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Have you thought about the nature of romance lately? Not rose petals and candles and all that rom-com shit. Romance, that grand, elusive quality of certain intangible… it’s not easily defined, and when one tries, it slips through one’s metaphorical fingers.

It didn’t occur to me until today, but love in and of itself is not romantic, not even romantic love. When someone clarifies love as “romantic”, they usually mean that as something more than friendship, something different from familial devotion. Maybe there’s no better word for it, but no kind of love is really romantic. Love is mostly pedestrian moments- sure it’s a lot of fun, and maybe sometimes there are romantic moments, but most of loving someone “romantically” is logistics and certain enjoyable activities. It’s nothing like romance.

Romance is the essence of the most dramatic moments of our lives. The best kind of love is not this way- certainly, it makes better movies when love is so dramatic that it seems romantic at every moment, but love is so much better when it’s easy.

True romance requires hardship as well as euphoria, because it can have no mundane moments. While we all have difficulties as well as some really amazing ones, romance is being something of a mess all the time. We know when we see it- just look at a black-and-white photo of a puddle on the sidewalk with a red rose or a teddy bear or a rag doll and tell me that’s not romantic. Sad, yes, but still romantic. Smoking a cigarette at a bus stop alone in the rain is another romantic activity. Passionately kissing your lover on a boat in the moonlight is definitely romantic. Think about how many great things are NOT romantic, though. Puppies? Not romantic. Going swimming with your significant other? Also not romantic. Teasing your boyfriend about his nerd cred? Not romantic.

I haven’t posted in this blog in months because I haven’t been inspired to write. I’ve figured out that it’s because I’m a romantic writer. I can only write anything good when I’ve got an intense feeling of romance. And you know what? I’m totally in love and happy, and I don’t feel that vague feeling of elevation unless something tragic happens, like the death of one of the greatest young singers. Otherwise, I just live my life and don’t sit here reflecting on it through the written word. Maybe one day I’ll find inspiration without the emotion, but if I don’t, I think I’m okay without it.

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