Is romance dead?

I have come across some interesting encounters with men who have evolved – or regressed (depending on your point of view) – with how they approach women. Its led me to a sombre thought – is romance dead?

Of course – it all depends on what romance means to you. My family is Hindi cinema crazy so I’ve been exposed to Bollywood films from when I was conceived! And there’s no doubt Hindi films are the most romantic. The focus is on surrealism – to escape reality and instil hope. So as much as I hate to admit it, I’m a hopeless romantic deep down (shhh don’t tell anyone!)

As I’m constantly reminded by friends and family, I am at an age when I need to ‘settle down’ – in fact many believe I’m past the sell-by date (!) so the ‘proposals’ are flying in. It seems age, height and education are the most important factors to try to set someone up for marriage – I won’t digress on how I feel about that. The point is people who appear to have the best intentions (friends and relatives) have introduced me to men or I have been approached with marriage proposals.

If you’re not Asian this may sound pretty full on. How could you think about marriage as soon as you meet someone? Asians think (at least the elders anyway) – why bother getting to know someone if there isn’t a potential for marriage?

Now this is what changed everything.

You would think that being approached by someone on a night out would lead to just one thing. They would have short-term intentions for a physical relationship. Whereas if you have been approached with a marriage proposal or recommended through family, the intentions would be honourable because you would respect the middle person or the fact that marriage is a potential…right?

Wrong.

I have found that some, not all, but a significant number of men (or boys) feel it’s acceptable to proclaim their sexual desires or intention to ‘have fun’ as soon as they get to know you. Initially I was very angry at the audacity of such a bold proclamation but now I feel quite bewildered at the modern approach to romance. Inhibitions have been lowered. People are more confident to say exactly what they feel.

I had questioned whether I was letting off some kind of vibe that triggered such treatment. But I didn’t have to look far to realise this isn’t an alien feeling. My friends – many my age, some younger and others older, have and still are experiencing the exact same thing. It doesn’t appear to be an age thing. It doesn’t appear to be a race/ethnicity thing. It doesn’t appear to be a cultural thing.

It’s across the board.

Maybe men are dictated by their sexual desires and the gentleman persona is just a front to woo a woman. Maybe the intention has always been the same but their method of achieving it has changed. Or maybe life is just so fast-paced now that people are living in the moment without a care for the future.

Either way, suffice to say, such men will not reach their goal – unless they are lucky enough to come across a woman with similar intentions or is feeling vulnerable so needs that feeling of being wanted. Each to their own I guess.

But I will maintain the hope that Hindi cinema has brainwashed me with and hold out for that whirlwind romance that will literally sweep me off my feet. You can only but hope!

After all – ‘someone, somewhere, is made for you…’ (Dil To Pagal Hai, 1997)

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