INTRODUCTION

From Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul

Introduction

What does it mean to be romantic? For many of us, the concept of romance conjures up visions of fancy gifts and flowers, extravagant evenings out on the town, or exotic vacations for two at fascinating destinations. However, the true meaning of romance transcends these traditional stereotypes and offers us something much more precious, much more profound: The heart of romance is magic—the magic all of us have felt when we’ve been touched by love.

This magic of love permeates Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul. We are delighted and honored to offer you this inspiring collection of stories that capture the true meaning of romance. They are stories of passion, of devotion, of tenderness. They are stories of patience, faith and trust. They are stories of renewal, rediscovery and redemption. Through each tale, we are invited into the private world of love shared by two people and given a glimpse of the amazing ways love expresses itself. Our idea of what romance means was changed forever as we read the stories contained in this book, and we believe yours will be too!

In a world that is often filled with turbulence, confusion and even darkness, love is the light that guides us to joy and makes living worthwhile. What touched us as we worked on this book was reading about how each contributor shared his or her appreciation and gratitude for that light of love, and the unique way it had transformed his or her life. There are stories about extraordinarily romantic moments that mesmerized us and took our breath away; there are stories about ordinary romantic moments that brought tears to our eyes as we contemplated the power that love contains in its utter simplicity. Each story is remarkable, whether it was written by an eighty-year-old man about his “bride” of fifty years, or by a wife and mother of three small children about the surprising ways she and her husband keep the passion alive, or by a woman who thought she’d lost the love of her life, only to have fate find him for her again.

Romantic moments come in many varieties. Some are wildly amusing, and you will find yourself laughing out loud, as we did, at stories that remind us all of the comical adventures that often go hand-in-hand with love. Other stories will make you sigh with satisfaction, as if you’re reading the most riveting romance novel. And some will fill you with the kind of warm, peaceful feeling that we all experience whenever we take time to focus on the abundance of goodness and love that exists around us and within us.

Reading this book, you will discover romance where you’ve never known it to exist before. You will learn about how love isn’t always expressed in the most eloquent words, but in sweet acts of caring and consideration that feed the heart in the most significant ways. You will be reminded of memories of love from your own past that perhaps you’d forgotten, memories that will be a part of you forever. You will look at the challenging times love sometimes goes through and marvel at how indestructible it is even in the face of pain and loss. Most of all, you will gain a new understanding of how the essence of true romance permeates the days and nights of love in ways you’d never appreciated before.

We believe that, ultimately, Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul is about magic: the magic of how just a few words from your beloved can make your heart soar; the magic that occurs when you’ve given up on ever finding love, and then somehow, when you least expect it, love finds you; the magic of knowing how to keep falling in love over and over again as the years pass; the magic of discovering what we become when we truly love another human being.

If you are in a relationship, we hope the stories in this book will invite you to look more deeply for the bonds of love and expressions of caring you may not have thought were romantic, but ultimately are and will inspire you to cherish your partner even more. If you are not now in a relationship, our wish for you is that reading these stories gives you hope—that love will come to you at just the right time; that even now, your soul mate is looking for you, and that destiny will bring you together.

May the magic of romance always find you and fill your heart with wonder at the amazing power love has to transform us all.

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