Valentine’s Day. It turns social media feeds into a monochromatic rainbow with every shade of red. People share their love stories as if they’re fairy tale dreams come true. Romantic gestures, from dinners out to theatrical wedding proposals, fill every feed. Images of baby Yoda are replaced with chocolates, wine, and roses. And if baby Yoda is there, he has a box of chocolates instead of his regular “chocky milk”. Real life couples give way to romance novel couples as romantic dates are shared and roses are given.
I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day or romance. I love romance. I live for the “almost kiss” moments in books and movies. It’s not the exciting plots that draw me into fictional worlds. It’s the relationships. It doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship, but those are some of my favorites. I’m hooked by the cycles of attraction and heartbreak and hope that work themselves out until finally the couple realizes they are meant to be together.
I’m a romantic at heart. But I’m also a realist. My head’s in the clouds while my feet stay firmly planted on the ground. I appreciate the sentiment fueled gestures that will flood our lives today. If I receive flowers, candy, or a card that speaks of my husband’s feelings for me, I can enjoy it knowing the sentiments are true every day of the year, even when we aren’t showing it in the best ways possible.
We shouldn’t need a day to remind us to tell our loved ones we want to be with them, but life is messy. It gets in the way of romance and the mushy side of love. When you’re facing a grueling day at the office, you don’t feel romantic. When you were up all night because your toddler couldn’t stop vomiting, you don’t feel romantic. When the bills keep coming even though the paycheck has been depleted, you don’t feel romantic. You don’t feel romantic, but that’s not to say you don’t feel loved.
Romance enhances the relationship. Romance says I desire to be with you because you’re you. Romance is where we find the spark in the relationship. Each truffle and flower says we’re special to someone, but gestures only take you so far. Love can see you through to the end.
Love happens in the every day. Love is committed. Love works through all the details of life that don’t exist in romance’s world. Romance is about feeling. Love is about being and doing. Love can happen in times when romance is far from the mind.
We need that daily, committed love that holds us together in the mess. But there are also days we need to clean up the mess, dress ourselves up, and simply enjoy being with each other. Taking time for romance will make our day to day love sweeter and stronger.
Love and romance are the perfect pair. They both have a place in our lives, and I think they do on our bookshelves as well.
I love a good romance. They’re fun and flirty. They give “almost kiss” moments to gush over. They remind us how sweet that first kiss can be. We can relive the excitement of the first realization of shared attraction. We can savor the moment the main characters finally overcome to begin their happily ever after. They’re uplifting and exciting. They’re like the perfect box of chocolates, sweet, smooth, and completely decadent.
But I need more than chocolate in my life. Too much chocolate will give me a stomach ache. And as much as I love straight up romance, sometimes, I need to see real life in the books I read. That’s why my shelves also include romances that take the story further than the initial thrills of new love. They show couples working out real life conflicts to make their love work. They show the reality and work of love. These stories show life. They give hope. Romances may be fine chocolate, but these stories are a four-course meal. The best ones still have the romance there, but it provides the perfect finish instead of serving as the main dish.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope your day is amazing whether it’s a four-course meal or a chocolate only type of day.
More About Heather:
Heather Greer grew up as a pastor’s kid in rural southern Illinois. Though completely unexpected, she became a pastor’s wife thirteen years ago, when her husband answered the call to preach. Heather has had the opportunity to minister to all age groups, but teens and women tend to be where God most often leads her. When she isn’t writing or working with various ministries, Heather loves to bake and spend time with her husband, children, and grandson. Of course, she’s always willing to sit down with a cup of cocoa and watch the latest Hallmark channel movie too!
Where to Connect:
Website and blog: www.heathergreer.com
YouTube Channel: Once Upon A Page
Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/heathergreer