In Our Modern Day World, Romance Is Dead.

In Our Modern Day World, Romance Is Dead.

Are our relationships about compatibility or convenience?
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I've always been obsessed with reading. When I was little, I would read book after book, taking in one fantasy world after another. Not much changed as I grew older. I continued to read everything I could get my hands on, and I loved every minute of every story.

One of the many cliches that stuck with me through almost every single story had to do with romantic endings. The protagonist wins the love of their life, a perfect kiss comes after a perfect date, the "big" fight is resolved in their singsong relationship, and they live happily ever after. Maybe I was naive and young to fill my head with fantasies of my own Knight in Shining Armor.

I was never the girl who dated in middle school or junior high. I had too much to do, I was surrounded by my friends, and I had my books—I didn't need anyone else. In high school, though, it started to bother me. Why wasn't I getting asked out like everyone else? Why was I the only person in my friend group who hadn't been kissed, who went to the dances alone, who pretended like it was totally fine? I found myself wondering why I wasn't smart or pretty enough, wondering if I was too fat or too outspoken and opinionated for anyone to ever come and sweep me off my feet.

I'm still learning that none of that is true, and I work to convince myself of it every day. I still do not understand why it all happened like that, why I never had a relationship in high school, why I never had those "high school moments" that were supposed to shape me and prepare me for the big, wide world that is college.

When I got to college, nothing changed. I was still the one who was alone in my friend group. When we went to social events, they all got hit on while I stood in the back against the wall trying not to bring the group down. I didn't get it. I still don't, if I am being entirely honest.

I look around at my world and see all the dating apps, all the social media statuses, every single way of having a "relationship," but in every single instance...the intimacy and honesty of dating seem to be missing.

Why?

Is romance really dead or am I still stuck in my books? I know now that I don't need a knight to rescue me—I am perfectly capable of saving myself, thank you very much—and I certainly do not have to be in a relationship in order to define my worth or my identity. Even through this recently acquired self-assurance and confidence, I still question the world and what a relationship really means anymore.

Is it about the likes on your new profile picture together? If they Snapchat you every single day? Is a relationship about compatibility or convenience? Does it have to be all about the sex? If that's what you want, then power to you! But why does that have to be the new default box to check when we enter a room full of strangers, of potential partners?

It is not that I really think romance is dead—not entirely, at least. I see it in my parents and in the little things that they do for each other. From my friends in healthy relationships who talk about the late night talks and the sweet nothings that mean absolutely everything. Romance is still out there; it's just really hard to find.

I go through my life, living how I want to live. I will never allow someone else to determine who I am to love or how and when I am to do it. I will stay here waiting for the one to come along who sees the world as I do. We don't all need expensive dinners or fancy clothes or for our latest Instagram photo together to reach 300 likes. Just sit on the roof and watch as the stars go by. Watch a movie together and watch the movie. Nothing more. Laugh at your mistakes and do silly things at 2 AM in Walmart just because you're young and wild and reckless.

Romance has changed as we have changed, and maybe it has many more definitions than it once did. It might be for the better or for the worse, depending on who you ask. Either way, let it live on and do not settle for less. Get what you want, and do not let anyone keep you from reaching it. Find your happily ever after on your own terms. You can slay your own dragons, and you can find someone who will gladly stand behind you while you do. You deserve happiness. Don't let our world take that away.

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Stop Making Instagram Your Only Outlet For Social Activism

Instagram is a great place to spread awareness, but stop confusing your desire for clout with your desire to save the world.

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Instagram is, without a doubt, one of my guiltiest pleasures. I often find myself spending way too much time on social media, caught up in the world of likes, filters, and hashtags. On the daily, I scroll through hundreds of selfies, beach pictures, happy birthday posts, and the occasional dog pictures. I am all for posting whatever you want on your Instagram account and personally hate the so-called "rules" that govern how we use social media.

Just as the use of Instagram and other forms of social media keeps growing, so has our generation's awareness of social issues. Everywhere I go, I get reminded of the issues our world is facing. Whether it be plastic, global warming, poverty, animal rights, etc., it is clear that our generation wants to see a change. Even though this is amazing, recently I've noticed that so many people my age are confusing the true desire to spread social awareness with the desire to make their Instagram account look better.

A few months ago on Earth Day, my Instagram feed was flooded with pictures of nature. Almost all of these pictures were of girls at the beach, or hiking with their friends, or even taken from the window of an airplane. While the idea of posting about how much you love the Earth and want to save it is a harmless idea, it does nothing to actually save the planet.

I fully support posting a picture of yourself at the beach, and showing off your confidence, but don't post it on Earth Day, pretending it's the ocean behind you that you care about. If you really want to save the Earth and make a difference, posting a yearly Earth Day picture of yourself is not the way to do it. Wanting likes and clout on social media is a part of how today's generation values themselves and each other, but thinking that this is actually promoting any form of social justice is plain wrong.

More recently, videos of baby calves being taken away from their mothers (highlighting the truth behind the dairy industry) have been flooding my social media feed. These videos are heartbreaking, and I am sure that the people posting them truly think they are horrific as well. Posting this type of content is a great way to spread initial awareness, but don't let it be your only outlet for promoting justice for the things you care about.

Social media keeps our world extremely interconnected, and without it, awareness of many of the problems our world is facing wouldn't reach nearly as far as it does. I'm not saying that using Instagram to spread awareness is a bad idea, I'm just saying that it shouldn't be your only outlet for doing so.

If you hate how much plastic our world consumes, go around to local stores and restaurants and ask them to cut their use of plastic. If you hate how the dairy industry treats cows, become a vegan. Promoting awareness while not actually doing anything to change the issues at hand is useless. Our generation is so strong and powerful, and we all need to stop hiding behind our desire for Instagram likes and start actually changing the things we care about.

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