I thought I'd share with you today the column I wrote for the bridal magazine I created as part of my final major project at university. I love writing column pieces, mainly because I get to put across the many opinions I have, but also I love the comments that people give me about them. It is definitely my kind of writing that's for sure. So the topic is romance, and how is it constructed in today's society. See what you think...
The Oxford Dictionary defines romance as ‘conducive to or characterized by the expression of love: a romantic dinner’. So is that what we class as romance nowadays, going out for dinner? Now, I don’t want to sound like a bitter single woman, who does not believe in true love. If anything it is completely the opposite. I am a hopeless romantic twenty something. I believe in love at first sight, I believe in ‘the one’ and I certainly believe that romance still exists, I’m just not so sure that I believe that romance means the same as what it once did. In my mind romance is all about the thought. After you've had a stressful day, coming home to your partner cooking you a meal, or when you’re a bit down being surprised with a bunch of flowers. Sometimes just the small things in life can make the biggest impact. However, I know for many this is not the case. My generation seems to be very materialistic, and everything is about who has the newest, and the best item available to them. So this brings me to question, what actually does count as ‘romance’ in today’s society.
Now, despite the fact that I believe there is that one true love, and everyone is destined to find them, whether very early on, or later in life – that person is out there, they exist, I am not fooled into thinking that love happens like a fairytale. Films show us that you find the perfect guy by bumping into him at the supermarket whilst reaching for the same pint of milk, fall madly in love in the space of two weeks, never argue, move into the perfect house, have two perfect children and just live happily ever after.
Disney in particular definitely promotes all these princess lovey dovey fantasies to us soppy girls; cheers Walt – typical man, putting a thought in our heads only to go and let us down! But no, I am not a pessimist at love, I truly believe it is out there for everyone and it has it ups and down. Nothing can ever be perfect. Nothing in this world is perfect. You have to work at a relationship, and deal with each other’s negatives, but personally I don’t think a relationship can fully reach its potential if romance is not a part of it. Romance is essential to having a good relationship. You've got to have that knowledge of exactly what you can do to cheer your partner up, and the little thing that can put a smile on his/her face after they've had a crappy day. For example, for me, coming home to a nice hot bubble bath ran for me with a glass of wine, or if someone bought me a bunch of lilies (my favourite flower) then I would instantly go all gooey, and have a massive ridiculous grin on my face!
I will never forget my first serious relationship, I was 17. We agreed not to do a lot for Valentine’s Day; we went out and had a lovely meal and a nice evening together, and exchanged a little gift and that was that. The next day I went to work, and half way through my shift I had a call from reception, and in front of me was a huge bouquet of 12 red roses. I've never felt so special and loved in all my life, and that may sound stupid and very childish: I was essentially a child at the time, but to me that was so sweet and romantic that he had thought to surprise me and managed to keep it a secret. Needless to say, that didn't last and the relationship was over not that long after.
This leads me onto Valentine’s Day. For the majority I feel is the beginning of where romance has slowly began to dwindle away. For example, I received an email a few days before Valentine’s Day this year, encouraging me to purchase an iPad for my partner – whom did not exist. But nevertheless, an iPad for Valentines. Really? Where is the thought in that? Where is the effort that has gone into that? How is that in any way, shape or form romantic in anyway whatsoever? Valentines has become much too commercialised within our generation. Regardless of an individual’s choice of gift, Valentine’s Day in general I find as an odd concept. Why should there be one set day when someone is forced by society to gift their partner and love them more than any other day. Love should be something that you show to your partner every single day of your relationship. Maybe I am too much of a hopeless romantic, and I've been out of the dating game for too long, but I firmly believe that an ‘I love you’ a day, and a ‘date night’ a month help to keep the romance in a relationship. Spontaneity is always good, of course – if you love them, then show it; all day, every day.
I feel the problem with ‘romance’ in today’s society, particularly with men, is that showing too much love to your partner is considered ‘gay’. Obviously that is a completely ridiculous term, that isn't even used in its proper term, but this is the way that men seem to think – particularly those in relationships at university, who are part of a large friendship group of boys. The ‘banter’ is always bashed about and any kind of ‘cheesy’ things done with a partner are ridiculed. This is not so much the case with women. Women tend to coo, and ooh & awh when telling each other about their partners romantic doings – we women do like to make a big deal about everything possible. We love it.
As far as I am concerned romance will never die, you just have to find the right person to experience it with, and then it will all come naturally.