I love romance.
I will always love romance.
A cheek to cheek tango wearing nothing but moonlight while stepping on a soft mountain of rose petals is pretty much what I’d rather be doing at all times.
The sweeping breathlessness, the fluttering hearts, the sweaty crescendo of kisses.
It all goes straight to my head like cheap champagne, making my face flush, knees shake.
But, delectable as it is, romance served alone is ultimately empty.
Almost anyone can lure us in with a box of dark chocolate truffles, an adoring compliment and a blossoming bouquet of red roses.
But, love—juicy, pure, real love—is something entirely different.
I did not always know this.
I used to be a romance-junkie, a red-lipstick wearing thrill-seeker, a high-heeled pleasure addict.
I chased after lovers like it was my full-time job.
I chased so hard for so long that I lost myself.
I traveled to the depths of despair and buried my soul in blankets of worthlessness and self-hatred.
I thought I might never make it out alive.
Finally, after far too many years, I had enough.
So I set myself on fire and sat in the scorching flames of transformation.
And, I transformed.
I became courageous enough to taste what I had always truly wanted—real love.
I sank my hungry teeth into it, and the juicy, nourishing nectar filled my mouth.
Warmth spread throughout my limbs and I saw real love.
I saw what it is.
And I saw what it isn’t.
I saw that real love is not a bouquet of red roses, a sweet kiss, a mind game, a glass of extra-bubbly champagne, a flirty e-mail, or a sexy glance.
Real love is raw, pure and breathtaking in its simplicity.
It’s a spiritual adventure, a f*cking crazy journey, a completely transformative experience.
Real love dives deep, looks directly into your soul, sees exactly who you are—and wouldn’t change a damn thing.
It cherishes the deliciousness of every perfectly imperfect part of you.
Because mostly, it just wants to gaze into your eyes and kiss your soul.
And never stop kissing your soul.
It wants to ask, “How are you?” and listen to every single syllable of the long-winded answer.
It wants to know your secrets and your shame, gently peeling back each shiny layer to get to your core.
Oh, how it longs to peak at your luscious core.
Real love grabs on fiercely and holds you hard as f*ck, but is wildly unafraid to set you free.
It’s intensely compassionate, unfreezing even the most stubborn icicles in your heart.
It helps you heal without even trying.
It has the courageousness of a brave soldier and the softness of a nurturing mother.
Real love takes a shit with the door wide open.
It forces you out of hiding.
Because the things you used to hide are the things it admires the most.
Real love bleeds truth, honesty and talks about the things you’re too scared to talk about.
But, most of all,
Real love doesn’t walk off into the sunset, it walks directly into your life.
I will always adore romance.
But, real, pure, juicy love is worth a thousand violin sonatas and starry-eyed kisses.
Real love is raw and satisfying.
Real love is real.
And, more than anything, I want real.
Author: Sarah Harvey
Editor: Travis May