May 9, 2022

She told me I wanted a “Romeo & Juliet” Romance.

“Oh, I am fortune’s fool!”

She told me I wanted a “Romeo & Juliet” Romance. I get it. But, no.

Romeo and Juliet were, if I remember, kids. They killed themselves (not something to aspire to, personally) over a lack of communication (again, it’s been awhile since I read it).

But I know, I know: what she

(a wise lady who’ll go unnamed, because this isn’t a criticism of her, she has a powerful point, this is an explication of what so-called romantics like myself, well, speaking only for myself, actually want) 

meant by “what you want is a Romeo and Juliet relationships” is that I’m overly romantic, that I long for prancing through fields of flowers, reading old poetry by sweet moonlight, making love beneath a waterfall, and hugs and joy all the days long.

I mean…that all sounds pretty, pretty good.

But my idea of romance holds an important place in my life, but it isn’t idyllic.

It’s practical. It’s tough communication, when it’s easier to lean away than lean in.

It’s walking into a fight with an open heart, vs. bottling up little offenses because it’s easier to bypass, to avoid, to pretend everything’s fine. You do that for long enough you become one of those couples you see eating silently, not with an empty open silence that can be beautiful, but with a hard cold silence, that is like an injury made up of a lack of healing, an inflexible fascia.

What I want is open communication, healing, laughter about ourselves, and about our relationship.

What I want is little kindnesses, matched with little appreciations, all the day long.

What I long for is a readyness to jump out of the bed in the morning and meditate and stretch and brush one’s teeth and get going into the flowery Spring sunshine—or a willingness to slow and embrace and make love and communicate around that love-making if the sex needs communication so it’s mutually fulfilling.

My idea of Romance isn’t butterflies (plant milkweed, flowers) and rainbows (heck, even rainbows require rain, and sun, both—akin to sadness, and joy).

My idea of Romance is three things:

Emotionally intelligent, awkward-able Communication in the face of life’s inevitable, endless miscommunications and little hurts. The more we do this, the more consistently, the fewer the hurts, as they melt into established trust and confidence and humor in one another.

Teamwork: an awareness, thoughtfulness, and when rushed, a trust, that comes with running the plays that get us through the chaos of life successfully so that we may not merely be a functional couple, but a couple that helps one another to be of benefit.

Appreciation and little kindnesses: thanking, genuinely. Helping and serving, genuinely. And, mutually, whenever able, to different degrees in different contexts.


Love isn’t perfect. Love that is perfect will fall to projections, when idealization meets the hard stick of reality.

Love is everyday. It’s in the little things, founded upon the big things: values, humor, style, attraction, caring, and, yes, love.


PS: watch Zeffirelli’s Romeo & Juliet. It’s wonderful.

From my book, Things I would like to do with You: “Love is only available to those willing to be continually brave in weakness.”


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