"Men always want to be a woman's first love - Women like to be a man's last romance" --Oscar Wilde

HeartCredit: Pixabay.com by OpenClips

Puppy Love

I can't say for certain when I began to notice boys, but I can tell you that one of my early crushes was on Bam-Bam Rubble. That was one of the rare times I could be considered a cougar because I was probably a couple of years older than the prehistoric toddler. Most of my crushes after that were either my age or older.

 One of my older crushes was on a popular movie star of the 1950s but, unfortunately, by the time I discovered him he was no longer alive. I was 15, and it was one of the rare occasions when I was not outside because it was raining. I was in the living room watching television, and I remember switching channels searching for something to watch. That's when it happened; I stopped on a classic movie and caught a glimpse of a man, and I could not take my eyes off of him. ( I later found out the film was Strange Cargo)I continued watching the movie in a trance-like state, and when my mother walked into the room, I asked who the actor was. To my surprise, she said, "That's Clark Gable, he's dead." Although disappointed, I continued to watch the rest of the movie and many Gable movies in the months and years after, and I became a fan of the King of Hollywood.

 Although I had several television and movie crushes, I also had several real life crushes. The majority were just innocent puppy love. I was in love with being in love, and I often romanticized relationships and the idea of being in a relationship. Needless to say, my favorite movies and books all revolved around romance. I always preferred the classic romantic stories, where all you see after a couple kisses is a door close, and you are left to imagine the rest. For me, romance is better when left to the imagination.

Hopeless vs. Hopeful

Love Letter
Credit: Pixabay.com by bohemienne

In my youth, I was a hopeless romantic. I saw the world through rose-colored glasses and always felt people in romantic relationships were the luckiest people in the world. I often made-up romance stories in my head, and the main characters would always be my current crushes.

 I also always enjoyed weddings. They were the ultimate picture of romance, and I could never understand why anyone would cry at a wedding. It wasn’t until I was older and realized people cry for all types of reasons, when they are happy, proud, and sad, etc. I remember attending a wedding when I was a preteen, and I was sad for the couple because it was raining. Then I heard someone tell the couple that the rain on your wedding day was good luck. I don’t know if that’s true, but I felt better after hearing it.

 As happy as weddings made me, the news of a divorce always made me sadder. I always wondered where the love, that was plentiful at the start of the relationship, went. When I was growing up, it was rare to hear that someone’s parents were divorced. All of my friends lived with their mom and dad, and my household was no different. I didn’t know how lucky I was; it was just normal. So normal that I think we all took it for granted. Looking back at my youth, I believe having parents that stood together through “thick and thin” gave me the security to believe in romance. However, I no longer consider myself "hopeless" in my thoughts of romance. While divorce still makes me sad, I understand that some folks just can’t stay together. So now, I'm probably more of a “hopeful” than hopeless romantic, but I still enjoy a good classic love story.


Ernest Borgnine - Betsy Blair in MartyCredit: Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain Photo

My favorite movie is Marty. It's a captivating, emotional and a romantic story about an unconventional encounter between two individuals, considered unattractive and past their dating prime. With so many "beautiful" people playing lead roles in romantic films, this movie is a breath of fresh air. Its realistic portrayal of everyday, ordinary people, who not only want to find love but are just as deserving as anyone else to have it, is refreshing.

 The main character is Marty Piletti, a 34-year-old butcher who is overweight and still lives at home with his elderly mother. He has several brothers and sisters who are all married. Marty's customers and his mother constantly lecture him about finding a bride. But, little does everyone know that that's what Marty has been trying to do all his adult life. However, he's become disheartened by so much rejection and his self-esteem is so low that he thinks of himself as a "fat ugly man." After his latest rejection, he believes that whatever women like, he hasn't got it.

 Clara is a 29-year-old school teacher who is single and lives with her elderly parents. She is a very pleasant woman. However, she is not the type of woman most men find attractive. Clara allows her sister's husband to set her up with a colleague of his, a doctor, on a blind date and the four go out to a dance club. Clearly disappointed with his date, the doctor devises a plan to ditch Clara and go out with another girl he sees at the club.

 In an interesting turn of events, the doctor walks over to Marty, who is at the same dance club, and offers him some money in exchange for his help. He wants to tell Clara that he has to leave due to an emergency and that Marty is an old army buddy of his who will take her home. Marty is disgusted with the proposal and says no, but he watches the doctor as he finds another person willing to go along with his plan.

 What happens next is sad but also heartwarming, and Marty eventually meets Clara. After meeting her Marty, politely asks her to dance and innocently says something that most women would find offensive. In an attempt to cheer Clara up, he says; "See, dogs like us, we ain't such dogs as we think we are." The movie could end there, and I would still love it, but that's only the beginning.

Marty - Movie Trailer

Romance on Film

Credit: Pixabay.com by geralt

Although Marty is at the top of my romantic movie list, the following five movies are also some of my favorites. Being a fan of Clark Gable, it should be no surprise that he stars in three out of the five movies on this list. (I could have listed 5 Gable movies but I opted for a bit of variety.) If you're looking for a good old fashion romantic flick, I highly recommend any of the following classics:

Gone with the Wind is the romantic Civil War classic starring Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh. The film won 9 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress.

Strange Cargo is the movie where I first discovered Clark Gable, and I still consider myself his fan. The movie also stars Joan Crawford as Gable's object of desire, in this film about fugitive prisoners from a French penal colony.

An Affair To Remember stars Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in a story about a playboy who meets his match and falls in love. The American Film Institute called this classic film "one of the most romantic of all time."

