ll be winning this jousting tournament for her. She however says he’d win anyway for his own pride, and if he really loved her he’d lose for her. Surprised, he thinks about it, then accepts her challenge going on to do just that, ‘sitting still and getting slammed repeatedly by his opponents’ lances until she relents and informs him that, if he loves her, he won’t lose another match.’ Reinvigorated, her young stud bounces back to pummel his opponent, winning the tournament after all. Now ultimately reassured, she confesses her everlasting love for him.

When you hear stories like this, right away you know it must be from another era or fiction literature. And aptly so it’s a scene from one of my fav movies ‘A Knight’s Tale.’ A medieval romantic story! Some historian’s place the birth of Romance back to this time, after the end of the dark ages. It was much more than some brief period of infatuation during courtship. It was true grit! What happened to such noble, charming, grandiose manifestations of adoration? And why don’t most people think about enchanting their mates with such endearment?  All good questions.

Woman without mercy painting pic

Can you picture NFL quarterback Tom Brady purposefully losing the Super bowl game to prove his “undying” love for his model girlfriend Gisele Bundchen? Highly unlikely. Lol. So what’s my point? Well that’s exactly how you can interpret Romance, as foolish, impractical and illogical. Today we are much quicker to put limits on our love. A perspective which is not so conducive to romance. We now think in a more selfish nature. To corral love, to maintain it, to arrange it tidy and neatly, so as to be sensible about it. Ideals coming from the opposite place of which Romance flows.

Everything has changed, we are sidetracked now. Simply put, we’re too busy to care. Too busy balancing life’s whirlwind and managing the necessities. Even for those with half a mind to gratitude augment their relationship are left with little time for it. So we leave it unattended, to be trampled upon. Romance sounds more like an antiquated luxury than anything else. Its just not practical. Are we listening to ourselves?  Practical has very little place when it comes to Romance and Passion, to your mate’s spirit moving through you, about you, energizing you, inspiring you, fortifying you. That isn’t nothing to be ashamed up. This is something to be highly sought after. An object of envy. Have humans evolved to the point where we don’t need Love and Romance? Sure we’re in a technology age, things move lightning fast. But has our basic human needs changed? Personally, I don’t think so. I bet we just arrest our contemplation of it to stop fancying it. Romance just so happens to be a basic psychological need. The Maslow’s hierarchy of needs diagram lists; “A fulfilling relationship” of Love and intimacy. Psychologist William James says “The deepest principle of humans is the desire to be appreciated.” Somehow we’ve poked our own eyes out, blinded ourselves of who we are at our core. Have we gained anything in the 21st century by being more sensible about love? Im not sure, but it seems that less and less people are choosing to believe in the institution of marriage.

The saying is, You can’t gain big unless you’re willing to lose big. Very true for matters of the heart. Fear of the risk, fear of putting ourselves out there. Playing it safe. This is why most us never really get to live, merely exist! My favorite moment from another popular romantic comedy ‘Serendipity’, is when the best friend of the main character tells him an Epictetus quote  – “If thou wouldst make progress, be content to seem foolish and void of understanding with respect to outward things. Care not to be thought to know anything.” All that means is, if you aim to have a higher love, equipped with a healthy dose of Romance. If a passionate relationship is the only kind you will settle for. Don’t look at what your friends do, nor care what they say.

From my vantage point, when I look at the state of the concept of romance It seems to have been hijacked. Taken hostage for financial gain by big business. Why, because they can. Because we let them. I suspect many people don’t even know what Romance is anymore. Curious, I looked up the definition of romance in the dictionary. Here’s a glimpse from three sources; 1. Webster’s : a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural  2. Cambridge: a close, usually short relationship of love between two people 3. Babylon English: love affair, amour; tall tale, tale filled with exaggeration; narrative or poem about chivalry and/or heroic adventures.  WTF! What the hell are you talking about? Is what I was thinking. No wonder people don’t know what Romance is. No wonder we spend thousands of dollars searching for these remote luxuriant places, Affluent restaurants, diamond-studded jewelry, all to capture a sense of it. We are lost, we rely on someone else to tell us what it is.

We better figure it out for ourselves quick!, before they make it so expensive that you can’t afford it. But Im telling you, you can have romance right here, right now, regardless of surroundings. Our modern day misconstruement of values doesn’t help clarify things either. Like groupthink we perpetuate the synonymy Romance=Luxury. Don’t get me wrong. Im not a hypocrite. That shit is nice. But that shit doesn’t define Romance. Don’t cheapen Romance like that. It is much more than simply superfluity. Let yourself ever get really pissed off for some odd reason, or get into a really bad fight with your mate while on location at one of those lavish destinations, and suddenly all of the millions of dollars in extravagant ambience wont feel soo enchanting. The feeling won’t even be able to penetrate you. It would be like giving tons of gold to someone who’s dying of thirst in the desert. Irrelevant! And yes, Romance is a feeling people!! It’s the end result of applying the romantic principles.

