The Most Unromantic Valentine's Day Post Ever

8:00 AM

If this is love, then love is easy.
It's the easiest thing to do. 


Introvert + extrovert relationship: I don't want
to go to a dance where I have to visibly party.
WHAT?! TURN UP THE MUSIC.
*personality clash*
At least we got a cute picture out of a pretty
boring date. Oh, and chocolate-covered strawberries.
This Valentine's Day falls smack in the middle of some hard lessons I'm learning about love. I'm not feeling super romantic. I bought chocolate for the boy. See, as the chocolate-eating member of our relationship, he takes upon himself the duty of eating all chocolate on Valentine's Day. Actually, I force that duty upon him. I don't even know if he likes chocolate all that much. If I package it really cute (like attaching four Reese-ons I love him to a pack of Reese's -- so clever, yeah?), he's more likely to keep it by his bed stand and grin at it sentimentally for an indefinite period of time. Anyway, I buy him chocolate because of my Walgreens discount, and he accepts it. That's the only plans I've made so far for this day of romance. Secretly, I hope he'll take me out to dinner, and we can dress up and take selfies and eat garlic noodles and serenade each other in off-key hipster love songs. Realistically, we're broke and busy. Valentine's Day was clearly invented for the high school and adult couples. (And the retailers.)

While adorable photos of newly-engaged friends -- hang on just a moment. Freak out time. Since when did I live upon the earth long enough to get to the point where every single weekend a peer gets engaged? I kid you not. No, I'm serious. I've been tempted to hack a notch in my dresser for every engagement notification. I haven't given in to that temptation because we're not allowed to deface school property. Still. Just saying. Madness. I watch Say Yes to the Dress with my sisters and alone by myself in the dorm lobby because all of my friends see it for the fluff stuff it is, and I enjoy every single adorable photo of newly-engaged, newly-coupled, newly-wedded person I come across on the internet, and I scroll through wedding photographers' blogs during rehearsal breaks. I love romance. I love cutesy. I love putting up way too many photos of me and my boy -- on the desk, on the wall, on my desktop, on my computer's lock screen. 

Still, honestly, I'm more grateful for kindness and friendship than for romance. I went through a miserable last semester where I whined, hated, pushed away, and fought my boyfriend at every turn. It was nasty. Most of it was over marriage plans. Ironic, much? Toward the end of the semester, I noticed his coolness toward me -- still the eternally patient, long-suffering man I first started dating, but a little more inattentive, a little more disinterested, a little more intolerant of my flaws and flare-ups. I of course wanted to throw my tantrums without losing him, so I procrastinated for an hour brainstorming ways to restore our romance.

Sometimes I want to step back in time and slap myself. Hard. Because it wasn't a matter of romance at all. It was a matter of basic kindness, respect, and friendship. 

I'm unfortunately not alone among females for wanting control and an unconditional expression of feelings and opinions, not the only one who whines and belittles. It amazes me how we girls think we appear attractive and in control by patronizing the men in our lives, by hounding them with our concerns, by "changing" them. Honey, you want his attention? Stop bullying him. Stop controlling him. Stop making fun of him and complaining about him behind his back and treating him like he's two and you're his mom. We accomplish nothing with this -- not even with patient young men who say they love us. 

It's kindness that makes or breaks a relationship. A "please" for that request, a "thank you" in response. A "Sorry, can you please clarify?" instead of a heated accusation. Laughing off sour jokes. Talking about serious things when he's not swamped with homework. Being patient. Thinking the best. Greeting each other with a hello and a hug like you're friends. This isn't romantic at all. It's just basic friendship lessons your mom taught you at age three: "In this house, we use kind words. . . ."

That's my piece of seasonal advice: love each other more in friendship, kinds words, and very long, really loud laughs. Then your bouquets of flowers and sweet cards will come because you actually love each other and not because you're making up for yet another lovers' spat.

Basically, I'm happy to be romanced this Valentine's Day. But whatever we end up doing this holiday, I'm happiest doing it as best friends. 

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  1. I love hearing your thoughts and also observing how your relationship with Erich is maturing as you each learn more about each other and yourself.

    Life is not all about the romantic, dreamy, cloud-9 moments, but about persevering through the ups and downs and ordinariness of life with mutual love and respect.

    I *do* especially like your "Four Reece-ons" why I love you card idea. Really cute!

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