Today is Valentine’s Day and my social feeds are flooded with tributes to significant others. Will I post a picture? Probably not. And it’s not because I don’t love a good cheesy show of affection, I normally do. I just don’t think it’s necessary today, of all days, to tell the world I love my boyfriend. I love my boyfriend every day and I know he loves me, even without the roses, chocolates, and jewelry.
Last week, a friend asked what we were doing for the most romantic day of the year. “I don’t know,” I responded, “I’d really like to get Krispy Kreme donuts.” To that, she scoffed, as if she couldn’t believe we didn’t have grand plans for the evening.
My boyfriend has never been a romantic guy. In fact, he actually forgot today was Valentine’s Day but it doesn’t bother me. He doesn’t surprise me with flowers or scatter rose petals on the floor. He doesn’t plan romantic getaways or candlelit dinners, and that’s okay with me.
I’ll admit, it wasn’t always. Like most girls growing up, I was in love with the idea of romance. The Prince Charming to my Cinderella, the Seth to my Summer, the Romeo to my Juliet. But also like most girls, I realized I was independent – I didn’t need to be saved. I realized that the dynamics of relationships have evolved. Women are in the workforce, same-sex marriages are a thing, men can take paternity leave, and if we’ve learned anything from Sex & the City, women can even propose. Traditional romance and relationships have evolved.
Now you’re probably thinking, “Well, your boyfriend sucks.” And no, actually, he doesn’t. He may not have a heart shaped box of chocolates waiting for me at home but one year, he brought me a heart shaped box of weed. Another year, we ordered our favourite take-out and stayed in. This year, we’ll likely stuff our faces with heart-shaped Krispy Kreme donuts. My boyfriend may not be romantic in a traditional sense but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for me.
My boyfriend is the type of guy who buys me a bug net so I don’t get mosquito bites on our next camping trip. He’s the type of guy who offered to bring me to an icy parking lot so that I could learn how to drive in snowy conditions. He’s the type of guy who walks on the outside of the sidewalk so I don’t get kidnapped by a bypassing car (my fear, not his) and I’m okay with that.
Too many television shows and movies tell us our love has to be a certain way, that we have to expect X from our lovers. There are not, and should not be, set guidelines for romantic love. And I shouldn’t be ashamed (I’m not) that I’m not celebrating with an overpriced prix fixe menu at a fancy restaurant (though, if that’s what you want to do, just do you!).
Perhaps, after all, this is my cheesy show of affection. Whatever it is, I’m excited to go home, eat donuts, and watch another rerun of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It may not romantic but to me, it’s comfort – it’s home. It’s exactly what I want for Valentine’s Day.
Do you think relationship ideals have changed? Let us know in the comment section or tweet us at @ViewtheVibe.