Today, it seems we’ve accepted this idea of a romance-free life. It’s become so normal that when we experience the real thing we don’t know what to do. Can we relearn to digest the concept of romance, or have we become romance intolerant?
The Original Romance
The true ideals of romance were birthed during the Middle Ages. Before then, relationships didn’t have much to flaunt on the topic of romance or love. Marriages were birthed out of obligation to families. Being in a relationship with someone before being permanently committed was really nonexistent. You went from child to adolescent, to marriage, skipping all the sweet stuff in between.
During the Middle Ages, though a bit over the top, men were quite literally knights in shining armor. A man would joust for a lady, serenade her, write her poetry, pick her flowers. Men would fight for a women’s love and affection. They were loyal, chaste and honorable, and love was something that was intentional. With many a marriage arranged, the man would try to exemplify his love and express it in a way that made a woman feel desired and wanted.
Following such an upstanding act was the art of courting, and the playing field was one where the women called the shots. A man and a woman would court, under the supervision of family and friends, and his goal was to win her affection. The relationship, again chaste, was one bred with the intent to marry. It was the definition of a romantic relationship. It was a time of serious and deep connection. Two people in a relationship who were committed to each other, going in with intention and a goal.
Why Romance is a Dying Notion
Eventually, women no longer ran the show and standards only got looser from there. There were late-night trips to speakeasy’s, followed by public displays of ownership, where a boy would give his girl his letterman jacket, and she was marked as his. Moving on, relationships became less intentional and more ‘fun’. There was a sexual revolution, dating became popular, and overall, it was a casual scene. Soon, meeting and getting to know someone became a thing of spontaneity. Flings were born, and really, dating became something that people did without heavy expectations, but as a casual way to spend time with someone, no strings attached.
We moved from in-person meet-ups to emails, phone calls and texts. Never mind writing anyone a letter.
We’ve become so used to this idea of freedom and all things casual, we’ve all written our one-person shows. Relationships today are becoming more about personal gain, without considering the feelings of another or having any intent on making another person feel desired, failing to make any sort of real connection. Whether it be fear or simply a standard we’ve come to only know, we’ve all quite literally become romance intolerant.
Deflowering Romance Intolerant Expectations
When you go to the store, does someone still hold the door open for you? When’s the last time you’ve been swept off your feet by a romantic gesture? A love letter, a kiss on the hand, a walk to the door?
Today, we take what we can get. A joke instead of a compliment. A text, instead of a love letter. A nice casual trip to a restaurant in our sweats. Maybe a nice movie that is void of any meaningful conversation. Or a “hot” one-night stand with that person on Tinder.
Though it may seem small, all of these little casual occurrences are giving all of us a romance-free existence. We’re all settling for sugar-free. Intolerant to anything that resembles true affection or romance because we rarely experience it.
Everyone once in a while, keeping the romance alive wouldn’t be so bad, and shouldn’t be too much to ask for. Whether it be getting dressed up and going out to eat at a restaurant, going out to dance, getting picked up at the front door or setting aside romantic time alone, be intentional about the time you have with your partner and try to do something for the both of you. Don’t lower your expectations or standards when it comes to romantic displays of affection and gestures. Here, you might just coexist with romance instead of living a life impartial to it. Follow @Valleymag on Instagram for more dating advice!