Surprisingly, I don't buy into many of the cliched romantic constructs. I don't believe in soul mates. It's a nice idea, I guess, but it's rather silly. I mean, I like how Ephram describes it to Amy in Everwood, but I still don't agree with it. I think Monica and Chandler have it right--two people aren't destined to be together; they stay together because they are committed to each other, because they work for each other, because they love each other, not because of some cosmic fate. I think it's funny how things work out. I think there are people who are better suited for each other. But it's not fate. And really, I think the idea that love is intentional is much more romantic--you want to be with someone so much, that you're willing to work for it.
I like to think of it more as exceptions. I first stumbled across this concept in this blog post and it really made sense to me. I find the idea of soul mates very constricting. I like to think that it's more that you're trying find your exceptions. Those people that you'll really love, that will really be part of your life forever--as family, friends, or romantic partners. Most people in the world will mean nothing to you. But you spend your life looking for the people who will. There's no limit. There's no fate. Chance plays into it. But so do choices. Don't waste your life looking for a perfect soul mate. Try to find someone you like, someone who gets you, someone special just to you. Make the intentional effort. Don't leave it up to fate.
I also have a problem with the idea of love at first sight. It's terribly unrealistic, of course, but beyond that I find it terribly unromantic. One of my favourite constructs is friends who fall in love, because they really know each other. There are countless examples; I'll try to limit myself. I've already mentioned Monica and Chandler and Ron and Hermione and Emmett and Daphne. There's also Jason and Steph from How to Be Popular (Meg Cabot), Christopher and Em from the Airhead Series (Meg Cabot), Booth and Brennan from Bones. They already know everything about each other, and they still love this person. They love everything. But, at first sight, they don't know the person at all. Their love is based on assumptions and appearances. Neither of those things are romantic at all.
In terms of romantic moments, I prefer intimacy over big gestures. I like small, personalized weddings where everything is unique to the bride and the groom. I like scenes where characters talk and kiss in a room, alone. I like engagements where they're just lying in bed one sunday morning and he wants the moment to last forever and he knows right then that he has to marry her.
Romance is a big part of my life. It is often a source of comfort for me--it makes me happy about the world, and it lifts me up when I'm feeling sad. I bookmark a countless number of romantic scenes--Casey/Cappie, Novalee/Forney, Kurt/Blaine, Chuck/Blair, Josh/Donna, Michael/Mia, Harry/Charlotte, Luke/Lorelai, Ben/Leslie. In all of that my favourite scene is from Everwood. It has my favourite line:
"I just want to be with you, next to you, wherever you are."
To me, that's what love is. Not soul mates or first glances. But when you really know someone and you really love them and all you want, all you need is to spend time with them. Not on some expensive vacation or something, but just hanging around the house, watching tv or reading.
Moreover, this line contains one of my favourites phrases in the english language--"I want to be with you." People say it all the time, so we don't really think about what it means. But when you break it down, word for word, and you examine the different nouns, verbs and conjugations, it sounds like the most romantic thing ever. I just want to be with you--I just want to exist with you.
That is my kind of love. That is the kind of romantic I am.