I have been a hopeless romantic my entire life. Even as a little girl I dreamed of the fun, spontaneous, wonderful things that a significant other would lavish upon me. I saw dozens of flowers, surprise vacations and visits, notes on mirrors and treats left in spots I would find them. I truly thought that things like that happened on a regular basis in relationships. I don’t know where this idea came from.
I thought maybe these ideas came from watching my father. Looking back though, I don’t think that’s accurate. Not that he wasn’t romantic or cute with my mother. I remember a couple specific times when he pulled out all the romantical stops, but it’s not as if he was constantly lavishing gifts and things on my mother. I think I have to blame romantic comedies. We watched a lot growing up. There’s always that big happy ending and everyone is just so fucking cute you could barf. So, as a child I watched these movies and thought that’s how love is, barfing cute all the time. Now that I’ve grown up and have had a little experience with dating I see, that is not how things really are. Now I’m excited if a man decides to friend me on Facebook or text me back, when I inevitably text him first. Elated if he actually wants to grab a coffee or something.
People have said if a guy is really interested he’ll put in the effort. I don’t always find this to be true. I had to ask Jordan out several times and then give up before something finally clicked in his brain and he thought ‘Hey, she’s awesome!’ If I had given up after he showed “no interest” I would never have married him and never would have had the best kid on the planet. What’s funny is I don’t just apply this to men I like or am dating, I apply it to nearly everyone. Especially people who are close to me.
My sister and I were talking about this once when were driving home from a wedding. Usually on a drive home, after a long visit away and with a lot of people, all a normal person can think about is how nice it will be to get home and sleep in their own bed. Not so with Elise & I. As we drive we think how fun it would be to come home to a surprise party, or to a single friend with delicious take out, or in my case, a sitter telling me to go out and enjoy myself. At first I wondered why I wanted these things, but I think I have it figured out.
I’m alone a lot during the day. I have a few mom friends I hang out with occasionally but normally it’s just me, Jack and Facebook all day long. It gets a little lonely especially when I don’t have any plans during the evenings a couple times a week. After a weekend spent with people around all the time I want more. It’s like a drug, I want to be around adults, it’s so refreshing!
The silly thing about me hoping for surprise parties or food bearing friends is that everyone would have to wait on my porch unless they got my spare key ahead of time, but then it wouldn’t be much of a surprise would it?
As I reflected on these thoughts this week I wondered if I should lower my expectations. I recently decided that I should not, at least as far as a significant other goes. Jordan did in fact surprise me with little things all the time. I still have many of the notes he left on the mirror for me and I remember one time very vividly when he left a donut for me for breakfast. That may not seem like much, but when you’re a pregnant woman who just wants bacon and donuts for breakfast every day this is the most wonderful of surprises. Especially when thought you were going to have to settle for the last bits of cereal at the bottom of the box.
I know I lucked out with Jordan, he was truly a diamond in the rough. I think that I’m pretty special though, and I reciprocate with equally cutesy, romantic things. I love surprising people, whether it’s with something unexpected or something I know they’ll really like. It’s just part of who I am. So I’m not going to work on lowering my expectations for the romantic. Because there is a grain of truth in the thought, if a guy really likes you he’ll put in the effort. If a guy really likes me, he’ll see that I have these ridiculous delusions of romance and try to meet them. If I’m very lucky he might even try to exceed them.