Tim remarks, in response to Chad, (and I think in earnest), that he hopes my penchant for romanticism is all part of some act or other. Which is in line with my understanding of how Tim views my view of love. But I'm afraid I really do mean what I say when I describe what I'm looking for in a (romantic) relationship.
I understand the practicalities.
I know that a relationship doesn't have to be complex (despite my experience to the contrary).
I know sacrifice and pain are part of living with anyone.
I realise that the forms are just forms.
I realise that no one will likely ever want to hear my thoughts on design theory, let along pay tuition to listen to them :) .
I realise that my wife will likely kiss me more often to get me to shut up than for any other reason.
Still I'd have to say I am a romantic. I realise these "perfect evenings" will never come to pass and wish-lists will remain just that, but that's not the point. This is blue-skying; exploring desires, not plans for the future.
My "idea of a perfect evening" is full, not of practical things to do, but symbols of the type of life I want to lead. A child falling asleep in your arms probably wouldn't happen in the middle of an animated party. One's wife is seldom a colleague at work. Making hot chocolate at the end of a party seldom happens because you've got lots of other drinks sitting around open. These are symbols of a happy family life, a lover who is intellectually interesting and interested, and a tender sharing and caring for one another in the quiet moments of life.
To know what it is that you want from a relationship is, I think, useful. To reflect upon what it is that you consider important in a mate can be useful when you're searching. None of it is going to find me a mate, and I'll likely fall in love with someone who doesn't remotely resemble what I'm looking for, but I will better know who I am when it happens, and that is, I think, the goal of the question.
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