If you've read my work, you may have noticed that for romance novels, they're lacking in a lot of the traditional romantic gestures. Flowers, for example. I don't think any man I write ever buys any woman flowers. Because I personally hate getting flowers. It's like the least romantic thing you could do for me.
I didn't always feel this way.
Once upon a time, I fell in love with this guy who was standard romance to the extreme. He was all about the romantic dinners and sweet gifts. I can't even tell you how many times I woke up to find a bouquet for flowers and a cheesy but lovely Hallmark card sitting on my bedside table. This guy was everything I thought I ever wanted and I was sure he was my fairy tale prince.
A few months into the relationship, he gradually became increasingly manipulative and hurtful until eventually, I found myself in a relationship that was so mentally and emotionally abusive I was so depressed and mentally fucked up I wound up sitting at the top of the stairs one day, thinking how easy it would be to just let myself fall...and wondering if it would be enough to do me in.
By the time I finally saw clearly enough to get myself out, I was so broken I spent the next four years surrounding myself only with unavailable men and those who were such obvious assholes I knew better than to get involved with them. Because there was no way I was ever letting anyone get close enough to hurt me ever again.
Until I did. But that's not the point.
The point is, I hate getting flowers.
But...I've also always had this secret fantasy in which I live happy ever after in my dream home with my dream guy and my very real but still dreamy child and dogs. And in this dream life, I have a table in the foyer where I always keep a large vase of fresh flowers. And, my dream guy regularly replaces them.
And that's romantic to me. Because then it's not about the flowers. It's about what the flowers mean to me. And the gesture. And doing something small that makes me happy in a big way.
That's my idea of romance. And I think you find that in my writing.
I don't have that dream guy or the dream house yet. But I decided a little while ago that I would start keeping flowers in a vase near my front door now. And so, today, for the very first time, I bought myself flowers. And it was awesome.
I also hate getting chocolates... But I'll save that for another post ;-)
In the meantime, I'm curious to hear from you guys - what's something that's considered romantic that instantly kills the romance for you?