This is real romance

February 12, 2015

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. I just read some amazing statistics about how much is spent on flowers and candy and jewelry for this annual holiday. And who doesn't like getting a present from someone they love?

But, of course, real love is more than just the showy gift once a year on February 14. It is more than the grand gesture. It almost always comes packaged in such ways that it might be easy to overlook, or take for granted. 

Real love looks a little like this . . .  It's a husband who:

* Gets up early in the morning and snowplows the driveway while I'm still warm and cozy under the down comforter.

* Loads up the woodbox so that I'll have plenty of wood to enjoy a cozy fire while he's gone.

* Pitches in and helps with housework. He works full time and I'm home full time, but if I get behind or am not feeling well, he just folds laundry, does the dishes, or sweeps the floor as a matter of course.

* Volunteers to grill or take me out when he can see I'm a little tired of cooking.

*Takes off work to go with me to a doctor's appointment that might be uncomfortable or scary.

* Gives up buying things for himself so that others can have.

 And I won't even list all the ways he was there as a good dad to our children while they were growing up, and now, as young adults.

These are the things of real romance, not the showy flowers or expensive gifts (although I've been blessed with those as well). It's the nitty-gritty of everyday life, nursing one another through flu and hurt backs, putting up with bad moods and forgiving angry words, allowing the other person to have their way, and holding on even when things are rough.

It's meeting each other's eyes and smiling at a private joke in a room full of people, being comfortable together in a silence that needs no words, laughing over morning coffee.

I was only 18 when I met my husband. A lot has changed. I'm not the same person, and neither is he. But 33 years of marriage later, I can gratefully say I know what real love is.

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be . . . 
                                       -- Robert Browning

{All pictures from Love Letters: An Anthology of Passion by Michelle Lovric}


  1. So very lovely. Thank you! And thank God for your husband!

  2. Yes, that is a real romance. Congratulations on staying the course while growing into the persons you are.
    Rita C at Panoply

  3. A beautiful tribute to your husband. Yes, that is real romance, and it sounds like our men might be kindred spirits too. They seem to have similar traits.

    Wishing you and your sweetheart a very Happy Valentine's weekend.


  4. What a beautiful tribute to real love and the man you married. God's continued blessings on you both.


  5. That's the face of romance that I value too. Flowers are beautiful and a treat, but nothing lasts like kindness, consideration and love shown in all the small ways.

  6. Ah, Robert Browning. Yes, that is true romance that you describe. My husband and I have been married 43 wonderful years.

  7. A beautiful post, I too have been married for 33 years, 34 in November and it is the little things that mean the most. Happy Valentines weekend.

  8. I have a husband like that, and I can share with you the absolute secure and radiant joy that it brings to your life. We are so fortunate!
    big hug,

  9. This was so beautiful, my friend! I have been married almost 8 years and I am learning that love grows stronger and deeper every day. I am so thankful for my husband and the love that God has blessed us with.

    Have a wonderful Valentine's Day, sweet lady. Hugs!

  10. Aww Deborah that is so sweet! You met your husband when you were young and married a long time. My husband and I too feel the same way about Valentine's Day. We don't need to go out and spend a lot of money on each other because we know we love each other. You said everything so perfectly! Have a Happy Valentine's Day and weekend too.

  11. Dear Deborah, I love this sweet post and can so relate to all you describe. I met my hubby at 17 married at 19 and have been married 41 years going on 42 in August. We have a storybook marriage and yours sounds just the same.
    Enjoy every minute of this weekend with your love and Happy Valentine's Day to you both.
    Blessings and Joys, CM

  12. A sweet tribute to your husband, Deborah, and your words are so true, it's all the every day things that couples do and say to one another, that are appreciated and valued. Lovely post!

    Happy Valentine's Day!


  13. This has to be one of the best posts I've ever read...what a beautiful tribute to a loving husband. You've perfectly defined what love really is.

