All my life, from middle school on up, I missed out on romance. I didn't have a boyfriend the entire time I was in public school. There were several reasons for this--a job, lack of maturity, and a long, long list of requirements for a potential mate including dark curly hair and brown eyes.
My relatives would ask me at every family function, "So, do you have a boyfriend yet?" No.
When I went to college, I had reduced my list somewhat, but still restricted men by their job or career, their height, their level of intelligence, whether they were accepting of other people and cultures, and whether they had strong family values.
My relatives would see me and hurry to ask me, "So, do you have a boyfriend YET?" No.
Then my younger sister got married. I really had been whittling down my requirements, becoming willing to settle for someone who was anywhere over my height with good family values and a good job; I awarded bonus points if he was an interesting conversationalist.
At my sister's reception, I was asked, "So, do YOU have a boyfriend yet?" Still no.
By the time I got to graduate school, my relatives started asking in an alarmed tone of voice, "So do you have a BOYFRIEND yet?" and my list had been reduced to the point where I would have accepted a monosyllabic misogynistic midget, as long as he was male.
Finally, once I gave up completely, I met EG. While he has absolutely none of the requirements from my original list, he does have the one quality on which I based my later search for a life partner--he is a good husband: faithful, supportive, and honest, and he wants me to be happy.
We dated briefly before getting married, and I had one lush and wonderful Valentines Day celebration in there. Once we said, "I do", I realized that it obviously meant "I do hereby no longer have to buy cards and flowers and remember romantic days." I was disappointed at first. And to make things worse, I worked with a woman whose husband did wonderfully spontaneous and romantic things like fill her car with balloons, send flowers, and whisk her away for a surprise weekend, arranging everything, including child care and packing clothes. The two of them moved into a beautiful home, and they had an apparently easy, lovely, stress-free life. I wondered what I was doing wrong.
Suddenly, my co-worker andher husband were selling the dream home and getting a divorce.
So while I don't get balloons or flowers, EG tells me how much he loves me every day by warming my car up in the morning, getting up with sick kids so I can sleep in, putting gas in the car if he is out and notices it is low, digging up the opening to the septic tank, finishing a load of laundry when I am distracted, and vacuuming without being asked. He will also take all three kids to run an errand so I can have some time alone, even if it is with three Labs.
So, to those of you who never got much romance yet, hold on and keep an open mind.