Last night I decided to make a pit stop at Tarjay after work to pick up some milk (and all of aisles 4-7) when I noticed something that gave me all the feels; an elderly couple were so sweetly walking hand-in-hand through the store.
The man, an older gentleman (and straight-up silver fox if I do say so myself), grabbed his wife, an equally stunningly beautiful woman donned in all black, by the waist. As they stopped to admire some decoration pillows (which I may or may not have purchased myself, oops.—Damn you, Target! Why can I never just buy the milk?!), they gazed adoringly into each other’s eyes, smiled satisfied smiles and kissed on the lips — not an obnoxious kiss or a classless kiss, but an enduring and adoring kiss.
Upon seeing that, a weird thing happened, somewhat jaded Wendi became a little less jaded.
Don’t get me wrong. She’s still on the somewhat jaded scale; after all, one’s heart does tend to get a bit guarded after getting tossed and turned and thrown around all willy-nilly like (and not just once, but on the repeat for past two years). But she found herself smiling along with that oh for cute couple.
I looked at them and thought to myself, they’ve got some really good taste in home décor. Well, that and it’s those things that make me fall in love with love all over again.
I’m in love with love. And I know a lot of people say that, but I actually mean it. I am a hopeless romantic right to the bone, as much as I hate to admit it sometimes. The thing with hopeless romantics, though, is that they love too hard and upset too easily. Their hearts are a little more fragile than others.
Everyone, hopeless romantic or not, starts off as blank slates. As humans, we naturally like to see the best in people, so we enter the dating world giving A+’s to all the people we encounter. And as they begin to disappoint us, hurt us, we begin to subtract points from their perfect score.
For this reason, it’s easy to go from hopeless romantic to complete cynic, but it’s incredibly difficult to transform from complete cynic back to hopeless romantic.
Somehow, though, I did. I made the switch for the better. My ticker is still on the mend from being broken, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the good in all those little moments.
Here are just some of those little things that help restore my faith in love:
1. When I watch an old couple shoot the sh*t like it’s 1999.
The old couple who sits in the same booth of the same old cafe every weekend and shares the same banana split with the same old toppings is #RelationshipGoals.
Seeing them can’t help but warm my heart.
2. When the token tough guy melts like silly putty in a woman’s hands.
There’s only one thing that turns the tough guy into a wondrous, sensitive, caring individual (and no, it’s not the gym): love.
A true, compassionate, selfless bond with a woman who is the tough guy’s world is the only thing that will break down his walls, and that’s an incredible thing.
3. That time I had a crush on someone at the new job I just started.
I walked into work expecting a whole new set of tasks, not a whole new set of man candy. Little did I know that my broken heart would be revived with just one look at that cute office guy.
I didn’t act on it, but it’s the principle that matters. There are still smart, cute nice guys out in the world.
4. When I see a couple who is mismatched looks-wise.
When the guy is significantly hotter than the girl or the girl is significantly hotter than the guy, I know they’re together because there’s something there stronger than the powers of physical attraction. That thing is love in its realest, rawest form. #dawwww
5. When Taylor Swift actually started making sense to me.
I used to think T-Swift was foolish in believing in the fairytale. I used to think she sounded stupid amongst the honest, soul-bearing likes of X Ambassadors and Kings of Leon.
Ms. Swift is no longer sappy and misinformed. She is dead-on, y’all. Dead. On. Plus her tunes are just so damn catchy.
6. Airport hellos and goodbyes.
There are hardly any places more romantic than an airport. You’re probably wondering how bad fluorescent lighting, over-priced cheeseburgers, crying babies, and just so much black luggage can be romantic. But hear me out.
*Just watch this clip from one of favorite movies in the history of ever and tell me you don’t get the goosepimples.
Two people previously separated by long plane rides and vast oceans make their way back to each other and love each other even more than they did before. Distance made their hearts remember why life is worth living — for love.
7. When I see a guy take his coat off and put it around a woman’s shoulders.
Or when a guy opens the gal’s card door. Or pulls out her seat at the dinner table. These are just small reminders of big importance: Chivalry is not dead, and romance is alive and well. Putting a coat on a woman’s shoulders is such a little thing, but it’s also so wonderfully sincere that it speaks volumes.
8. When I see a guy sitting alone at the mall
…Because I know he’s there with his girlfriend, and all he wants is to be anywhere but there, preferably at a sport’s bar drinking a beer and yelling at the refs on TV. But he chooses to be with her, because he just loves her AF.
9. When I see the look that one of my best girlfriends gives to her boyfriend.
That look is everything. That look is the look of all looks. It’s the look we envy. It’s the look that signals it’s “meant to be.”
10. When I make my morning coffee at work and a man makes a comment about my affinity for everything pumpkin spice.
He isn’t asking me out on a date, but he’s letting me know he’s open to meeting new people. And there are few things more refreshing than seeing a man in a big city take a few small moments to let a woman know he isn’t that busy.
11. When I hear a story about how people’s parents met.
In a land sans dating apps, hearing stories of organic romance enlivens my soul and brightens my heart. Fun fact: my parents met on a Coors brewery tour, right here in Colorado almost 30 years ago. And tbh, at first my mom wanted nothing to do with this strange guy wearing the Packer’s baseball cap who kept making terrible dad jokes (ahhh…that’s where I get it from). It just goes to show that sometimes, things are just meant to happen at the exact moment between the right people.
12. When I see a couple at the pet store, and they consider getting a pet.
They’re thinking about expanding their family. They’re not making a tiny human, but they are taking baby steps toward their future — and there’s nothing more romantic than forward thinking.
13. When someone told me I’m “growing into my own, and it’s sexy.”
I’d like to be clear that a woman, not a man, told me this. My former boss, actually, who was not only an incredible leader, but a friend, daughter, wife and mother.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: What could a woman complimenting you on your personal growth have anything to do with believing in love again?
Well, I guess it’s an indirect path to finding love. It’s a flicker of hope — that if I’m well on my way to being my best self, then I’m also well on my way to finding the best person for me.
I haven’t found love, though I’d love to. Some day. But even so, it helps to know that until then, I’ve got something to look forward to.