What is romance in the 21st Century?

Expectations for love have changed a lot in the last few years, let alone the last decade or even century. People used to be courted by a secret admirer, have poems written about and for them, and even died just for the chance to fall in love with someone special.

Fast forward to 2017 and the typical way someone is to express their feelings is by sending nudes. Trust me when I say, boys, no one wants unsolicited dick pics.

Now that everyone relies so heavily on technology it’s hard to have “real romance” in the 21st century. With that being said, the ideals of what real romance is have definitely switched, or at least changed. Women no longer want to be the ‘Damsel in Distress’ or have to rely on a man to take care of them.

We are people who run strictly off of caffeine, zero sleep, internet jokes and self-loathing. So what do we look for in a partner? Someone who is exactly like us, in most senses. Where do we find them? The internet, of course. In a 2015 study, Tinder, the popular hookup app, was reported to have over 50 million users worldwide. That being said, it is one of the most, if not the most, popular app currently used for meeting that special someone, whether you’re 16 or 36.

Of course if you’re using an app or an online dating website to find someone, it’s almost inevitable to have that first conversation full of cheesy pick-up lines and the occasional GIF or winky face emoji.

The idea of romance has been effectively kicked out the door when people started using the phrase “Netflix and Chill.” That sentence alone turned hanging out with the person you have a crush on into some joke or sexual innuendo. While it can be funny, it also kind of sucks that there is so much pressure put on an innocent activity. Our society has over-sexualized and de-romanticized so many things in our everyday life.

However, there are still many things that you can do to keep up romance in your life or in your relationships that don’t involve constantly being connected to your phone or the internet. You can go on a hike, go on a picnic, spend a day at the beach and surround yourself with nature instead of being cooped up inside watching Netflix or playing video games. I can promise you the former is definitely just as fun. Instead of ordering in pizza and sitting on the couch, try a cooking date where you can try making pizza together instead and turn it into an actual activity that’s a little bit more romantic. That’s when you can throw in a Netflix night.

It’s definitely a sad thought but I think at this point, traditional romance is dead. You don’t often have someone showing up at your door with a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates in hand on the day that isn’t designed for that — *cough cough* Valentine’s Day *cough*. But I don’t see why that isn’t the case. Just because technology has interfered in our lives so much doesn’t mean we are incapable of feeling. We should know how to respect someone and we should know how to make them feel special.

For your next date try to make your partner feel special. Try to bring up that romance that has been thrown in the trash. Just because you live in the 21st century, doesn’t mean you have to be sucked into tech. Power down your phone for an hour and really connect with your person.

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