Romance is quickly becoming a thing of the past and people aren’t even noticing.
It’s being replaced by this casual approach to life that seems to be permeating everything these days, and by a cheap imitation that is often seen, but seldom lasts. The art of romance, this approach to life and to another person, will soon be something we experience only when watching a classic movie or reading a timeless novel.
It may be easy to dismiss this opinion as ridiculous; as simply an idea coming from a jaded or cynical woman. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth, as I am part of this dying breed of “romantics.” All it takes is observing people, listening to people, to see this is the case.
I personally believe the decline can be directly attributed to three specific things.
1. We are replacing a cultivated sense of self with a shallow, fast-food version
I don’t know about you, but I prefer to spend time with people I find interesting. People with a variety of interests, and that can speak to a wide array of topics. That have curiosity about people and the world around them. People who know who they are and showcase it with pride.
As Americans, we’re falling into the trap of focusing only on what’s right in front of us. We talk about our kids (sometimes obsessively so), sports (don’t even get me started), our jobs, the weather, and so on, but how often are we able to get past the superficial and dig into more substantial topics?
I’m not saying your kids (or mine) aren’t important. Rather, that they are only one aspect of our lives. What else contributes to who you are? How often do you try something new, learn something new? When was the last time you read a book, or explored someplace new? What else fills your proverbial bucket?
In a world of imitations, be yourself… be interesting!
(Above: The Notebook, 2004)
2. We’ve forgotten the importance of subtlety and details
Is it me, or does it seem the world’s view of romance has become over-the-top displays geared more towards gaining the attention of others than showing an authentic appreciation of someone?
We’ve lost the art of woo and courting, especially long-term, and have become lazy with details. Unfortunately, it’s the little things that have the ability to erode a relationships.
It’s my opinion that a big part of romance stems from selflessness. It’s finding small, but important, ways to appreciate each other and the time you spend together, and continuing to do so well beyond the dating and early marriage stages.
It’s the way you look at him/her. It’s being on time. It’s taking the extra time to plan, to pick out something special and to look nice. It’s showing interest and affection. It’s making the time to create and appreciate the simple, yet extraordinary, moments and memories that last.
(Above: Pride and Prejudice, 2005)
3. We live in a culture that under-appreciates romance
Every day, we see versions of “romance” play out on television, in the movies and in our lives. I would argue that most of what we see is an imitation. An image portrayed to make our lives appear perfect. But sure enough, with time, it fails, leaving many to wonder if it is just a thing of fairy tales.
We now live in a society where many view romance as an outdated or antiquated concept. Some feel it conflicts with the idea of feminism, others seem to think it’s “high maintenance” to want or expect these things in a relationship.
On top of that, we have become a culture so immersed in technology, so desperate for quick and easy solutions to everything, that it’s difficult to develop authentic relationships, let alone to sustain and cultivate them.
Clearly, with a divorce rate hovering around 50%, something’s not working. What if the solution, or at least part of it, is simply rediscovering each other? Finding the romance. Appreciating one another. Building something that lasts; that stands the test of time.
(Above: Casablanca, 1942)
I don’t know what the solution is, nor do I have a magic bullet call-to-action for you. I do realize, however, that everyone suffers if romance does truly go by the wayside. There’s enough hard stuff in life. So many things we must endure. Without the balance, the appreciation, the optimism and the lasting willpower to survive it together, what’s the point?
I, for one, continue to believe. To believe the pendulum will swing back once people realize that any relationship worth having requires work. Requires dedication. Requires romance.
As always, I’d love to hear your comments about this blog post. Add them below or send me an email. Also, don’t forget to follow Le Foyer for regular posts and updates.