The New Romance

by Emily Jasper on April 26, 2010

After reading a number of posts about how social media is changing the dating scene, I wondered if there were other changes that had little or nothing to do with social media. I’m a single, female, 20-something, so *hopefully* I’m not way off base with my assumptions about how women may view romance.

  1. Movies have redefined romance. If you think about it, the efforts characters make in order to express “romance” have created thousands of ways you can communicate how you feel about someone. Take, for example, the ending to My Best Friend’s Girl (yes, spoiler alert). Kate Hudson and Dane Cook duke it out in a restaurant, throwing insults and food at each other. While the scene has the makings of a fight, you also know that they’re about to embrace each other in a passionate kiss. Movies provide more selection to what women consider romantic. My favorite date movie is True Romance, written by Quentin Tarantino. As you can see, the opportunity for interpretation is huge.
  2. Romance isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are easy ways for you to woo a girl, and often times, it’s the everyday things that really make it count. Sure, your girl may like flowers, but what if she prefers daisies over roses, do you know? Or is a monster truck rally more romantic than a night at the opera? If you have gotten to know a girl, even in the early stages of dating, you should be able to figure out her likes and dislikes. She’ll respond better when it looks like you put thought into the effort in addition to having taken the time to get to know her.
  3. Romance and sexting are not the same. Thanks to technology, we can be much bolder than we’d be in everyday life. We already know that computers and phones give us a layer of perceived protection, so it doesn’t feel as risky to flirt. But then flirting turns to more suggestive talk, and you eventually enter the world of sexting. The same behavior has been going on for ages through letter writing and painting, but technology sped things up. You can be more inappropriate with more people in a shorter amount of time. While little things via text might be a way to add spice to a relationship, it should never be the substitute. In fact, it’s not a good sign if one of you is too embarrassed to actually see the other person face-to-face because of your online/mobile behavior.
  4. Courtship is alive and well. We may not go through the same kind of “calling” social procedures anymore, but if you want to be with someone, you should make the effort. This goes both ways. Women shouldn’t wait for the man to do all the work, but if you’re actually interested, respond to her advances. Spend time getting to know each other, enjoy the moments when you aren’t racing to get to the sack. You end up not only with a level of intimacy because you’re learning about each other, but also respect because you’re showing how important time together is.
  5. Leading someone on is not romantic. We all like to play games. We’re passive, we’re aggressive, and sometimes, we just bowl people over. But if you’re someone who wants to keep options open, then don’t assume that the person on the other end is with you on that. If you’re really interested, do something about it. Being vague to one person, while keeping your sights on a second, could lose you both.

Ladies can take the lead on romance just as much as guys. He may love it if you show up with fried chicken and beer, promise not to talk during the game, or get up at 5am with him for morning bike rides. I would say the same advice goes all around. It’s about showing you know someone and care.

Got any other good advice on romance?

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