It Happened One Night is another film starring Clark Gable with Claudette Colbert in a story about a pampered socialite who meets and falls for a rough around the edges news reporter.

The 1976 movie, A Star is Born is a remake of a classic tale, originally made into a movie in 1937 and again in 1954. It is the story of two performers who meet while one is famous and the other is not. The two fall in love but things get difficult when the roles reverse and egos are bruised. There are three versions of this film, a 1937, 1954, and my favorite 1976 version starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.

Marty on DVD

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Romantic Music

As great as Luther Vandross was at belting-out a love song, there were several other performers who were not far behind. Another singer known for his romantic tunes was Teddy Pendergrass. His music was popular in the late 1970s and throughout the 80s. Many people, CroonerCredit: Pixabay.com by OpenClipsincluding myself, still enjoy listening to his classic songs. Two of Teddy Pendergrass' most romantic songs, which also happen to be two of my favorites, are Close the Door and Turn Off the Lights.

 L.T.D. is an R&B band with many great songs, and one of my favorites is Love Ballad. This song would be perfect for a wedding or other romantic occasion. I also like the classic music of Taylor Dayne, her popular single I'll Always Love You, is a sentimental slow tune that is a treat for the ears.

My final two favorites include Marvin Gaye and Whitney Houston. These two were experts at the art of singing the perfect love song. Gaye's Let's Get It On seemed to make everyone amorous. While Houston's Saving All My Love For You told an emotional story of infidelity and what it was like to be the "other woman."

 If you want a little more romance in your life, you can start by playing some romantic music to set the mood. In addition, you can't go wrong with any one of these artists. From Luther Vandross to Whitney Houston, their love songs are pure romance, not to mention classic hits.

The Very Best of Luther Vandross

Playlist: The Very Best of Luther Vandross
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What is Romance

Brownie HeartCredit: DebW07


"I Enjoy Sunsets . . ." What is romance? Better yet, what is your idea of romance? Is it the same as some of the folks who frequent online dating sites? These folks are looking for mates, and thinking statements such as, "I enjoy sunsets and long walks on the beach . . ." will attract some romantic soul. Maybe they really do enjoy sunsets and walks on the beach but is that true romance?

Perhaps you have a romantic mate (you lucky dog, you!) and you think of him or her when you hear the word romance. For those of you who fall into this category, take a moment to think about the most romantic thing your mate has done. Some of you might have to think far back, but others may only have to recall what their mate said or did this morning or maybe even something they say or do every day. Think about this, if you had to rate your mate on a romantic scale of 1 to 5 (1 being worst/5 best) what would it be and why?

For me, romance is subjective, and I now think of it as more of a mood than an action. I watch the sunset almost every evening, and I don’t often think of it as romantic. However, the time I do find it romantic is when I’m in the mood for romance. In addition, I’ve taken numerous walks on the beach and instead of feeling romantic, I usually just feel tired (walking in sand is a workout).

Romantic Getaways -- A Trip for Two

Four Seasons - Aviara
Credit: DebW07

There’s just something about being in a new and/or different environment that helps to kindle the romantic flames of a relationship. Not knowing other people in the area or being unfamiliar with the surroundings may cause couples to be more dependent on each other. Couples will tend to talk more to each other when they are away because there is no one else around to talk to. In addition, each outing may feel like an adventure when you don’t know the area, and that could be an exciting feeling.

Some of the best getaway spots include areas and activities that a couple enjoys most. For instance, if a couple is active, a romantic weekend could include golfing, surfing or another sport, provided you both enjoy it. For couples who prefer being pampered, a spa retreat may be just the prescription your relationship requires. Make an effort to go away for at least two days and preferably more, at least twice a year (every six months). If you are able, try to get away more often. It is a refreshing break from your everyday life and stresses.

My husband and I have a special place that we enjoy, and we try to get away often. Sometimes we are very active with sports such as golf or tennis, and other times it is pure pampering. Regardless of how active or inactive we are, one thing we both agree upon is that we enjoy great dining experiences every time we go out of town. Going on a romantic getaway is a relaxing experience that helps re-energize our relationship. It's a win/win!

Romance is a Mood -- Unlock Your Romantic Heart

Lock - HeartCredit: Pixabay.com


When my husband and I were first dating, we had a disagreement that could’ve put an end to our relationship. One day I casually said, "You’re not very romantic, are you?" Well, my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, took great umbrage at that statement. "I think I'm very romantic!" he replied and went on to tell me that my expectations were unreasonable and not realistic. Ouch!

Once our tempers cooled, we were able to discuss this issue in detail, and we both learned something about ourselves. Being the hopeless romantic I was, I realized that I was unrealistic in my expectations. He, on the other hand, agreed that he could do a bit better in the romance department.

 Over the years, my husband and I have made compromises and come closer to being in unison on what romance is (for us). In the past, my idea of romance was fueled by the movies I watched and the music I listened to. For several years, I was a hopeless romantic and after meeting my husband I realized I was the perfect candidate for romance rehab. "Hello, I'm Deb and I'm a hopeless romantic . . ." Nowadays, my idea of romance is quite different and although candlelit dinners, romantic music, flowers, and beautiful sunsets can do a lot to set the mood, they are not my definition of romance.

So, what's romance? I’ll tell you what my idea is, and after 20+ years of marriage it's changed quite a bit; romance is the way you treat your significant other -- as significant. Romance is trust and respect. Romance is a mood that causes a positive action, such as playing romantic music. Romance is making each other a priority and taking into account each other's feelings. When you are secure in your relationship, you can experience romantic moments anytime, even sitting at home in your PJs, eating take-out food.

Now that's true romance from a former hopeless romantic.

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