One of the (many) things I hate about pop culture is how it sets up expectations for grand, sweeping romantic gestures from our significant others.
That’s why I really liked the fact that in the Big Bang Theory, they don’t stop at Howard serenading Bernadette with a song he wrote himself, but show Penny’s blundering attempts at romancing Leonard only to realise that the fact she has a shoebox in which she’d saved all sorts of mementoes from their time together speaks loudest of all.
Sure, there are people out there who go BIG. My boss bought his wife a car for her 40th birthday. My friend’s husband proposed after a skydive.
But that’s not us at all. I think you might stump us if you were to ask either of us about the most romantic thing we’d ever done for each other.
For me, it’s all about the small, everyday things.
I will save half my burrito to take home for him to share. Sew up holes in his pants and handwash his good shirts. Buy Mallow Puffs on solo trips to the supermarket even though I think they’re disgusting and won’t touch them myself (I feed the people I love).
And in turn, the ultimate token of appreciation from my perspective would be simply doing things around the house. Proactively taking care of chores. Oh, and not drinking the last of the milk.
Alas, while my love language is ‘acts of service’, his are ‘physical touch’ and ‘receiving gifts’. And thus, real romantic gestures – the kind the other person truly appreciates – take a lot of work in this household.