Apr 5, 2007

Romance: Is It Just Twitterpation?

Valerie J. Steimle

Romance! I love romance. I love romance novels. I love romantic movies. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. A crisis occurs. The couple is split apart by circumstances. Something happens and they get back together again. What a wonderful story. All of that clever dialogue. All of that heart wrenching emotion. All of that positive energy you feel when you read or watch to find at the end of the story that the couple involved have gotten back together and they live happily ever after. So it was interesting to find myself right in the middle of one last month after attending a singles conference from my church.

This guy just swept me off my feet. Phone calls every day, weekend dates lasting all weekend-- not just an evening. Long walks on the beach, dinner, movies—it was incredible. He was completely smitten by me and I just stood there aghast. Why are you aghast, you ask? Well, because this has never happened to me. This only happens to someone else. When I was single the first time, I had lots of guy friends which I really liked. But there was never just one who was completely smitten with me, even when I met my husband. It was a “grow to love you” type of a relationship, not love at first sight. This new guy was just too good to be true.

So when I forwarded some of the jokes to my son that my new boyfriend emailed me, he called me “twitterpated”. “I’m just twitterpated because its spring and the jokes weren’t that funny”, he wrote back. Twitterpated: a word used in the Disney movie Bambie to mean you really like a member of the opposite sex and your thinking is elated. It’s the way you feel when your arms touch while sitting together for the first time. It’s the way he looks at you when you are talking. It’s the feeling of security you have because you know he likes you. Everything seems brighter and more alive.

So now I had this boy friend and I spent far too much time thinking about him. I talked to him on the phone several times a day and I spent the rest of the time making plans for our next date. I had it bad. My kids would just roll their eyes whenever I was excited to go out. I would try to keep my excitement to a minimum but it was difficult. I called and emailed all of my friends and told them of my good fortune as well.

This went on for three weeks. After a while it became exhausting and I couldn’t keep up. I started feeling a great pressure and thought that this might not be such a great thing after all. I had the feeling that I was being backed up into a corner. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. It was supposed to be “happily ever after” but it wasn’t. He was supposed to go to the next level in the relationship, but he didn’t. As the fourth week rolled on, I started thinking that I couldn’t do this anymore and I wondered how in the world I was going to break this thing off. It appeared to me that this was the wrong guy. Well, nature took its course and I finally ended it.

After looking back on the whole experience, I can honestly say that I learned something. What did I learn, you might ask? All those romantic movies I have watched, all those romance novels I have read aren’t what they are cracked up to be. It just doesn’t work that way in real life.

The real romance is going out on your regular Friday night date with your husband of twenty-five years and still having a good time. The real romance is when he holds your hand when you are in great pain to try to make it better. The real romance is cracking a joke after you mistakenly bounce a check. The real romance is when your husband holds you close after being gone all night because your best friend’s husband died and you had to stay with her. That is real romance…... and that is the kind that lasts forever.


  1. Valerie,
    I am deeply touched by your posting. I felt so many different emotions as I read it...your twitterpation, and your missing your husband...thanks for the reminder to appreciate my own eternal companion! Well done!

  2. Thanks for the great thoughts on real romance and for sharing.

  3. You wrote this very well, Valerie. I felt your twitterpation, the bottom-dropping-out-of-the-stomach feeling when he drops by or calls. Isn't it funny to find that age, maturity, responsibility, experience--none of that makes us immune? I understand and applaud your reflections on 'true' romance, but I'm glad you had those weeks of someone in love with you. Ah, spring!

  4. I kept thinking of my relationship with my husband as I read this. I loved being in love when we were first dating...but you're right, it was exhausting! I'm now watching my daughter go through twitterpation and believe me I'm exhausted just watching her.


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