I stood behind a man in the supermarket checkout lane who was set for romance. He was only purchasing two items: a dozen roses and a box of chocolates. I had to smile. Some lucky lady was going to be pleasantly surprised with his thoughtful gift.

However, flowers and candy only go so far in a relationship. This is because love that lasts a lifetime is not a feeling, but a choice. I wonder if that man in the checkout lane knows…

…that real romance is about learning to listen, even when you’re too tired to want to.

…that real romance requires us to occasionally love someone who is unlovable in the moment.

…that real romance has to be nurtured each and every day for it to last a lifetime.

…that real romance is not a 50-50 agreement…it’s giving 100% even when you don’t receive 100% sometimes.

…that real romance is appreciating the differences in the one you love rather than trying to change them.

…that real romance is about forgiving, sometimes dozens of times a day.

…that real romance is choosing to love even when you feel otherwise for whatever reason.

…that real romance is about praying, “God, change me,” instead of “God, change him or her.”

…that real romance is about being emotionally intimate before you’re ever physically intimate.

…that real romance requires thoughtfulness, kindness, and large doses of patience.

…that real romance is bathing the kids, helping with dishes, and running the vacuum.

…that real romance is giving a back rub when you’d rather receive one.

…that real romance is learning to communicate in better ways than you have in the past.

…that real romance is saving money out of each paycheck for you to do an overnight away once or twice a year.

…that real romance is learning to trust another person with your deepest fears and failures.

…that real romance is doing something with your loved one that they love, even if you don’t.

…that real romance is leaving the past behind and believing the hope of the future.

…that real romance puts a hedge of protection around your relationship, keeping temptation at bay with intentionality.

…that real romance looks nothing like the movies…it’s messy, it’s hard, and it’s it takes a lot of effort.

Today, why don’t you commit to some real romance in your relationship? These romantic gestures will say “I love you,” better than chocolate or roses any day!

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