What is romance, anyway? Is it candlelit dinners, walks on the beach, and roses for your birthday? Is it notes left by the coffee maker each morning or buying your partner’s favorite ice cream? Does being romantic simply mean doing something with your partner in mind? Something that you know will make them smile, feel special, and let them know you’re thinking of them?

I think romance is a little bit of everything. I also think it’s subjective, based on the person you ask.

Case in point. My husband loves his pick-up truck. I know, typical man! He calls it “his girl”. He pampers it by taking it to the car wash, getting it detailed, and waxing it in the driveway. It’s a gorgeous truck. So the day he came home from a friend’s detail shop and told me to take a look at the bumper, I thought something bad had happened. Did he get a dent in “his baby”? I walked around the back of the truck and didn’t notice anything. But with closer examination, there, on my side of the tailgate in beautiful, gold script was my name. He had my name pinstriped onto his precious Ford. I couldn’t believe it. It was better than flowers. See, to me, that was romantic. To other women, it may have been silly or unimportant, but I knew how much my husband loved his truck and that gave it a lot more meaning.

About five years ago, we stopped exchanging Christmas gifts. Our son was two-years-old and Christmas was more about him than us. I laugh because I remember the first year we decided to purchase oil for our furnace instead of gifts for one another. We jokingly told people we were buying one another the gift of warmth. But it’s funny, those are the things that I find romantic. The fact that whenever it snows, my husband always gets up a few minutes early to make sure my car is warm and cleared off. He shovels the walk and makes arrangements to plow the driveway so that my son and I aren’t snowed-in. Those may seem like silly or simple things, but to me, it shows how much he cares. Sure, he also has my name tattooed on his chest, but it’s the ways in which he provides for our family and makes sure we are always safe and taken care of that I find most romantic.

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Then there’s me. I show romance in different ways. I schedule babysitters so that we can go on monthly date nights. I make my husband’s lunch every day and decorate his sandwiches with pictures and inspirational notes. I set up the coffee each morning so all he has to do is hit the “start” button when he stumbles into the kitchen each morning. I expertly fold his socks, underwear, and work shirts. He thanks me for always having clean clothes in his drawers.

I believe that romance looks different depending on who you ask. The romance that my husband and I share is more about appreciation. Appreciation for who we are as people and for the things we do for each other and our family. We share the same vision and goals for the future. We want the same things in life and we work together, as a team, to achieve them. That’s romance to us.

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What does it look like for you?