Just because I don’t like PDA doesn’t mean that I don’t like romance.

I remember a month or so ago, I saw a couple on one of the university buses and I was heading to my DiffEQ class. They were very public about their displays of affection, and I couldn’t help but grimace a little. I mean, the girl was practically treating him as if he was a toddler, saying things like “Oh my baby did a great job”. I couldn’t help but wonder if she was controlling him. It certainly looked like that from a third person’s perspective. She kept on saying that and cuddling, to the point where it drove me insane. Seriously, can’t they do that when they’re alone?

So I ended up complaining to one of my friends, and things got a little awkward. She asked if I don’t like romance. I said that I don’t like PDA and really cliched versions of romance. She still thinks that I don’t like romance. Don’t get me wrong, I like being cherished and appreciated. But I just don’t like PDA: I feel as though the couple is forcing the public to invade their privacy and see really intimate moments. It feels invasive.

Now, I know that there are people that find that romantic and feel cherished through PDA, but I don’t. I find it repulsive in a lot of cases. Like the time in December 2012 when my friends and I went to Rockerfeller Plaza to see the Christmas tree. Among the thousands of sardine-sandwhiched people, a rather middle-aged couple were kissing. One of my friends went “aw” but I was going “ew”. She thanked him for a such a romantic night. I’m sorry, but what’s so romantic about getting pushed around in a crowd that is so packed that you couldn’t even walk a step without stepping on someone’s foot?

If I complain to friends, I get labeled as “unromantic”. (If I complain to my mom, she and I make a satire out of it.)

In that case, what do I like?

  1. Being in each other’s presence, comfortably. Though not every single minute of every single day. That’s called marriage. 
  2. Getting flowers randomly, almost like he saw that bouquet and was reminded of me and thus got it.
  3. Backhugs. Because then, if he’s tall enough, I would be able to rest my head against his chest and feel extremely safe and content.
  4. Whispering “I love you” once in a blue moon and very randomly. I don’t like it when that phrase is said often because the effect of that phrase would be lost.
  5. Letting me cuddle without any questions asked. Sometimes I may just want to cuddle to relax, de-stress, or for comfort. But I’d rather wish that he wouldn’t ask because at that time, I wouldn’t want to answer any questions.
  6. Doing some of the housework without me telling him to. I think this is the most important one because does he really expect me to do the laundry, do the dishes, cook, clean the bathrooms, vacuum, etc. right after a long and tiring work day? If so, then he is not worth my time, energy, or money.
  7. Respecting my body, my mind, and my opinions.
  8. Treating me as I treat him.
  9. Dates = simple, genuine moments with him. I don’t want to be pampered with dinners at expensive restaurants. Because I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the time there; instead, I’d be worrying about the bill. Or buying expensive bags or clothes or shoes. What’s the point? I’m going to end up throwing them out eventually. It’s a waste of money. Besides I don’t want to see how much money he’s gonna throw at stuff. That just tells me that he’s not very good with budgeting.

My idea of romance is the actual essence that everyone seems to forget. Simplicity is often a very, very effective tool; so guys, learn to use it.

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About squishymaru

Master's student in chemical engineering with a B.S. in chemical engineering as well. Loves chemistry, math, increasing diversity in STEM, politics, and public health advocacy. Loves reading, writing, and being active -- mentally and physically.

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