Things I Love About Old-Fashioned Romance

At his feet, there were a pile of open plastic shells and trinkets he deemed “unsuitable”. With only five nickels left, his heart raced. Only five more tries. He pushed the coin into the slot, then twisted and got…nothing, nothing, nothing…until the fourth try. When he saw what was in the fourth plastic shell, his eyes lit up. Perfect!

Gumball machine image
The ultimate source of childhood romantic gifts.

When a boy, wearing a sheepish grin, approached a girl to give her a present, she knew it was going to be something special. Whether it was an {adjustable} ring which may or may not have had a lovely “gem”, a “gold encrusted” pendant on a plastic string necklace or a peace sign trinket, it more about more than just the item itself. That plastic item was worth more than anything that was more expensive. Why? Because girls knew the time and effort that went into getting it. If a boy spent his entire allowance standing at a gumball machine or ate hundreds of boxes of Cracker Jack waiting for the “perfect” gift, he really had it bad…and that was the ultimate proof. Who wasn’t flattered? Any girl lucky enough to receive a token of a boy’s affections immediately considered that token among her most prized possessions, even after they broke up.

Everything was more of an effort, but that was what made romance so special. A boy had to endure many embarrassing, awkward moments when he wanted to ask a girl out. When he finally got the courage to do so, he had to call THE phone number belonging to an entire family and talk to whomever answered the phone. Best case scenario: the girl answered. Worst case scenario: the girl’s father or older brother answered which probably made the boy forget his own name. The date didn’t happen until the boy went through a lengthy conversation with the girl’s parents, which included a stern warning about curfew and a few threats {subtle and not-so-subtle}.

I remember when boys were taught how to treat girls. They opened doors for us; allowed us to walk before them; held their arms or hands out to us and walked nearest to the curb when walking down the street; pulled our chairs out for us; stood when we entered or left the room; helped us into and out of cars; ordered for us at restaurants; saw us to our doors at the end of a date; kissed our hands; wrote articulate handwritten letters; dedicated songs to us on the radio; held us close during slow dances without trying to grope us; pursued us if they liked us; talked to us during dates {thank goodness we didn’t have cell phones back then!}. I find it sad that those practices are less common in today’s world, particularly when it comes to mutual respect and the art of communication through real, engaging conversations.

ID bracelet image
Sweet 16 Birthday Gift from a Special Someone

Today is Valentine’s Day and I’m happy to say that I have found someone who understands old-fashioned romance. He’ll read this and know exactly what I’m talking about. When we met, he gave me a birthday present that really meant something; it was a silver ID bracelet that I later had engraved and still have to this day, albeit a bit tarnished. This bracelet has been with me for 35 years and I will cherish it forever. Although we didn’t “go steady” back then, I truly believe that he gave me that bracelet because of the “old-fashioned” symbolism of romance. It was once typical of boys to give girls an ID bracelet as a declaration of commitment.

Yesterday, he sent me a single, 3.5′ long stemmed rose with a card that read:

“…I’m sending you this single rose which symbolizes my love for you…”

Long stemmed rose image
1st ever meaningful Valentine’s Day gift

I have never had a lovelier, more meaningful gift on Valentine’s Day. Ever. At 51 years old, this year is the first year I’ve looked forward to Valentine’s Day. Although I absolutely hate the commercialism of it, I found it depressing to be reminded {year after year} of what I was missing {even while married}. I’ve always wanted to be with someone who understands that it isn’t just about being romantic for one day every year. Or that romance is more about the little things that are meaningful and unique to the relationship as opposed to a grand gesture “for show”. The old-fashioned element and emotional sentiment are important to both of us and we’ve never been happier.

What do you love most about old-fashioned romance? What sort of gumball machine gifts did you give/get? What was your most memorable Valentine’s Day gift?

In closing, I would just like to wish all of my awesome readers a very Happy Valentine’s Day. May it be filled with everything you wish for.


9 thoughts on “Things I Love About Old-Fashioned Romance

  1. I remember all of those things you write about here. They did feel more special because of the effort involved. I think in general that we have lost that today which makes me a little sad. Perhaps we get it back somehow. Glad you are happy in general right now, and I am truly blessed to call you a friend 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really do miss the good ol’ days and I hope that we can get old-fashioned “courtship” back. I think that the only way we can do that is to teach our kids that talking before they get married is more important than stressing about the wedding. And to STOP RUSHING things. Everything’s so sexualized these days. Back then, we saw the importance of getting to know someone before anything happened.

      Thanks for your kind words. Your friendship and support of my writing/blog means so much. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope so too and I agree with what you say. Everything is rushed these days. And I think that is hard for kids to understand that life does not have to be like that, and be so cuthroat and hurried. Thank you for your friendship and support. Today and always!


  2. Well, I love the old-fashioned romance. It’s a real beautiful thing. I admit that I don’t follow all of it but most of it I do. I’ve been said to have an “old soul” and maybe it’s true! When I find my special someone, I’ll be sure to make sure they know I love ’em 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ladies appreciate old-fashioned romantic gestures! I’ve no doubt that you’ll make someone very happy one of these days and I hope you find someone who treats you as you deserve to be treated! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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