The Difference Between Love And Romance

I am perhaps in the minor­ity of men who actu­ally enjoy a good roman­tic comedy. While a full on romance movie is dull as ditch water in my eyes, the roman­tic comedy allows for some enter­tain­ment and laughs amongst the roman­tic elements. And I enjoy the romance too. It’s touch­ing, it’s opti­mistic, it appeals to the dreamer in me.

But here’s the thing. It has noth­ing to do with love.

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Love is frequently hard work. Some­times it’s not even fun. It’s often about doing what needs to be done for other people and some­times about compro­mis­ing on what you need. Romance is epic and sweep­ing. Love is mundane.

This is not exactly a secret. There are approx­i­mately five billion words per day writ­ten on the subject of re-intro­duc­ing romance into your rela­tion­ship. Because romance is the bit with all the excite­ment and thrills. And lets face it we’d all like a bit more of that in our lives. Real life is just so… well… real.

But romance is also shal­low. It has no depth and commit­ment to it. It doesn’t require much risk. Some flow­ers an excit­ing loca­tion, the right words. This is stuff that can be learned and repeated as rote. It frequently is. There are several billion words dedi­cated to that too every day.

Love is where the real danger lies. With love you open your­self up to real pain. You leave your­self vulner­a­ble to another person and trust that they will protect you.

I want my sun-drenched, wind–swept Ingrid Bergman kiss

Portrait
Image via Wikipedia

Holly­wood sells romance as does the publish­ing indus­try. They offer the excit­ing, swept off your feet love lite. Men say dramatic heart felt things and the people watch­ing melt.

Part of all of us wants it to be like that. To be that easy. To be that special and thrilling. And hope­fully there are moments in all of our lives that reach that high. But none of us lives it daily and none of us could.

Romance is perhaps the most insid­i­ous form of fantasy not because it’s escapism, but because it is presented so perva­sively and with such consis­tency that it’s easy to start believ­ing that it’s normal and it’s what every­one else is expe­ri­enc­ing all the time. They’re not. Not all the time at least.

Romance is the Sports High­light Reel. It looks really impres­sive but it doesn’t show you all the hard work that went on before and after.

Don’t Let Romance Devalue Love

I’ve had more than one discus­sion with my wife where she gushes over the words some fictional hunk spouts to his para­mour.  They make her all mushy inside appar­ently. But the thing is, those words are just that.… words. And they don’t really mean anything unless they are backed by actions.

Words are easy. Look how many I have casu­ally splat­tered on the screen for this blog post. The ease with which they can be applied shows how little they are really worth.

It’s roman­tic to buy your wife flow­ers and take her to a fancy restau­rant. It’s roman­tic to tell her that you love her. And the point of this post is not to demean romance. It is some­thing that all rela­tion­ships need. Rather I want to empha­size the impor­tance of love.  Romance can be faked. Love can’t.

Because love is help­ing your part­ner to bathe them­selves because they are injured and cannot them­selves. Love is going to work day after day to a job you don’t like because you want to give your family the best life you can. Love is going to kids birth­day parties, spend­ing time with distant rela­tives of in-laws. Love is find­ing your way through anger, or jeal­ousy or resent­ment or distrust because you want to make things work.

Love is tedious and repet­i­tive and some­times unpleas­ant. You don’t see love in movies because it’s boring to watch.

Which is really the greater state­ment of love?

Making a speech declar­ing that you can’t live in this world with­out your part­ner.

or

Simply being there day after day. No matter what.

About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of eoghann.com. You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?

Comments

  • I absolutely love this. I always say I wish Jamie was more roman­tic. I think from now on I am going to be happy that I can see that my husband truly loves me. Thank you.

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