It’s not the price of the gifts and services that makes it romantic. It’s the value that it holds to the recipient. “To truly romance someone, you must truly get to know them.” Know what they value. You have to know what emotional deposits are from their frame of reference, not yours. In a relationship romance is an investment. And it pays good dividends. You wouldn’t think of making countless withdrawals from your bank without ever making a deposit now would you? No difference. Make those romantic deposits. What happens if you don’t put more wood on the flame? Fire goes out. You’ll be hard-pressed to find many good examples in today’s media or celebrity couples of true romance. See in his time, a knight was a staple in his community, a leader. His endearment example was seen by all, and commonly respected. People sought to have a sense of that for them, perpetuating the aura.

It’s time for us to take back Romance from greedy merchants and Debeer’s! Romance is OURS! And they didn’t invent it. You! are going to have to demand Romance for yourself . Just because you don’t have unlimited resources to provide expensive gifts doesn’t mean you can’t Romance your lover.

The feeling of romance is derived from a fulfillment of needs. Made possible by applying the principles of Romance. The principles of Appreciation, Humility, and the ‘little things’. A deep heartfelt gratitude! No need to tally romantic acts, gifts, or destinations. Just use the principles.

A story I read once illustrates it perfectly, It goes…”A wife had recently joined a self-improvement program. In it, she was directed to go home and ask her husband to list 6 things she could do to help her become a better wife. She does, and the husband, not telling her that he had thought of six things right away, had the immediate hind-thought, if she wanted she could list a thousand things about him. So he replies, ‘Hmm, let me think about it overnight and give you an answer in the morning.’ The next morning he gets up very early, calls the florist and have them send 6 red roses to his wife with a note saying ‘I can’t think of  six things I would like to change about you. I love you the way you are.’ When he arrived at home that evening, who do you think greeted him at the door! That’s right. His wife! She was almost in tears. Boy was he glad he had not criticized her as she had requested.” That story epitomizes it. That husband was thinking with a ‘romantic mind’, one of appreciation and consideration.

Most of Romance is about making emotional deposits. This is done by knowing your mate, knowing which kindness’ which gestures matter most to you mate, you can make pivotal key deposits. The little deposits add up. Like saying please, thank you, can I help you, and I’m sorry, when applicable. I believe its as keynote speaker Stephen Covey says “See ultimately this small kindness’, this gentility, this consideration, this respect, builds huge deposits, similarly small discourtesies, small unkindness’, little forms of disrespect eventually create huge withdrawals from the emotional bank account…the little things are the big things.” That’s Romance! Its not some four million dollar diamond ring, because you fucked up.

I admire Beyonce’s  song “Cater to you”

“Baby, I see you working hard I want to let you know I’m proud Let you know that I admire what you do The more I need to reassure you”
A beautiful song reinstating what Romance is about. Just follow the principles.

date pic 4

The Principles

Romance is Appreciation– like catering to your love. Breakfast in bed, Massages, dancing the night away with them, gifts, date nights.

Romance is the “Little things”- like compliments, common courtesies, small considerations, love notes, thoughtful texts, holding hands.

Romance is Humility– like compromising, respect, communicating, sharing.

The other day a friend of mine who is single, asked me “what is wrong with the guys these days?” she said on dates they have no manners, know nothing of etiquette. I didn’t have an immediate answer for her. But what I was thinking was, who picked these guys? A lot of these mistakes are just ignorance, disrespect or selfishness. These guys obviously are not trying to romance you. Those guys are just begrudgingly putting in “work” until they can get to the nookie, as fast as they can, as least involved as they can. And many times in these guys world, woman let them get away with that. Evidently very little value is placed on the small things. Watch the principles he applies, Does he treat you with respect, is he own time, makes sure your needs are met. If your date’s values are not in line with yours, its on to the next. Romance is caring. It’s Respect.

Many women today say a good man is hard to find. That chivalry is dead. I always wonder who killed it. Lol. You see many women are screaming for romance and don’t even know it. They don’t even know what’s missing. They just know that something is. Somewhere along the way, it became characterized that romantic guys are dweebs, corny weaklings, overly sensitive softies, too insecure to be strong. I say it’s quite to the contrary, to display romance one must be full of confidence, often a leader, not caring what others think of him and his displays. A caterer, someone who would display a sense of humility, and be protective of those he loves. Someone who is not deceitful, strongly attached to his mate, manifesting loyalty.