  14. Dearest Deborah,
    You are so right about that; we learned from the news that roughly about $ 145 per person is spent on Valentine's Day this year, here in the USA. Not us, I got a lovely white orchid from Pieter for $ 12, a sale at Home Depot. Still facing lots of medical bills to pay there is not much left for romance. But as you said, it is about so much more than that!
    Pieter and I also met when I was 18-½ years of age... We did not marry than but still we can go back a long, long time!
    Enjoy your Valentine, whatever way you celebrate it as it should be ALWAYS Valentine and not just for the commercial purpose of celebrating it once a year lavishly.

  15. The cost people go to is amazing. I am always surprised!! Happy Valentines Day.

  16. You're so right, Deborah, about the meaning of real romance. I have tears in my eyes right now, as my beloved and I had that kind of love, also. We were 14 when we met and did have 43 wonderful years together. At least I have the treasure of memories of his love for me and our family.
    Happy Valentine's Day.

  17. What a lovely tribute to romance, Deborah. There are so many times when I watch a modern movie that is labeled "Romantic Comedy," that is neither romantic nor comic, and I wonder....Is it just me? Am I just too old fashioned. Anyway, after 38 years of marriage, I have earned the right to be old fashioned about love and romance. The popular French singer, Charles Aznavour, wrote a beautiful song in praise of "les plaisirs démodés" (old-fashioned pleasures). It's one of my favorites.

    Have a wonderful Valentine's Day --- do something special!!

    Cheers, M-T

  18. Deborah, what a lovely Valentine's post, accompanied by touching paintings. Each thing you wrote about your husband proves that he is indeed a keeper! I bet that he feels the same way about you. (Being there with you through a doctor's appointment that might be scary is completely romantic, as are the other things you told us about him.

    Your "meeting each other's eyes" is a perk of marriage that you don't realize is so important when you're dating. Here is a quote from Jan Struther's 1940 book Mrs. Minerva:

    "It seemed to her sometimes that the most important thing about marriage was not a home or children or a remedy against sin, but simply there being always an eye to catch."

    You two recognized what a big deal that is! I used this quote in the Valentine's series I did on my previous blog Across the Way. Just in case you want to look at it here's the link:

    My Valentine's Day present this year meant so much to me. Two of our sons came over yesterday afternoon to help my husband move furniture around for me! I would rather have had that than anything.

    Kind of makes me think that perhaps the best gift we can give others is our time, don't you think?

    I hope your Day was lovely and I'm sure it was,

  19. What a beautiful post Deborah and so true. True love is more than any material gift can be. I have been blessed with an amazing husband too. He is the best gift that the great lord have granted me and nothing makes me happier than spending my time with him.

    You have an amazing love story too. It is wonderful to hear stories of true love and friendship in a marriage. Such love is very hard to come by these days..

    Congratulations to you both.


  20. What truly beautiful sentiments Deborah and gorgeous pictures. You describe true love so well, it is all of those things and if we can find it we are very lucky indeed. Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day,
    Best wishes Alison xx

  21. A beautiful tribute to your husband and the staying power of your marriage : )

  22. What a lovely post, Deborah, and you have described 'true love' well - it is not just hearts and roses, but real devotion, day in and day out. Your sweetie sounds like a wonderful man and you are truly blessed. Marriage is hard work and is not for sissies (as my Mom used to say.....married 58 years). You have described this beautifully. I hope your Valentine's Day was truly special. xo Karen

  23. I was 18 when I married my husband too, almost 43 years ago. My husband and your husband sound very much alike in their self-sacrificial ways of showing their love. The best part of true love it is practiced all year long, but it is very sweet to get flowers and a valentine ( maybe candy too ) in the middle of February on this day set aside just for sweethearts .What a sweet post and so true.

  24. Real love and real romance is a treasure of value that can't be measured. You've described it well here! I have a husband like that too, always, each day trying to be a servant, a help. It's such a luxury!

  25. Oh yes, ma'am, he is a keeper indeed.

    I don't post much about my husband, but I too am blessed. God gave me my perfect soul mate, he is so good to me. I love you are happy and have a good husband. It makes my heart happy to know this. ♥

    You sure have a great way with words, ma'am.


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