Monday, February 10, 2020

Romantic Gestures...the many 'expressions' of Love

Pepper here, and we're talking about Romantic Gestures today!!
How do people in books and movies (and real-life) show love? Oh!! Let's count the ways :-)
Let's start with the little ways :-)

Small gestures
These are "simple" everyday ways of showing love.
Let's hear what some readers have to say about examples of this type of love expression:
Kristine: He goes out on below-zero days to clean off her vehicle and starts the car so it's warm when she leaves for work."
Summer: A foot rub after a long day of work, putting the kids to bed.
Denise: Getting up and making coffee every day before she leaves for work, even though he doesn't HAVE to get up for two more hours.
Rachel: sweet notes hidden around the house, or a note "just because"
Paula: writing a poem on their 48th anniversary and showing love by going shopping with her (because he hates shopping).
Author Janine Rosche added: I love a good running of fingers through hair.

Other ways: using his/her skills to build something unique for the one they love. Supporting the other person's dreams/passions/likes. Giving the other person time and resources (when possible) to explore those interests. Finding ways to keep each other safe. Keeping a letter/book/gift of your beloved because it came from or belonged to them. Or Colonel Brandon staring with such rapt wonder at Marianne as she plays the piano in Sense and Sensibility. Sacrifice can be small or big, so can acts of protection.

One of the most romantic gestures EVER (which fits into both small and grand gestures category) is KNOWING the "loved" person by listening, remembering, and finding ways to express they've "heard" you and want to celebrate the things that matter to you!

Grand gestures
These are the ones that are usually celebrated on movies, right? "Big" things.
Does the hero uproot his life in order to be with the heroine? Does he work all summer on a project in order to pay for something the heroine wanted? A trip for her to take? Does she race across an airport and get on the intercom to stop him from catching his flight so she can tell him she loves him? wait...I digress ;-)

Julia Lynch reminded me of Gilbert Blythe giving up the Avonlea school for Anne.
In my case, my husband worked out our finances so that we could take a trip to Ireland at the end of March (for ME...because I love traveling/research. Him? Not so much :-)

Bottom line: Time and intention are super romantic, no matter how big or how small. 

Non-kiss touches
Romantic touches come in all shapes and sizes...and they can be just as unique to the couple as favorite gestures, but there are a few that show the sweetness and meaningfulness of touch.
Stacey shared that her husband will take her in his arms when she gets home and say, "I'm so glad I get to be home with you." (cue the 'aww').

What about the moment on North & South with the hero and heroine touch fingers while she's serving him tea? A guy pushing back a girl's hair from her face? A hand to the small of the back? Linking arms as two lovers walk? Holding hands? Caresses to the face (super intimate). Dancing. Tender glances. HUGS!! (and so many more).

Okay, so this is one of my favorites, but I have to tell you, I'm not a fan of watching kisses on movies if the couple looks like they're trying to eat each others' faces off. I do love kisses like..well, as I mentioned above, the kiss in North & South!! Tender, gentle, intentional, sweet...Mama Mia!!!

A kiss is NOT just a kiss!

Romantic kisses come with stories behind them.
There is intention, knowledge of each other, care, and, yes, there can be a sense of awe and passion too!

Kisses of love are expressions of something that's already happening in the heart and, in my opinion, are just extensions of the appreciation, knowledge, tenderness, and delight two people have in (and for) each other. Without the story behind the kiss, there really isn't any romance in it.
Kisses are kind of like the exclamation marks of a million conversations between two people who love each other. 

It goes without saying...hee hee...words DO matter in romance. But it's more than just sweet words. Of course, there are compliments and expressions of appreciation, but there are also thoughtful discussions, intelligent conversations, careful questions to show care, encouragement, healthy debates, and so much more.

One note about the art of innuendo: It's a beautiful thing to see subtlety in stories that show the love and romance growing between characters - the messages between the lines. Even in those more "intimate" moments that are tastefully and beautifully rendered.

Author Rachel McMillan reminded me that there are some beautifully subtle expressions of love shown in the movie/book The Magic of Ordinary Days when Ray begins reading archaeology books so that he can have something to talk to Livy about (and so she won't feel alone). What about Mr. Knightley's rushing back from London to check on Emma's wellbeing after he finds out about Churchhill's engagement?

A few recommendations from Rachel regarding well-written intimate innuendo in romance is Laura Frantz's The Lacemaker, Jolina Petersheim's How the Light Gets In, Deanne Gist's Tiffany Girl, and Kate Breslin's As High as the Heavens...for a start :-)

I'd LOVE to hear about some of your favorite romantic gestures shown in movies, books or REAL LIFE...and, to make things more interesting, you can't list the kissing ones :-)

Plus, join me on Thursday evening at 8am EST for a FB live chat about Romantic Gestures in fiction & movies! Bring some examples from your favorites and we'll swoon together :-)Let's talk romance!
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW's Genesis and Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her most recent historical romance, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge, showcases her Appalachian heritage and family history, as well as her love for humor, the mountains, and family. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC, where she is the mom of five great kids, a speech-language pathologist to dozens more, and a love for chocolate, jazz, hats, and Jesus. Pepper loves to connect with readers and other authors through social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Learn more about her and her books at



Julia Reffner said...

Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe are my favorite for sure!

Sacrifice means so much. Sometimes the little things, for my husband he has always supported my writing and me finding time for the things I need to refresh myself. When he gets to the door and knows I've had a hard day with homeschooling stuff and just says everything else can wait, why don't you head to Starbucks for a little bit?

Laura Frantz said...

I just love {& agree} that kisses are kind of like exclamation marks!! And thanks for the mention of The Lacemaker, Rachel & Pepper. As far as romance, whenever Barney Snaith moves & breathes in The Blue Castle, that's IT for me. Another is the nit-picking scene in Love's Pursuit :) I kid you not. Swoon!

Julia Reffner said...

Yes, LOVE LOVE LOVE The Blue Castle. I'd almost forgotten about that its been years. Such a good book, Laura!

Kirsty said...

I LOVE this post & this topic SO SO much!! I also have to admit, the very first example that pops into my head when I think of romantic gestures is when Killian trades his ship (basically the only real home he's ever had) for Emma on Once Upon a Time ��

Also, who could forget Mr. Darcy voluntarily searching for, interacting with, and giving money to Mr. Wickham for Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice?!

Pepper Basham said...

Oooh! Love Capt Hook! ;-) or that version anyway and that's a GREAT example, Kirsty!!
YES!! The Mr. Darcy example is perfect!!

Caitlyn Santi said...

I love this post!
Here are a few of my favorites: All of You by Sarah Monzon, one word: PIRATE!

When He Found Me by Victoria Bylin opens with the hero meeting the heroine in a laundromat. She drops her change and he helps her pick it up and realizes she doesn't have enough change to dry her son's only pair of sneakers so he makes up the difference before she can protest, and then goes on to give her the gift of new shoes for herself and her son, I totally fell for that hero right then!

On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White when Camden gives Arabelle a puppy to keep her company, as well as everything else he does for her!

Lake Season by Denise Hunter when Adam holds Molly while she's crying her eyes out!

Beauty and the Beast when he lets her go, not to mention when he gives her the library! There are so many more I could mention but I'll stop here!

Caryl Kane said...

Swoony post!


Love this post!

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