I HATE ROMANCE!

That’s right. I am a married woman who hates romance. I hate dates, getting dressed up, flowers, candlelight, long strolls discussing the future. I hate it all!

I’m also a pathological liar apparently. Of course I love all that stuff. I think people who say they don’t secretly do. I mean who doesn’t love being wooed? 

I try to come off as a kind of thick skinned chick but thanks to the proposal I just watched, I’m faced with the reality that I’m nothing more than a blubbering, tissue needing, and happily ever after believing chick.

Oh, Meg. You’re married. You don’t understand what it’s like to want romance and not get it.

Oh you silly, silly reader. Of course, I do. I’m married and have two small kids. The most romantic thing I’ve experienced lately is two months ago when my husband washed out my coffee pot for me.

Now don’t get me wrong. My husband is affectionate but I do think we’re at this point that a lot of couples get to. Hubby and I have been together for a total of three, almost four, years. Naturally over time and with the addition of the little man, romance has kind of taken a backseat. Some days it takes a back of the bus seat. Some days romance forgets that it exists. Read my lips: It’s normal. It doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong and you’re no longer that person’s one and only. Right?

Right. If you think dating is hard when you’re single, it’s even worse when your married. This date is the same person you have been kicking it with FOREVER. When Hubby and I were dating, it was exciting. You know what it’s like in a new relationship. You can’t wait to talk to each other. You smile constantly at the thought of that person. You have these long late night “No, you hang up first” phone calls that don’t end until one of you falls asleep. Tell the truth, you stayed on that phone until yours died because you didn’t want to let them go. I remember when Hubby and I were dating, on our six month anniversary he surprised me by coming up to my job and danced his way over to me balancing my favorite flower in his hand. Ah, romance. It’s been nearly three years since then and I still blush over it. Well, not necessarily blush because the whole being Biggie Smalls black but, you know what I mean.

Romance! It’s amazing. It makes you weak and powerful at the same time. It adds color to your day. It makes food taste better, your acne clear. It’s a miracle drug. If we could bottle it, it would be the most expensive street drug in the world.

But I don’t have the money right now to be romantic

Look at me. Come in close. I’m going to tell you a secret. ROMANCE CAN BE FREE!

Guys tend to automatically assume girls want dozens of roses once a month or a trip to Tuscany or diamond earrings on a yacht in the Caribbean. While those things are nice, and they are really nice, there are plenty of free or inexpensive ways to be romantic. Let Mama Meg show you.

  1. Buy her her favorite drink. It doesn’t have to be an expensive drink. My favorite is either Grapefruit Jarrito or a Kiwi Green Redbull. It doesn’t have to be wrapped in a box but don’t just hand it to her. Buy it, not just when she asks you to, and give it to her with either a note or verbally say that you were thinking about her.
  2. Hold her hand. Wrap your arm around her. Touch her in some nonsexual way that shows that you appreciate her company and you’re proud to have her in your life. Keep your hand away from butts or boobs, especially in public. 
  3. Read to her from her favorite book.
  4. Make her dinner. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You don’t even have to burn candles. Spaghetti can do wonders. Just don’t burn down the house.
  5. Flowers. It’s a cliche but it is for a reason. Flowers are nice (unless you are highly allergic). No one says you have to buy them either. Even something as small as a dandelion on the side of the road can come across as cute.
  6. Join in on a hobby of hers. Does she knit or crochet? Swim? Exercise? Whatever it is, if she’s comfortable with you sharing in then do it and be sincere. There’s nothing worse than being with someone who truly has no interest in what you are doing.
  7. Go to the park. Be a kid again and get on the swings or get stuck in a slide together.
  8. This is a big one for the dads out there: CLEAN THE HOUSE. I don’t mean a quick sweep through. I mean make that place look like you just moved in. A clean home allows for a clean mind and more conversation.
  9. Make a her a card. That’s right- make it! Pull out that old crusty macaroni and you turn into a five year and make her the best card you have ever made.
  10. Write her a letter. Not an email. Not a typed letter. Put that pen to paper and write her a letter. It doesn’t have to be a four page letter. It can be quick and to the point but if I find out you put it on a Post-It, I’ll hunt you down and take you out myself.
  11. Dance in your house. Let’s go back to the good ol’ days when couples danced. Not bump and grind but danced. Pull her in close. Put on some Jazz or Al Green and dance without an hidden motives. Bonus points if it’s in giant cartoon slippers.
  12. Discover your neighborhood. One of the best dates we had was driving through a cemetery, pointing out unique last names and awing at the history. Yes, we are weird.

Now if you want to go expensive grand gesture like, try these:

  1. A Date Night Scavenger Hunt (I’ve always wanted this to happen to me)- Make up a scavenger hunt. The clues could be things for your date. Maybe a new dress, a pair of shoes, wine glasses. Have the clues send her somewhere nice or they can send her out of the house long enough to set up something romantic at home.
  2. Dinner and Dancing- DANCE. JUST DANCE.
  3. Take a class together. Nothing is more romantic than falling for your classmate.
  4. Dinner Cruise.
  5. Get out of town. Get up and go. Spend time exploring.
  6. Spa day! Go get massages, facials, manis and pedis. It’s fun and good for you.

So go forth and be romantic. Whether it’s a big gesture or small, it’s worth it in the end just to let that person know that they’re a little special ray of sunshine.

I’m Meg and I’m a hopeless romantic who’s using this list as a giant hint to my husband.

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