Is Romance Dead?

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Have you ever felt overwhelmed with emotions? As if you want to express a million things that you are feeling, in words, but the words just don’t come out? (That sounded like an Eminem song, ahem) Or if they do, they feel like a jumbled mess because there is too much your heart is feeling and there is no way you can write it down in a coherent sentence or paragraph? That is how I’ve been feeling for the last couple of days.

I finished watching the two available seasons of Ann with an E on Netflix over last week and I am overwhelmed. When I finished the last episode yesterday, I couldn’t sleep. (Thank God there is a Season 3!) I wanted to write, and meet Anne and live in that time. I wanted to write on WordPress, or in my diary, or in my laptop, about my feelings. But I couldn’t gather the strength to form the words or the sentences. Suddenly, I felt a little disgusted with the online world and my association with it. I felt the urge to go and delete all my social media accounts, and to stop blogging my thoughts online and resort to traditional ways of spending time – such as reading books leisurely, or writing on paper, just for myself, or discussing my feelings with a group of close friends who understand me and share my feelings or excitement in a secret shed in the woods, or in a coffeeshop or in a pub. But then I realised, none of my close friends live physically near me. All my friends are online. That’s a good thing right? That I still have friends?

I had read Anne of Green Gables when I was in school. I can’t remember how old I was exactly, but I think I was old enough to feel a certain stirring in my stomach when I found out about Gilbert. But I don’t want to rush ahead. I first want to acknowledge my childhood heroines. Hermoine came very late in my life. But before her, the fictional women or the girls who inspired me were – Anne from Green Gables, little Heidi, Jo from Little Women and Liz from Pride and prejudice. I made my husband watch an episode of Ann with and E one afternoon, and the only comment he made at the end of it was, “This Anne must have been your childhood idol“. I was surprised that he knew and understood me so well. Because I found these common traits that I loved and idealised in all these female characters – strong and positive even in the face of serious adversity, confident yet kind, accepting and adjusting, women with a lot of imagination and a love for reading. I was so happy to hear from him that he thought I might have some of these qualities. But in his next comment, he burst that bubble, when he said, “Just like you, confused about romance. Confused whether she is a practical girl/woman or a romantic one“.

What he said was true of me or my personality too. But the part that was incorrect was the part about being confused. I’m not confused on whether I am a romantic person or a practical person. I’m both. I am a deeply romantic person, and I just can’t understand why romance and practicality need to be exclusive of each other? I certainly don’t think so. I think a person can be practical where it is required and yet be a romantic as well. Because to me, romance comes from feelings, from the heart. While practicality, comes from the mind, our brains. You can’t have just one or the other now to survive, is it? You need both in equal strength to be able to live.

I looked up the dictionary online for the definition of romance. Here is what I found:

Romance: a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.

A feeling of excitement and mystery. That is what romance is- exciting and mysterious. I thought of the time when I was in school, or in the early years of my college life. That wasn’t very far away really, maybe 10-15 years back? I remembered the long walks and all day conversations with my best friends and my boy friend(s) then. I would look forward to those walks with an excitement in my stomach. The conversations were sometimes deep, sometimes funny, sometimes frivolous, but always amazing. I remembered the time when my friends or the guys I had a crush on, or vice versa, threw me a surprise party, or made me a card, or a mix tape with the names of the songs and a note inside on why they chose those songs. When they listened, not just heard. Or when they came to see me off at the bus stand before the vacations. Or when we received letters from each other. Or when they surprised you by turning up after a late class with coffee in hand. Or when they insisted to drop you home and were as shy as you were, when they held your hand for the first time. When they accepted me for just me, and thought I was this amazing person they knew and wanted to spend time with. When they didn’t give me advice for free, and never tired of my complaints on life.

I don’t know how the kids date today. From the movies and series, it all seems really fast. Declarations of love are not made face to face to each other, but over an emotional post on facebook, with pictures. Attraction and being accepted in a certain way seems like the basis of love stories. Dates or walks with meaningful conversations seem to have been replaced by fancy restaurants, movie nights (with no scope of a conversation), or awkward coffee dates where both parties don’t know what to really talk about. We’re so caught up with our lives and the distractions of the online world. I’m guilty of that too. Maybe I’m getting old and nostalgia has descended sooner than expected. Or maybe, I’m a hopeless romantic.

I’ve been married to a good man, for almost 9 years now. He is kind, caring, a good friend and a great father. But Oh! I miss the romance so much. He believes romance is a waste of time. I sometimes wonder what men perceive romance as? I wonder if men were ever romantic really? Do they think romance is only about sending flowers, and presents, and expensive candle light dinners, or complimenting their partners all the time, or a combination of those things, or all of them? Sometimes I hear partners complain, about having to do all this, when they don’t really feel like doing it. Sometimes I hear partners say, romance and love, both seem dead or distant now. Lovers who turned into spouses who turned into parents and then settled into a steady rhythm of companionship so dreary that sometimes it feels like they are siblings or housemates, instead of life mates or soulmates. Conversations revolve around what’s for dinner and what grocery needs to be bought? Sometimes, even siblings are more romantic than married people.

But why is that? I wonder, a million times over, have things changed? Or have we changed? Or was it always like this, and all the romance was just in my head? Do I live in a dream world where romance and love is a possibility, or is everyone else living the practical dream? Is romance dead, or did it never exist in the first place? What is it that makes anything exciting and mysterious really? Is it the flowers? the presents? the love letters? the long walks? the hugs and the kisses? an act of doing something that is forbidden?

What is romance to me? What would I find romantic, I wonder at times. And then I know, that there is nothing to wonder. Because like Anne, romance is everywhere for me. Every possibility is romantic. And words..oh beautiful, lovely words, how you have the power to seduce me and transfer me into an exciting and mysterious world that may or may not exist! Words, said with the right emotions, spoken aloud with truth, is what is romantic to me. Touch is next in line. And I could go on and on really..haha 😀

What about you?

Are you a romantic?

Do you think romance is dead, or ought to be dead?

Do you revel in feelings, or do you think feelings are a waste of time?

What is your romantic quotient, if you are the romantic sorts? 😉

5 thoughts on “Is Romance Dead?

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