I read about romance in books. Not the "his turgid member was ready for me" crap, but real romance where people are actually thoughtful and kind to one another. The sort of romance where they go out of their way to make that big gesture, especially after they have screwed up somehow. I see it in movies too, and know that out there somewhere writers must be inspired by something. More and more I think the inspiration comes from fantasy and wanting it to happen than the actual reality of it happening.
Do you want to know why divorce rates are so high? It's because romance is dead outside of TV and books. No one seems to think that they need to take that extra step, make that extra effort, or care about someone enough to stop in the middle of their hectic lives to pay tribute to that person who is getting them through. No one gets love letters anymore, people are too busy texting about the person in line in front of them somewhere who just slighted them somehow.
So, where has the romance gone? I think it's gone the same place people's manners have disappeared to. We are always worried about animal species going extinct, but what about our humanity? Sure, people are still around, but what's really left that is human about us? Have you taken a look at the things people say to one another on the internet these days? It's monstrous and because it is so easy to do, it has become increasingly simple for people to start doing in person as well. I feel sorry for my children, they are growing up in a world where bullying behavior is the norm and ignored or dismissed as silly by the adults in their life. They are growing up in a time where manners are long gone, chivalry is dead, and romance is extinct. My heart hurts for them, because all of these things are headed for rapid extinction and no one really cares to save them when we can save a whale or a turtle. In fact, we are so busy saving said whales and turtles that we completely forget to save ourselves.
I have been separated from my husband for six months now. During that time I checked out an online dating service, mostly out of curiosity. Having been bombarded with ads for these things, I figured, 'yea, let's see what is really out there.' I also wanted to do some research for a single character who has to date in this day and age. So, I signed up for the free 15 day trial or whatever it was. I was horrified and offended by the offers I got and from who sent them. There were two potentially nice people out of the bunch who seemed like they might be decent humans, even if they did have a lot of baggage they wore on their sleeves. Aside from those two, I received lewd comments from men who were definitely old enough to be my grandfather and who were also obviously illiterate as I had specified a particular age range I was interested in. I received many appreciative, if not vulgar, comments on my figure, and quite a few invites to just drop the pretenses of dating and hook up for a booty call. Apparently, manners in the dating world are just as non-existent as they are in the anonymous comments people leave on news stories.
My estranged husband went to Japan for a few weeks back in January. He claims he wants to put us back together, but what did he bring me? Socks! That's right, he went to a foreign country, to the most American store there (as it was on a U.S. military base) and he bought me socks. Now, in his defense, I like cool socks. But come on, where is the romance in that? Where is the life in that? You are in a foreign country with so many cool, cultural items to choose from and I get socks, from an American store? Don't get me wrong, I am not ungrateful. I liked the socks, but somehow I expected more. I am not talking monetary value here. I am talking, more forethought. I love the Asian cultures. Hell, I would have been ecstatic over a really cool pair of chopsticks or something from that country.
What I want, what all women want (yes, even the ones who are afraid to give up control because they feel the feminist movement hasn't done enough) is for someone to show some originality and come in and sweep us off our feet, and there's more. We want to be continually shown from time to time that we still matter with grand gestures. It doesn't mean go spend a ton of money - it means use some creativity, and put yourself out there. And women - this doesn't take you off the hook. Woman have been bowing out on things like this for years, claiming it's the man's job. Well, guess what? Men like to feel appreciated too! It goes both ways. It also, sadly, has disappeared from both sides.
There are no great gestures out there anymore and sadly that practice has lent itself to the death of romance. The death of romance is just the beginning though, as it is leading to the death of our humanity as well. Everyone talks about changing the world because it's such a crappy place to live. Here's a clue for you - change starts in people's hearts!