Where would real love be without stories?

Just look over your shoulder at the past. What do you see? Not a world of atoms and molecules but a world of stories. From ten thousand years ago to today. Just stories! Stories of adventures, conquests and love. Stories are to the human heart what food is to the body.

A box of chocolates, a bunch of flowers and dinner at a fancy restaurant are NOT romantic.

Romantic means “story-worthy.” We don’t fall in love with other people; we fall in love with the feelings we get when we are with them. We turn those feelings into words and carry them around as stories. As the stories are told, emotions unfold and grow and our hearts are filled with real romance.

Gerard and Dina

Hats off to Gerard for the unforgettable way he popped the question to Dina. After a romantic dinner at a lakeside restaurant on Georgian Bay, he took  her  out  in a rowboat to  watch the  sunset. Just  as  the  sun  was  sinking  below the horizon, he presented Dina with  a ring and  asked her  to marry him. There were  tears and  hugs  as she  said  yes. Dina didn’t  notice the flashlight Gerard had in his hand. As they hugged, he surreptitiously switched it on and  waved it toward the shore. It was the signal for three of his friends to set off the $200 worth of fireworks he’d brought in, lighting  up  the  sky  and  reflecting off the  lake  around them. What  a sight  it was.  Dina is visual—she can  be especially stirred by the  way things look.

Oleg and Anna

Oleg asked Anna if she’d mind  coming along  to a local marina with him after work one evening. He had  to deliver something to a friend who was sailing in from across the lake that afternoon. He picked her up  and  they drove together.

Oleg took a soft canvas sports bag out of the trunk and they walked over to the transients’ dock, but Oleg’s friend hadn’t arrived yet. He suggested they sit on  the dock,  dangling their feet in the water. As they sat in the sun on the gently rocking dock  and  waited, Oleg said,  “You know this is the exact spot where we met a year ago?”

“Yes,  I know.”  Anna  replied, and  wrapped her  arms around him.  After  a few seconds Oleg unzipped the  canvas bag.  Inside  was  a bouquet of yellow  roses, a bottle of champagne, two  glasses, and  a plate of hors d’oeuvres. “There’s no  friend,”  he  confessed, smiling.   “Happy  first anniversary.”

Antonio and Susan

Antonio, who  ran  a small  art gallery,  had  met  Susan,  a teacher, almost a year  ago when  he’d gone  with a group of friends to  a performance by  the  Mexican  National Ballet Company. Since then, Mexico, Mexican  food, and all things Mexican  had  become romantic notions for them. One  sunny afternoon, as  Susan  led  her  class out  of a field trip  to the  National Gallery, she  saw  Antonio waiting  on the  sidewalk, holding a “Happy  Birthday, Susan”  sign across his chest. With him was a five-piece mariachi band that he’d hired, trumpets and  all. Susan  is auditory; she  is especially  moved by  the  way  things sound. That  was  15 happy years ago.

Jeanette and Thomas

Jeanette blew all her savings to take Thomas, her race car enthusiast boyfriend to see  the  Monte  Carlo Rally. They  are getting married next year.

Kayla and Omar

Kayla had seven wild pairs of boxer shorts delivered to her boyfriend by courier on Valentine’s Day, when  he was away on tour.

Romance is probably the opposite of common sense

Sometimes it’s worth throwing practicality aside to show the one we love how much we care. The best romantic gestures require thought and  effort.  (What does an  e-mail  greeting card say  about the sender’s commitment and  resourcefulness?) But that thought and  effort are usually well worth it in terms of keeping  the relationship vibrant and happy.

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