These days it seems uncommon for couples to do much more than eat, sleep, work, and have sex. Romance is often considered cheesy and disinteresting, only to be portrayed in romance flicks and teenage fantasies. In modern society romance is often perceived as being cliche. Many years ago a bouquet of roses was perceived as sweet, endearing, and uplifting. A box of chocolates could say what we might have trouble wording and a candle-lit dinner could offer the evening that made you smile for a week straight after. But whatever happened to romance? I can't help to wonder if it has something to do with society becoming more sexually open. Now, don't get me wrong-- I'm not one to slut-shame. I have noticed, however, that it is the more conservative of people who seem more inclined towards 'cliche' romance while the more open and sexually lax tend to be, on average, anti-romance.
Sex is a big industry. A billion-dollar industry that has become more and more popular over the years as people become all the more accepting and society progresses towards a sort of 'sexual and proud of it' mentality. But why does romance have to suffer? Why is it that people who are so against judgement and anti-slut-shaming seem to be the ones who most commonly antagonize and mock those who are inclined towards romance? Why is romance tacky?
I must confess that I was very sexually active (and quite promiscuous) before I had ever experienced romance. I'd gotten around the block, so to speak, and at one point had been the sort of person to look at romance and consider it a game played by naive teens or old folks who knew only of the missionary position in bed. The kind of people who idealized virginity and frowned on those that had been with more than one partner in their life. Those days I was one of the many; an advocate for sexual openness. Like so many today, I glared down at the judgmental people around me and held my chin high against anyone who clung to older lifestyles, shaking my head and considering them to simply be ignorant.
It really shames me to look back. When I was eighteen I was brought into my first intense, romantic relationship. Often I was considered quite the prize fuck. I was highly desired. Attractive, skillful, and confident, there was never an issue with finding a new partner to play with. So it was that when I found myself being, of all things, wooed by an old fashioned, charming romantic, I was beside myself. What would others think to see me so easily enchanted by something so terrible cliche as romance? It was embarrassing, and yet, it worked. I felt fantastic. Spoiled. Cherished, and adored. There was something so intricate and new involved in being with someone very romance-inclined, that I realized quickly how ironic my situation was. I was the one who had been ignorant all those years. I was the one who missed out. Society evolved to be shallow and emotionally void and selfish, and like a sheep lead to slaughter I blindly followed along.
It was this relationship that made me realize how wonderful romance truly is. There is a sincere sweetness in putting the effort in to romance someone. A dinner and movie date, or a bubble bath for two with rose petals and candles and a favorite movie. While sex is great and caring for yourself is wonderful, when it comes down to it, there is nothing to compare to knowing you mean so much to someone that they would take the time to bring you flowers at work or breakfast in bed. These little things we consider so cliche are what defines love. A compassionate interest in another person, in which all we need gain is their happiness. There's nothing wrong with giving to someone simply because you love them. Simply because, you adore their smile. There's nothing wrong with those selfless moments or precious nights shared curled together and enjoying each others' company.
I am completely and utterly a romantic, and for that reason my relationship has reached levels I never knew existed years ago.