Romance isn’t about places, but people.

Herringcove

The lovely Liz at Living with Kids has been writing about romance all week, for some reason or other, and asked me on Twitter to post a comment about the most romantic place I know.

I didn’t post a comment. I thought about it, I really did. But after a lot of thought, I decided that there’s such a thing as a ‘romantic place’.

I remember sitting on Herring Cove beach in Cape Cod, watching the sun set. It’s apparently supposed to be one of the most beautiful places in the world to watch the sun go down – and it was stunning. But I was there with someone who wasn’t speaking to me because he thought I was being ‘moody’ a week after having had a miscarriage.

I remember sitting on the edge of a catamaran in the Indian Ocean, dangling my feet into a sparkling blue sea, watching the palm trees on the perfect white-sand beach being gently tousled by the wind. Romantic? Not so much. My companion had drunk too much local beer and was asleep and snoring behind me, slowly getting more and more sun-burned.

Then there was the time I had dinner at a waterfront restaurant in New Orleans. There was a live jazz pianist playing in the background, cocktails on the table, and through the open patio windows, I could see the lights on passing steamboats reflected in the dark waters of the Mississippi. Apparently, the restaurant was once voted the most romantic in America – but it didn’t feel much that way as the middle-aged IBM executive next to me pulled out an A4 folder and said, “Let me talk you through our European partner strategy.

When I think about romance, I think about the time we got lost in the Dordogne during a horrible storm. I was on the verge of hypothermia and the chap I was with took off his coat and gave it to me. Or I think about the eve of my 21st birthday, when I stayed up all night in the common room of the chap's halls of residence in Toronto, playing the piano and making up stupid songs, then going across the street to have pancakes for breakfast. I think about how he flew 3,500 miles just because I missed him. I think about how he’s still my best friend, and he knows exactly where to poke me to make me laugh when I’m being grouchy.

So, Liz, I guess my answer is: I don’t think there are romantic places, just (if you’re lucky) romantic people.

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

8 Comments

  1. 11th February 2010 / 1:38 pm

    This was a romantic post.And I think you’re right, small gestures that makes us feel loved are better than any romantic place.

  2. 11th February 2010 / 1:48 pm

    So so romantic and yet so so true. I visited Paris, supposedly one of the most romantic cities in the world, yet all he (not Mr Foodie) wanted to do was go to the pub. It was an attempt at ‘fixing’ the relationship and I have to say it was the last one…

  3. 11th February 2010 / 8:06 pm

    I hadn’t really thought about it but you’re so right. Who you’re with makes a place much more than the place itself.

  4. 11th February 2010 / 10:58 pm

    A truly romantic post – and yes it’s the peopel not the places that make things romantic!

  5. 12th February 2010 / 3:18 pm

    I love this post. So very true. I think having expectations of romance just because the setting is ‘ideal’ can lead to big letdowns. I prefer small expectations and then being blown out of the water. 🙂

  6. 13th February 2010 / 8:45 am

    Very well put. What a lovely post.

  7. Liz (LivingwithKids)
    13th February 2010 / 2:17 pm

    You’re right, it is people, and situations which make places romantic. My favourite romantic places aren’t necessarily places I’ve been…um… loved up. But actually I meant romantic in the more spiritual sense, not the loveydovey Hallmark-card waving sense. My most romantic places are places that inspire me and make me want to cry at their beauty (Bellagio, Italy, a case in point). Often – as you’ve pointed out – you’re better enjoying incredibly beautiful places on your own rather than having someone else ruin the moment.
    Happy Valentine’s!

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