As I type out this segment of the post – I think it’ll become the introduction – it’s Wednesday 11th January, 2017. It’s 9.04pm and, last night, I realised that I’m loudly in love. That’s not to say I hadn’t realised I was in love months before, of course I knew that. It was a sort of a realisation of all these feelings coming together and actively noticing that my perception of love and my profession of love had aligned. It was a realisation that this is what I want to post on 14th February, 2017.
You see, modern romance is different. It’s unassuming and real but nonchalant and aloof, jaded and raw. You’re supposed to be ‘too cool’ to date and be in love. None of that PDA, no thank you. Hand holding is a thing of the past, that’s better left with ‘courting’. Women can walk themselves to the doorstep. Surprises are overrated and so predictable. Why not just ‘chill’ instead of plan and execute a well-crafted date night? ‘You must wait for 2 hours before texting him back.’ He should jump through hoops to ‘get you’ or not jump through hoops. And at some point last year, I was that Modern Romance girl. Maybe it was because it was 2015/16, that men no longer told you you looked beautiful when they picked you up and that they held the door open for themselves only and they wouldn’t hold your hand in public because that wasn’t right and they didn’t want people to see.
‘You said “us” and in that moment, I knew words were magic.’ – K. Towne Jr
But this loud romance is nothing like that.
It’s fireworks and butterflies and it’s pretty much every cliche in the book. But better. Greater. It’s feeling a literal surge of pride for his achievements, no matter how great or small. It’s those butterflies you feel when he sidles through the doorway with breakfast and a coffee in hand for you. It’s still feeling nervous every single time you catch his eye or are headed out to see him. It’s belly-laughing on the cobbled streets, slipping and sliding on the rain-soaked tiles as you make and cement treasured memories together, the tiniest memories that’ll be relished between the two of you forever. It’s laughing for so long that you can’t even remember what you were laughing at. It’s saving the last morsel in the snack box for your other half and warming up their socks and a fluffy bath towel before they go for a wintry shower. It’s sudden memories flooding back as you go about mundane tasks – like brushing your teeth together for the first time, that time you cooked awesome red wine pasta together or were sat in a pitch-black room whilst he lit up the balcony with hundreds of candles and fairy lights for a surprise date night spent under the stars. It’s being silly in public and serious only sometimes. It’s stealing kisses in public and fighting your fear of holding hands without realising because that’s suddenly all you want to do.
Being loudly in love is all of these things plus a billion more. And louder.
Happy Valentine’s, H. Every day is our birthday.
Photos by Louise Chai