Romance is in the eye of the beholder.

I had a boyfriend once.

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He was a good boyfriend and now, in retrospect, I realise that he was a hardcore romantic.

For our six month anniversary, he bought me a gold and diamond necklace.

For our first Valentines Day, he snuck into my house at 3am and set up a bunch of flowers and a photo of us on my kitchen bench, almost getting himself killed by a Yugoslav father.

For our one year anniversary, he bought me a Louie Vutton bag.

Image Credit: Tradesy

I am not even joking.

So he was a fan of these grand gestures and expensive, flashy gifts.

Me? I’m a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl. Gold, expensive shit did not impress me.

Meeting the love of my life

Shortly after breaking up with my fancy, expensive boyfriend, unbeknownst to me, I met the love of my life at Friday’s nightclub – the most romantic place on earth for 19 year olds.

Us at Friday’s – obviously not when we were 19, but pretty impressive that I found this, right?

With him, I decided to do things differently.

And so began our unconventionally romantic life together.

How so? Let’s see…

1. We don’t do gifts

Very early on, we agreed that gifts are all a waste of money and we decided to put that money towards holidays instead.

Boat trip, circa 2000-and-something…

And boyyy did we use that money wisely!

From boat trips with friends to regular weekends away, we valued our time together doing fun stuff way more than socks and flowers.

But every once in a while, we will come across something we think the other will like, like the time the Husband got me a cool pen and had my name engraved on it or when I sent him a Boomf box to work with our family photos on it.

It’s cheesy but we would rather gift from the heart any day of the year, than be forced to get romantic when society tells us to!

2. We don’t do “dates”

We don’t really celebrate anything, either.

Honestly, after a decade together, that’s a lot of birthdays a lot of anniversaries, so many Christmases… just a lot of hoo-rahs and frankly, who can keep up?

This way, he doesn’t get mad if I forget something, I don’t get mad if he does.

For example, yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I was like “hey, happy Valentines Day” and he was like “hey, Happy Valentines Day to you too!” and then we both got on with our Thursday.

3. We don’t do… dates

Oh, did I studder?

No, I did not.

I mean the other dates, like dinners and movies.

I remember the exact date night when we decided that that type of romance wasn’t for us.

We went to this nice restaurant, dressed up all nice, put some perfume on, wore nice shoes, you know, the whole sha-bang.

We tried…

We ordered expensive meals, my meal being glorified fish and chips, his probably steak.

And at the end of the evening, after sitting through this fancy dinner not even knowing what to talk about since it seemed like an occasion for adult conversation, we got out of there and decided never do it again!

4. Bed picnics

Instead, we have picnic dinners at home.

We used to go and get takeout of the day, be it McDonalds, KFC, or our favourite Ribbetts – clearly this was when we were young and the ribs didn’t stick to our insides like it does now.

We would put a towel at the end of our bed, spread our food out, put on a movie and pig out like only young people can. Then, for dessert, we would eat some Cadbury chocolate, you know, when it used to be a decent 250g block, and then we would just lie down, fat and happy.

Nowadays, we’re a little more grown-up about it – we include real food and veggies into our picnics – but the sentiment is the same.

Sooooo romantic!

5. The Proposal

But the most unconventionally romantic experience we’ve had, was undoubtedly the proposal.

Granted, I waited for my proposal for many, many years and kinda knew it was coming by the time it happened – what I didn’t know how was how he was going to go about it.

He booked a weekend away for my birthday at our favourite beach spot in Kingscliff, NSW, and at 5am, as the sun was coming up, he took me to the beach, and presented me with…. a book?

Yes! A book.

But not just any book.

He made me a book. A book about our life together.

And when I say he made it, I mean he wrote down our story, printed the pages, cut out the cardboard then glued the material of his boxer shorts to the cover of the book (lol lol lol), and bound it all together.

As I was reading this book, I couldn’t believe what he had done.

I couldn’t believe how much effort it had taken him to put all this together, to make this book himself.

The last page of the story asked me to marry him and when I looked up, there it was – him on his knee and my ring in his hand!

Yesssss!

But to this day my favourite part of my book was that half of it was blank – and I have already started filling it in for our daughters to one day have and read.

Romance has to be romantic to you

Ultimately, what’s important is that we are both on the same page about what’s romantic to us. It doesn’t have to follow tradition, as long as it’s meaningful to us both.

And would you believe, since having children, the most romantic thing he can do for me is his chores, looking after the kids and giving me my alone time when I desperately need it.

So tell me – are you unconventionally romantic? How do you show it?

Thanks for stopping by ya’ll, and remember – don’t be a dick!

Love,

B.

Wedding feels.

Author: Billi Milovanovic

Billi, A.K.A Bildo, is a freelance writer and she has loved writing since Hotmail accounts were cool – her 15 childhood diaries will attest to that. She’s birthed a couple of little Bildo’s, been with her adoring Husband for over a decade and they would describe themselves about as happy as clams can be. Not that that means he reads this blog – although he really should, seeing as he features in it quite frequently.