Despite the happy Hollywood endings in movies, daters aren’t so interested in the pursuit of love.
I’ll admit chick flicks are a guilty pleasure for me. There’s something about the pursuit of love against all odds that makes me happy. Forget reality – that we’re all connected 24/7 through our smart phones, so you can make a call or send a text and tell your girlfriend you love her, miss her, want her back. That’s too easy. Instead, the heroes in these movies will race through traffic, run across a football field in the middle of a game, or buy a last-minute plane ticket to New Zealand to prove to a woman he loves her. Romance at its peak.
While I don’t believe that most relationships begin this way in real life, I do believe in the power of romance. The problem? Most singles have somehow left it behind. Romance is no longer necessary in the pursuit of a relationship. Most people prefer to keep things casual, at a distance, rather than take such a risk as declaring your love for someone else.
First, there’s no time for romance. People are too busy with work, friends, and their social media attachments to make real time for someone they are just getting to know. There are too many other obligations. Why pick someone up for a dinner date when you could just meet after work at a bar for drinks? And why bother with a love letter when you can send off a quick text that says, “let’s hang tonight” conveying what you want to say?
Second, romance doesn’t always pay off. Let’s say you decide to buy a woman some flowers, or take her out for an expensive meal. Maybe she tosses the flowers aside, acts bored or texts all during the meal, and you’re wondering why you should bother. Or what if you’re afraid to show yourself as vulnerable to someone else, only to be rejected in the end? If you keep romance at bay, then you don’t have to worry about the other person hurting you.
But isn’t this the point? How can you fall in love with anyone without the risk of being hurt? Isn’t that what romance ultimately is – taking a chance through the pursuit?
Let’s be clear: romance is a necessary part of any relationship, especially if it’s just getting started. People like to feel special, to feel understood. They don’t want to feel like another friend. Relationships are not just about sex, they are about connection. Romance requires you to be bold, to take risks – to acknowledge your feelings for another person, even if it takes you outside your comfort zone. Then a relationship can grow.
It doesn’t take much to be romantic. It can be a simple gesture of affection, like holding his hand or whispering in his ear, or even something chivalrous like opening the door for her. It can be doing something spontaneous, like buying flowers, planning a weekend trip, or cooking dinner. And it could be something as simple as telling her she looks beautiful or you missed him while he was away.
Romance isn’t dead. We just have to give it some attention.