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I didn't marry Mr. Darcy

If you're wishing your husband were more romantic, like the heroes in Jane Austen's novels, it may be time to rethink your ideal. Chances are, your partner's more romantic than you give him credit.
Amy Peterson, FamilyShare Modified: May 13, 2014 at 4:32 pm •  Published: May 19, 2014

I know I'm not the only girl who imagined being courted by someone like Fitzwilliam Darcy after reading Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." Seeing Mr. Darcy brought to life in several film and television adaptations only made my romantic notions stronger. As I got closer to actually choosing a spouse, a romantic nature seemed important, but not crucial. Since I chose a more practical mate and one not prone to writing poetry, dancing the Quadrille or escorting me to dinner, I've learned to recognize romance in different ways. If your husband lacks the gentlemanly manners and romantic nature of an Austen hero, you might need to consider these four points.

1. Romance is relative. When I receive a tender email or card from my husband, I know to cherish it. He shows his romantic side in subtle ways not grand gestures. He's probably not going to write me an epic poem or take me dancing at a ball. That's OK, because I want him to be romantic in ways that feel natural. Recognize and appreciate your partner's brand of romance like when he pulls you aside for a lingering kiss or lets you sleep in while he gets the kids some breakfast.

2. Effort counts. My husband knows I'd like him to be more romantic, so he tries. Sometimes his efforts don't go over quite as planned, like the anniversary we spent two hours driving around looking for the secluded cabin we were staying in only to find it lacked any bedding. I appreciate his effort, though, and we laugh about that crazy night. When your spouse takes the time to plan romantic things, like a special date night or a weekend getaway, he's showing you he loves you and wants to make you happy, even if every moment isn't perfect.

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