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What is romance to you?

I used to think that romance involved a guy and roses, special moments, maybe moonlit walks, sunsets, dinner out, or gallant gestures of affection. But as I've moved on through life from my relationships with men to being single for a longer period of time, I'm discovereing that true romance for me simply means experiencing something with every sense. It doesn't need to cost anything or even require specific ingredients like flowers or chocolate or expensive perfumes.

I've treated myself to sumptuous meals at fine restaurants and surrendered to the flavors of the delicious food, sometimes being so taken with the meal that the tastes were still on my mind after I left the restaurant. I remembered the aromas of the food on my plate and the meals being prepared in the kitchen. I remembered the dim lighting that made me feel relaxed and inclined to take my time. I remembered the sounds of other people dining around me, talking and laughing and enjoying each other's company. Sometimes I even remembered how the linen napkins felt as I unfolded them in my lap, or the cushioned seat that I nestled into for a while. Then there were those moments when I experienced the wilderness unfettered by worries, whether it was the pure scents of the trees and the dirt, the chorus of birds and insects, the sensation of raindrops on my skin, the vision of trees in the distance capped with fog, or the taste of the water that refreshed me after a long hike. I think that romance means living in the moment and engaging it fully. It can involve another human being who feels the same way, but it can also be done in the peace of one's solitude. I think it means honestly experiencing the world around you as it's meant to be experienced.

What do you think romance means? What moments in your life have caused you to feel truly romantic?

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