The expression goes “Its easy to fall in love, but much harder to stay there.” That’s what romantic love is about. Staying there! I’ve heard some artistic, thespian, Shakespearean-like renditions of “Romance’ implying it to be affection so compelling because of its perpetual unattainable-ness. As if its sexiness, its lure, its Passion is tied to it’s ever unfulfillment. As if by universal law it is destined to stay on the move. I disagree; somehow I feel they only propagate this enigma because they, as many people don’t know how to keep it. It is easier to accept that it automatically must leave. Perhaps the; “and they lived happily ever after” idea just isn’t provocative, seductive enough. True Romance takes work! It takes planning and preparation. Too often we get the guy or the girl, and we get lazy, saying I don’t need to impress them, I’ve already got them. Don’t do that. Strive to Live romantically Everyday. The significance, the spirit is priceless! The emotional contributions will keep your relationship Passionately wealthy!

How do you feel about romance? lets chop it up! leave a comment.


Inspired Songs

I’ll Make Love to You – Boys II Men

For the First Time – The Script


  1. Javan:
    I liked your piece “Why Romance” very much and I would concur with your overall assessments however although you claim that one’s ability to gain and claim romantic closeness and growth is a matter of action and care why do you introduce the concept of marriage and union?
    Romance has no boundary besides what is offered and given and one’s ability to decide what each one is willing to receive and share.
    Romance by nature is an anarchist “animal”.
    Romance is like a water stream responding to natural events, something, as you rightfully point out is better managed outside of our modern parameters.
    To your point, I am taken aback by the like of POF, OKC, Harmony and Match/Snatch.
    Since you are using a 15th Century Knight’s story as an example to start your presentation, I would like to offer Lancelot and Guinevere story as it shows how social judgment and society impair our ability to live fully our emotional and physical needs.
    In the case of Guinevere, she still loves Arthur even though she lusts for Lancelot who she also loves.
    She decides to become an abbess after Arthur’s passing and sacrifice romance to gain “social” forgiveness.
    I take issue with your statement” Have we gained anything in the 21st century by being more sensible about love? I’m not sure, but it seems that less and less people are choosing to believe in the institution of marriage.”
    Romance and any resulting love if any does not have to exist through an institution such as marriage.
    I know individuals who have loved each other for over 30 years and still do while one of them is married to somebody else.
    They are not perfect situations and our society throws upon those but they are often beautiful examples of commitments, romance and love.

    1. Courcoison

      Thank you for your comment. It is very insightful. I’m glad you mostly enjoyed the piece.

      You asked why do I introduce the concept of marriage and union? I cant help but feel that you missed my point. That statement was to emphasize that our modern day vantage point has not progressed us in the department of Love/Romance. We have digressed if anything. We are advanced in our modern wisdom in so many ways however in this particular aspect we are not. I merely used the word marriage in the example because it was a simple reference to an end result that many people look forward to in leading a fulfilling life. So if that has been the marker, I’m saying then why are more and more people missing the mark, and choosing to miss the mark if our modern day thinking is better than the old.

      I agree with you when you say “Romance and any resulting love if any does not have to exist through an institution such as marriage.” Romance need not be dependent or independent upon any particular arrangement. Just as romance is neither dependent nor independent of Love. You can romance someone in courtship just as you can in marriage. Romance is 2 things actions and feelings. One derived from the other. Unless you happen to be in an arrangement that restricts you from practicing those actions and feelings you’re good.

      I also agree with your statement, “They are not perfect situations and our society throws upon those but they are often beautiful examples of commitments, romance and love”.

      Thanks for the background on the romance between Guinevere and Lancelot.

  2. Javan:
    I missed your point on purpose in this case for the benefit of my original response but you are right.
    Many people indeed look at the institution of marriage as an end result when it is actually the start of something altogether different.
    Our society has made us objects and as such we are expected to fit in specific “boxes” at specific times.
    A lot of what should be romance has been replaced with social expectations and rules that are increasingly binding and limit one’s ability to flourish emotionally.
    I would even go further by saying that one is increasingly subjected to public ire if not compliant.
    For example the unconventional love relationship between Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy was probably also very meaningful romance wise but this is not what society conditions and forces us to believe and accept.
    I usually do not read “USA today” but on my flight back home yesterday I could not help reading an absolutely appalling article in which general David Petraeus is associated with the like of Lance Amstrong, Goldman Sachs, the Madoff brothers and a few other under the title “Dishonesty was on display everywhere in 2012”:
    So here it is, romance on trial, vilified and regulated.
    There is not much room left for the imagination, is there?

  3. Javan, Shakespeare’s Comedy ” Twelfth Night or What You Will” addresses in a wonderful way relationships, Romance and Love.

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