I’m a very romantic kind of person. Despite all my other characteristics, I’ll often act out of character in the name of love. I’d spent the best part of my late teens to late twenties searching for that elusive love; instead I filled up on a diet of romantic books, films and music, relating it to whatever situation was (or wasn’t going on for me).
For me love had rules, not the sort that restrict or restrain but allow it to grow and flourish.
1. It has to be epic and all-consuming, the stuff of great novels.
2. It should never mean compromising – I don’t mean between you and your soulmate, more that it should never ever mean settling for Mr ‘Well, He’ll Do Because I Don’t Want To Be Single’. I was single for a very, very long time and turn blokes down because I didn’t feel that thing, that thunderbolt.
3. There is only one person for each of us – yes, I know the modern thing is to believe there are multiple people for us all and that may be right, but for me I’ve always believed there is only one person that I could ever click with. Sometimes you might think you’ve found it, but its only when you really do that you realise you were wrong all those other times.
4. You should be able to be yourself, nothing hidden. By extension, this should mean that neither one has to give any of themselves up in order to be with the other, so all the things and people you liked best before being together, you should be able to have in your life once you are a couple.
5. Love means equality. None of this ‘woman comes second to the man and thus has to play games to get him and keep him’ bollocks. Nor any of the crap where a woman is expected to run around after a man and do all the bloody work.
This is a snapshot into how I feel about love; but to better understand my feelings about romantic love, I’m going to share with you my favourite romantic films, books and songs. Oh and maybe a quick bit on Mr T.R.A!
I could write an essay on this. But I shall try to keep it short and sweet. Any early Richard Curtis film, as clichéd as that is; I have often felt like a female Hugh Grant at times in life, bumbling my way through a series of romantic mishaps. Pretty in Pink, St Elmo’s Fire and Mannequin (points for those that know the link!). Atonement. Sliding Doors. Grease. Dirty Dancing. Once. Pretty much anything involving Anne Hathaway. Films of my favourite romantic books even when they’re shockingly bad (One Day and Time Traveller’s Wife I’m talking about you). The Harry Potter series (yes, there’s oodles of love in them!). The Notebook. Sleepless in Seattle. The Way We Were. Funny Girl. Any ever made featuring Sandra Bullock. Hundreds of others that I can’t think of now, of all shapes and sizes. Whilst I love lots of different films probably considered more noteworthy, I will always be fond of a romantic love story.
I read a lot of books, and a whole chunk of them tend to have a romantic plot or subplot. A few of my all-time favourite romantic novels are pictured above.
1. The Time Traveller’s Wife. Read so often my copy is falling apart
2. One Day. Had to buy a replacement as lost my original copy!
3. Jane Eyre – actually own more than one copy of it and am trying to collect different editions!
4. Pride and Prejudice. Well, of course this has to feature on such a list.
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Snape. That’s all I’m saying.
6. The Rosie Project. A fairly recent read that has made my list of favourites.
I also enjoy stuff with a sci-fi/fantasy/fairytale twist – The Night Circus, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, the Mortal Instruments series, anything written by Ali Shaw. I tend to trawl my local Waterstones looking for good finds on a regular basis. Nothing makes me happier than reading a good love story over a cup of tea.
There are hundreds of love songs I adore, but recently I put together a playlist of songs that remind me of Mr T.R.A and how I feel about him on Spotify; link is below if you fancy a listen!
My silly, romantic, caring, considerate, adorable handsome bloke. I always thought I’d spend all of whatever relationship I ended up in worrying about how much the other person loved me, and whilst that has at times been true, when I really think about it properly I know I’ve nothing to worry about. All the little things with him are amazing – simply doing day-to-day stuff like curling up and watching tv or doing the monthly shop; and the big things too like seeing new places or eating at restaurants previously undiscovered or sharing the big moments like Christmas. I’m besotted, that is really very true indeed.
pulling a silly face
And another silly face pose…
A romantic trip to Cornwall on the sleeper train…
In his element at the National Railway Museum
Us at our favourite cottage to stay in (in the middle of nowhere!)
So that’s what I mean when I say Romance. Grand, all-encompassing, epic; what keeps me going and makes me happy and lights up my life.
“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet 43.