One day, many decades later, if someone reads this piece, they’ll wonder why it was written in the first place.
Humanity would have moved on to a place far away from the decency of good manners and simple joys. We would have transported ourselves into a bubble which will prevent us from savouring the simple things in life.
Of the many casualties we have seen thanks to technology and an overarching lack of passion, romance must sit on top of that list of fatalities. Look around and you will observe the silent death of romance. Letter paper is rarely used to convey feelings of the heart or the mind. Wooing is all about trying to handle chopsticks in some expensive sushi bar but never about the conversation. I don’t see the young (or the old, for that matter) celebrating the union of two souls in an endearing manner. In this hurry to catch the next goldmine, we have forgotten that romance is essentially born out of a slow caressing fire and not one which must resemble a steel plant’s furnace.
I don’t see people choose flowers any more for their lovers: it is almost always outsourced to the concierge; meals are never chosen by those in love as we rely upon the restaurant manager; handwritten notes have long been replaced by generic social messaging platforms which I find both irritating and worrying. Have we, as a society, degenerated so much that lovers find little comfort in just being with themselves? Our marriages already look like banquet events but then why should romance hurtle down the same path?
When we were growing up, we would write letters to those we loved: perfume the paper and seal the letter with red wax. There was an excitement in receiving such letters as well. The postman was a very important feature of our lives. We read poetry not just because we loved it, but we would segregate those lines only to recite them with careful rehearsal to the woman we were in love with. Today, if you ask anyone to do this, they will actually believe you are nuts. Is this a kind of romance we wish to be part of? Where materialism scores over the heart; where walks in a park are more with fitness trainers or community folk rather than with your lovers. I don’t see couples in love going to art galleries and museums. I see them at gallery openings because that is more of a social obligation. I don’t see lovers hum romantic songs anymore: we have moved far away from the lyrical richness of Leonard Cohen and gone Gaga over some lady.
I have romanced a lot so this is quite the voice of experience. My advice would be to get back to the basics. Woo a woman like you’ve done nothing like it before. Woo her with respect; with affection and most importantly surprise her. Women love to be with someone they can laugh with. Make them laugh. For that, enrich yourself with trivia that is not facetious and yet very interesting; tell them tales of travel; in fact take them away. The ideal would be to recite Wordsworth in the Lake District and if you can’t trudge that far, take them boating; sing a song. Bring back the realism of love into lives that are today hurried and messed up.
Romance is never about falling in love with someone. It is essentially about being in love with love itself. Decipher that and pause to see the world inside you and inside her. Not always around you. That world will keep changing but the embers of love must never be extinguished.