Now, I don’t want to sound cynical and be that person chanting chivalry is dead and men are trash, but what happened?

Let’s look at the early 2000s, or better yet let’s go retro and look at the 90s and so forth. Rom-coms were everywhere in the 20th century, and made a big impact in both pop culture and people’s personal lives. As for me, watching these movies were a quintessential part of my youth and shaped me into who I am today. When I dream about love and romance it’s hard not to think of rom-coms.

But as the years passed, people, mostly men, proclaimed that rom-coms set up unrealistic expectations for relationships, and many men and women ran with that theory.

Now living in a time where rom-com’s aren’t as abundant as they used to be, I begin to wonder if we went from having unrealistic standards to no standards at all?

It seems like everyday I’m hearing about people bragging about their boyfriends doing basic acts that are essential in a healthy relationship, and it’s honestly disheartening. Men today are playing the limbo with romance and it’s time they understand that caring is cool.

It’s important to remember that romance involves effort, and with everything at our fingertips now, it appears there’s no more effort being made in the romance department anymore.

Dating has lost the formality of romance, and is now just dating. There’s a lack of motive to get to know someone because the presence on social media makes it readily available to come to conclusions on who the person is beforehand.

Online dating is nothing new though; there was Match.com and other subscription dating sites in the past, but we have surpassed dating culture and defiled the line between dating and hooking up. Who would’ve thought twenty years ago that ordering people like takeout would be the new romance.

There is so much fear in dating now because people are scared of intimacy. People have become so disposable, and for one flaw they find in a person they can find someone with two more positive attributes, but that’s not what love is. Love isn’t about instant gratification; there’s always going to be someone more attractive, smarter, richer, and someone will always have some sort of attribute that on paper is more appealing, but love is about growing and learning to love both yourself and the other.

Just because a new love connection is available at our fingertips at all times does not mean that that resource should be abused. Online dating should assist you in finding someone that loves you and wants to create sparks of romance with you; it should not be used as a way to escape from intimacy.

So who’s to blame? Movies? Technology? Human nature?

It brings up the question, has Hollywood really created a false and unrealistic approach to what romance should be? Acts of romance vary for each individual, but we all like to be shown that we’re cared for whether that love is shown in material items, personal affection, or time spent together. Hollywood preys off of our fantasies and allows us to escape and indulge in the idyllic romance on the silver screen, but why is that romance unattainable? Who said I wasn’t worth the love shown in rom-coms? I deserve to be Meg Ryan.

Maybe if men decided to stop viewing romance as a burden and viewed it as a chance to show vulnerability and become closer to their partner on deeper and more intimate level then things would be much simpler. I feel as though women have fed into men’s fear of romance, and completely given up on achieving the rom-com dream… but not I.

Although, I am not a woman, I believe in the love that is big enough and daring enough to be on the silver screen. A love that makes you run through airports, write 365 letters, stop weddings, and just unequivocally profess your love. Everything so predictable nowadays. Where is the excitement? Don’t people believe in spontaneity? Don’t people believe in romance anymore?

It’s not fair that I should settle or play romantic limbo with my partner. I didn’t push through heartbreak time after time both in real life and vicariously through the most explosive love stories onscreen just to settle.

Whether your fantasy is receiving flowers out of the blue with a beautiful note or maybe it’s a bit more elaborate, don’t let others convince you that your fantasy’s invalid. They say life imitates art, and movies are a form of art, so why can’t life be like the movies?

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