Real Love and Other Mysteries
by Robyn Carr
As a romance writer, I’m always examining the ingredients for true love. Real Love. The components that rock our romantic world. Some obvious things always spring to mind — physical attraction, mastery in the bedroom, romantic gestures like flowers or small gifts that required thought rather than just a big credit card.
I will gloat, my life is not without some of those things. I get flowers. If they’re not given to me, I give them to myself. I got a nice book contract a while back and gave myself a little something from Tiffany’s, reasoning that my beloved can get a little sloppy about knowing when he should gift me. Of course we have attraction, my husband and I can clean up pretty good. We have our areas of expertise.
But it occurred to me that a thousand small acts add up to what passes for Real Love. Like giving up the remote for a while. Being extra quiet so a tired person can sleep in or nap. Cooking. Everyone has to eat so cooking is a major act of love as far as I’m concerned. I acted out that love for many, many years and then graciously allowed my partner to exercise that privilege. He doesn’t actually seem all that grateful, but I’m feeling a lot more loved.
Slack leads to my definition of Real Love. Consider this conversation. Me: Oh My God, tomorrow is our anniversary! Him: Oh damn! We don’t have to do anything, do we?
Letting someone else be sickest is a loving gesture, but not one I have ever experienced. Me: My throat is killing me and I have a terrible cough. Him: I have a sore throat, cough, fever, my joints ache and I have chills.
We can all agree that honesty and a healthy respect for a partner’s space is at the core of Real Love. Him: Did I just hear you say that I’m in your business a lot? Me: If I said that into the phone while in my office with my door closed, would that qualify as you in my business? Does that old water glass against the door actually work?
There are loving and generous acts of the deepest devotion that I consider well beyond attraction and the right brand of flowers, but I suspect they won’t air well in the singles ads. DWF seeking SM willing to go the extra mile; comfortable removing packing after hemorrhoidectomy; willing to stand as support and partner up in crying when the dog is put down for the long sleep; able to notice and appreciate unimportant things like bills were paid, laundry was accomplished, sleep was sacrificed for years to raise children; attentive to details like pee in the pot, dirties in the hamper, political opinions kept to one’s self to avoid becoming a DWM.
Oh, we poke at each other. We argue. We’re alike in many ways and different in too many others. But there have been moments of tenderness too monumental to ignore. He gently rubs my arm and suggests I roll over when I snore, while I tend to slug or kick. He has never once become angry over a dent in the car or a new outfit in my closet, even when money was too tight to breathe. He didn’t get up in the night with the newborns, but he did cry at their weddings and tell me they were all my doing. And his intelligence is unsurpassed when I stand naked in the bathroom bemoaning fat, flab and wrinkles, he always says, “Looks damn good to me.”
Capturing moments that are really more intimate than sex and more personal than attraction is a romance writer’s challenge. Anyone can pull off a cleft chin, six-pack belly or a nice looking bosom. It’s the grand acts of Real Love, the kind that endures, that are harder to notice, much less put into words.
What does Real Love mean to you? Send an e-mail to contests@NancyBerland.com for a chance to win an autographed book from my Virgin River series. There are two books up for grabs. The contest is open to US and Canadian readers. Winners will be chosen on Thursday, October 13.
Robyn can be found at:
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This year, Becca Timm knows the number one item on her Christmas wish list—getting over Denny Cutler. Three years ago, Denny broke her heart before heading off to war. It’s time she got over her silly high-school relationship and moved on.
So she takes matters into her own hands and heads up to Virgin River, the rugged little mountain town that Denny calls home, as an uninvited guest on her brother’s men-only hunting weekend. But when an accident turns her impromptu visit into an extended stay, Becca finds herself stranded in Virgin River. With Denny. In very close quarters.
As the power of Christmas envelops the little town, Becca discovers that the boy she once loved has become a strong and confident man. And the most delicious Christmas present she can imagine.