Romance: It’s more than hearts and flowers

Feb 12, 2016 | 2 comments |

Although I’m a romance writer, Valentine’s Day has never been a big event.

I don’t like red roses, and I already eat too much chocolate. There’s also something about a designated day to celebrate love, and the related marketing hoopla, that makes me uncomfortable.

Tech Guy and I usually celebrate Valentine’s Day before or after February 14 when restaurants are quieter, my favourite tulips are more readily available, and there’s less public expectation about the “perfect” romantic celebration.

My husband comes from a long line of frugal Scots. He clips coupons, sticks to a budget and big purchases are only made after careful consideration. In the past year, we’ve bought a house, replaced the heating and cooling system in that house, bought a (gently used) car, and I’ve transitioned from the corporate 9-5 to a full-time writing career. To say our bank account has taken a hit is an understatement.

We’ve also faced personal challenges and, as some of you know, the past month has been especially tough.  

A minor accident in a school basketball game plunged our daughter, English Rose, into a downward spiral of acute pain, multiple ER visits and, ultimately, the diagnosis of a fractured growth plate in her ankle and six weeks or longer in a cast and on crutches.

Correspondingly, I have deadlines for two books, am the executrix for a complicated estate in tax season, and Tech Guy is working thousands of miles, an ocean and several time zones away.

Life has been about making it through one day at a time. Yet, romance can happen when you least expect.

Instead of Valentine flowers, jewellery or chocolate, Tech Guy has given me several hours of a house cleaner’s time and a voucher for a meal out. This year, a house cleaned by someone else and a meal I don’t have to cook tops more traditional gifts hands down!

While romance is important, for me it’s always been more about small, everyday gestures than lavish, scheduled displays of affection. If romance and love are present in the everyday, the occasional big gesture is all the more meaningful.

It’s what makes a true romantic hero, in life and fiction.

Wishing you romantic moments not only on Valentine’s Day but all year through.

Valentine heart in snow


  1. Sue Bavin

    Flowers, choc etc are lovely, but nothing beats a gift that has been chosen especially for this moment; and that is what your lovely Tech Guy has done. Cleaning and a meal voucher might not sound very romantic, but they are perfect for your current situation. Tech Guy thought of what would truly help you and lift your spirits at a time when he can’t be there in person. I hope it isn’t too long before he can be with you permanently.

    • Jen Gilroy

      I couldn’t have expressed it better, Susanna. Thank you! Tech Guy appreciates your kind words too.


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