Longevity of romance

I’m writing this draft the week of my 32nd wedding anniversary. We’ve been together 34 years. We’ve lived together longer than we did with our families. Our parents knew us as children; we’ve known us as adult individuals. We’ve seen the child in us. We’ve lived our growths while our families have watched from the sidelines.

I started this thinking romance, lasting romance, but the words demanded different. But, maybe not.

We hear romance and think love. Love is family, too. We don’t feel romantic love for that part of our family.

Romance will change. Love only changes in growth. Years ago flowers, dinner, candles were romance. Today I know cleaning the toilet and taking the trash out is romance. Both mean love and caring. Shared lives. Commitment to us. Getting flowers, perfume, a steak dinner are gestures and tokens of the romance. I value and appreciate them, but eventually they fade. Taking care of our lives is what I want to last.

Romance lasts when you remember why it’s there in the first place.