The first time I heard it, I couldn’t believe it: Some women (and even men!) don’t fart in front of their significant others. But, after the wedding vows—or maybe even after the honeymoon—poof! The scent must be dealt. There’s no longer a place to hide.
Well, okay: Maybe holding in your flatulence isn’t something to be shocked about. There is a time and place for all things, and bonding over a romantic date may not be the ideal place for that. Yet, I couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of someone holding in so much gas until marriage, all to maintain some ideal of perfection.
People fart. They burp. They make weird noises when they eat after a long day without eating and when they stretch themselves awake in the morning. The cute lady in that black dress who left you speechless was most likely scratching the inside of her nose before you walked in. That handsome young man with the impeccable shirt and slacks might have been hacking up phlegm because he forgot to take his allergy medication.
These “imperfections” go beyond gross bodily functions. Sometimes, it’s just plain silly and funny! Laughing so hard you snort; rolling around in the dirt at the park because you saw a spider on your shoulder; gasping hoarsely in a mix of shock and joy when you are pleasantly surprised with your favorite treat. Humans are laughable not because we are pathetic, but because we just have some pretty silly gestures and reactions!
It’s human nature to laugh just as much as it is to swoon or cry or stare off dramatically into the distance or to make a speech. Sadly, I often see couples get hung up on some imaginary etiquette that demands they be prim, proper, and offended at human “silliness.” Or they fear of looking “childish” for enjoying and laughing at themselves for silly things that come up, as if child-likeness is something to be ashamed of.
When you begin to date someone great, you may feel pressure to maintain an image of Hollywood-esque romance. That can be fun and exciting in itself, but it’s not all there is to love. In fact, it is only one sliver of what life will be like when you are married. Marriage means helping your spouse through sickness as well as health (hello, prenatal nausea!). It means guffawing at your favorite Netflix comedy on an in-home date night. It means gargling and spitting out mouthwash as your partner does their business on the toilet. Yes, at the same time.
Maturity is important, yes, but the silliness to be found in childlike fun is, well, fun! Even now, after years of dating and marriage, my husband and I fondly recall many romantic memories but also silly ones (and, in some cases, a mix of both). Once we were the only people in a whole movie theater, and spent the time loudly commenting on the characters inner monologues. Even our first date was a mix of romance and fun: While visiting a local lake at sunset, enjoying the colors on the water and talking about life, we laughed at the absurdity of the mosquitoes swarming us!
This goes beyond dating: It can last a lifetime. So many aspects of married life are not as they seem in your novels and movies. Real life is real life, with its own twists and turns that results in less-than stellar moments—like farting openly. In moments like these, you can either laugh it off as another silly memory to recall with laughter, or burn it as another embarrassing memory.
It’s okay for romance to be silly, even gross. In fact, I think romance needs an element of silliness to survive! Without laughter and silliness, romance honestly wouldn’t be as much fun. As you date and find meaningful people to share life with, don’t be afraid to be yourself and let your humor shine through: It may just well pave the way to a more genuine marriage.