Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Romance is the new Black

A girl friend recently griped to me about how her boyfriend of a week wouldn’t put out. “If you were any other girl, we would’ve done it by now,” he said. “But you’re special to me, so I think we should wait.” We scoffed at his response and wondered why he’d say a ridiculous thing like that. And then after awhile I started to think. Why did we ridicule this guy’s response? Why were we so perplexed that he didn’t want to have sex, especially when the girl was more than willing? And the answer is: romance is truly dead. Okay, maybe not dead, but definitely in critical condition.

LADIES! After years of sexual liberation, thanks to the Pill and the Women’s Movement, those elements somehow seemed to erase thoughts of romance from our heads. Nowadays, our idea of “romance” includes a vibrator as a birthday gift and “romantic getaways” (i.e. an opportunity to have sex round the clock in a different city).

Recently a guy offered to make me dinner and my next thought was, “Okay why does he want to make me dinner? Is this a lure to get me into bed? Guys aren’t nice like that for the sake of being nice.” Isn’t that sad? Immediately after he suggested a nice, romantic gesture, I automatically thought about what his ‘ploy’ was instead of being grateful that he’d offer something as sweet and thoughtful.

I’d really like to know where all this ‘pessimism’ is coming from. It’s no wonder guys don’t do romantic stuff like that anymore. Women don’t have the capacity to comprehend romance, even if it’s in the form of a homemade meal. A romantic gesture is either a cheap ploy to get us into bed, or a way of saying “I’m sorry”.

We complain all the time that guys aren’t originally romantic and that it’s hard to come by. Whenever “romance” is around, we laugh at it or raise a judgmental eyebrow at it. But now that I think about it, there’s probably been a ton of missed romantic hints that I disregarded because I was too “real” to get it. So how do I shake this off? How do we start to accept romance as a means to express someone’s feelings instead of a means to express someone’s libido?

For one, I guess can just learn to GET OVER MYSELF and take it for what it is. Perhaps not all guys are in it for ass? Sometimes people aren’t able to express themselves via words, or even physical acts, so random acts of kindness are a fair way to show someone how they feel. Second, I suppose I can reciprocate in the “being originally romantic” spectra. Takes one to know one, right? Perhaps my doing so will help me not overlook random acts of kindness and learn to perceive an altruistic gesture as meaningful, not dowdy. And lastly, I need to let people do stuff like that and not avoid these types of situations. It’s bad enough that I complain about not getting it, but it’s another to prevent it from happening.

So this is my new resolution, a spring cleaning to my aura, if you will. I will learn to have a brighter perspective towards guys (and people, for that matter) and selfless acts of kindness (romantic or just plain nice). While I will still maintain street smarts, I will try to shake off the pessimism and give the guy the benefit of the doubt. I encourage everyone to try this because this kinda stuff works best in greater numbers and I foresee a comeback in good, old fashioned romance.

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