Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Flowers are nice, but for true romance, just be genuine
More about "Kentucky," from Monday, who felt her boyfriend's unromantic proposal robbed her of a beautiful memory.
Another view: Re: Kentucky. She thinks he's great, she knows he's not romantic, she wants to marry him, he wants to marry her, now they're engaged. What is disappointing about that? Twenty-nine years ago my boyfriend and I were just chatting about nothing in particular, when he said, "You know, I would like to be married to you." I replied "I would like to be married to you, too." And so it was, and still is. No elaborate setups, no bended knees or diamond rings. It is a pretty tender memory.
Carolyn: Actually, I see that as very romantic — I can't think of anything more so than an unguarded expression of deep and genuine feelings. No amount of flowers and gems can say that.
So, it would be interesting to know if this disappointing proposal had the honesty but lacked the trappings, or lacked the honesty (i.e., was wrapped in a joke).
North Carolina: Re: Kentucky: I've been married to my husband for almost 20 years, and his joking-his-way-through-intimate-moments routine has never ended.
When I chose him, I didn't have the self-knowledge to realize what a bad fit this made us. He can't even approach me for sex without making a joke about it (and even his approaching me is rare). We have no tender moments, no loving shared memories of time with our babies, and I could go on.
After years of therapy (together and separately) it has become clear that he can't go there and won't try. He's a very scared person, but also seems quite satisfied with that level of emotional connection. It's lonely for me, and it stinks. I've never needed contrived emotional moments, but the natural moments of connection I've experienced with other people I love just don't happen here.
If you can't be a good example, be a good warning?
Carolyn: I'm sorry. I hope you've been able to connect with your kids — for your sake and for theirs, both so they feel loved and have some idea how to show love to others.
Anonymous: For Kentucky: I'm married for 19 years to one of those guys, except that he is reserved, not jokey. I would love to get a romantic gesture, flowers for no reason, a little PDA every now and then.
However, what I do get are thank-yous for everything I do, offers to bring home dinner when my days are beating me, and the knowledge that I have a true partner who has my back.
Think about what you really want and what you really have. I wouldn't trade mine for anything.
Carolyn: All of these combine to make the perfect argument for seeing what you have, and being honest about whether it's something you, and only you, want.
In a way, the more practical people are willing to be about their feelings for each other, the more romantic the outcome. It's when people look to the situation — proposals, weddings, marriage — to provide their romance that the gaps really start to show.