Nobody who gets the news of the day needs to be reminded that we are living in difficult times. The worrisome economy, political tensions at home and abroad, climate change and extreme weather, world power plays, and many other daily happenings take our attention from our own personal lives and cause plenty of anxiety. It used to be that romantic love was seen as a major life event, and was a major factor in any assessment of a person’s happiness and lack of anxiety.
Romance was pursued and experienced by men and women of all ages because it made us feel alive and like genuine participants in the human drama. But something has happened to the attitude towards romance these days – it seems like there is less and less tolerance for it in our culture. So, if we have all somehow become intolerant of romance – how did it happen?
This is the information age, and the Internet is responsible for many changes in the way people view romance. With a few mouse clicks we have access to information about almost anyone, and it is clear that not everyone is completely forthright and truthful. A tendency towards dishonesty and misrepresentation online destroys any trust that we may have had in romance, making it seem more like manipulation and theater. Ulterior motives are ascribed to anyone who is showing romantic leanings, and we naturally have trust issues when we’re involved with someone like this.
Many people see romance as too old-fashioned, something that is great in an old movie or in a pop song, but just doesn’t make the grade in real life. We unfortunately live in an age where the cynic rules and irony is everywhere. Even our modern romantic comedies show that nothing can be taken for real or for granted, and that being romantic is being a sap. Many of us believe that motivations for such behaviors are usually selfish, and that consideration, compassion, and understanding that real romance requires are hopelessly outdated. Nobody wants to feel used and made a fool of, and this is how our cynical age sees the victims and perpetrators of romance.
How Soon Is Now
The beauty of romance is that it takes time to grow between two people, and that the more in love a couple is and becomes, the more they see the need for romantic gestures in their lives. But in this time of instant gratification, impatience rules the day. We don’t want to have to wait for anything, much less a relationship, to develop over time and naturally. So romance, which does take time, is perceived as unreal and untrustworthy.
In addition to being seen as naive, unreal, untrustworthy, and foolish, romance and all of its aspects is basically viewed as impractical. Nobody has time for these kinds of behaviors in a relationship – it has to be practical, getting each others’ needs met, serving a selfish purpose. This is part of the appeal of online dating, with which men and women can unabashedly admit and even be proud that they are looking for casual hook-ups only. Or if they are looking for a mate, they can be very specific about what is required, and romantic notions are rarely seen as important.
What’s A Romantic To Do?
For the person who still believes in romance, it’s a tough-looking scene right now. Depending on your age and your goals in life, you may be looking for romance in all the wrong places, and not finding it at any rate. But being cynical and pessimistic about finding true love that will satisfy your need for romance won’t help. Being romantic may be a case of being old-fashioned, but who says that has to be a bad thing? Buying flowers and writing love letters to the one you love may be slightly outdated, but sometimes the oldies are always the best. You have to have faith that real romance has a place in relationships, and that the world is not going to be a better place without it – so keep on believing.