Romance is dead, because somewhere along the way, our standards dropped. We stopped expecting red roses hand-delivered to our doorstep during the first date and got used to hanging out without putting a label on the relationship.
After a few heartbreaks, after crying our eyes out over people who never deserved our time, we collectively decided to keep our expectations low to avoid disappointment. To stay realistic. To avoid appearing picky.
Instead of holding out for someone who loved us for more than just our bodies, someone who could make us laugh until we cried, someone who would never dream of hurting us, we settled for whatever we could find.
We conditioned ourselves to be flattered by empty gestures, like getting a text back before midnight and hanging out in the daylight and receiving the fire emoji on an Instagram picture.
We’re so excited when someone actually wants to be called our boyfriend/girlfriend — we’re so excited to enter an official relationship instead of staying an almost or keeping things casual — that we forget love should be about more than who is willing to be seen with us. We should be looking for so much more than that.
We should be looking for someone who makes our heart beat faster. Someone who makes our lips smile wider. Someone who makes us feel alive for the first time in forever.
But it’s so rare to find someone who is actually willing to give commitment a shot that we ignore the red flags. We don’t care when our person fails to do the dishes or refuses to deactivate Tinder — because at least we have someone who cares. At least we have someone who has agreed to date us.
We let our dates get away with too much, because we’re worried that we won’t find anybody else. We settle for the half-ass effort they give, because we think it’s the best we’re ever going to get.
Romance is dead, because we’ve let it die. We’re too worried about looking clingy and naggy and desperate that we stay quiet or drop subtle hints instead of asking for what we really want.
We want to appear more laid-back than we actually are, so we keep our emotions bottled up. We think it’s cooler to hate on Valentine’s Day and on marriage and on love in general than to be open and honest about our feelings. We think it’s better to act emotionless.
We don’t want to want candlelit dinners and stuffed gifts and surprise dates. We don’t want to want romance, because we’re worried we won’t get it and will end up disappointed again.
Romance is dead, because no one wants to go against the grain of modern dating and admit that they need more than morning texts and social media likes. No one wants to admit that they would rather sit down at a table and talk over a homemade meal than sit on the edge of a bed and silently watch Netflix.
No one wants to admit that they need so much more than what they’ve been settling for.