Is Romance a Dying Art?

Every so often, when I’m looking to unwind, I throw on my Frank Sinatra Pandora station and let the smooth kings of croon carry me away. But then, the other day, a truly captivating song struck my fancy. It was “A Kiss to Build a Dream On” by Louis Armstrong. As I listened carefully to the words, it got me thinking about a few things, namely romance. But first, have a listen for yourself.

Now, let’s slow it down and look at those lyrics.

Give me a kiss to build a dream on,
And my imagination will thrive upon that kiss,
Sweetheart, I ask no more than this,
A kiss to build a dream on.

Give me a kiss before you leave me,
And my imagination will feed my hungry heart,
Leave me one thing before we part,
A kiss to build a dream on.

Have you ever heard anything so charming in your life? If you’re a twenty-something like me, probably not. It’s not exactly news that modern music doesn’t carry the same love-struck chord that it did in the fifties, but just how far have we strayed? For comparison sake, let’s take Britney Spear’s newest hit, “Werk B****.”

You wanna hot body,
You want a Bugatti,
You want a Maseratti,
You better work b****.
You want a Lamborghini,
Sip martinis,
Look hot in a bikini,
You better work b****.

Maybe I don’t actually want a Maseratti. Maybe what I really want is old-school, heart-felt romance. Maybe I want Louis Armstrong. Long gone are the days when love was enough to pay the bills, and now it’s all about “jet planes, islands, and tigers on a gold leash,” or so says Lorde. Of course, marvelous love songs still exist today, but they’re seldom chart-toppers. They say that pop culture is a mirror to society, and if that’s the case, then doesn’t this deficiency of affection in mainstream music say something about us as a whole?

Lyrics

Of course, no romance is better than hollow romance. What I’m talking about is an outpouring of affection rooted entirely in genuine fondness and respect for another person. But if we did actually receive that grounded, all-in romance, would we even know what to do with it? It all reminds me of an episode of Sex and the City, where Carrie begins to feel smothered by all the grand romantic gestures of her new boyfriend. I think she sums it up best:

“We accept Tasti D-lite instead of real ice cream, emails instead of love songs, jokes instead of poetry. It’s no wonder that when faced with the real thing we can’t stomach it. Is it something we could learn to digest or have we become romance-intolerant?”

TextLove

A recent article by the Huffington Post suggests that the root of unhappiness plaguing Generation Y stems from a long history of unrealistic expectations. While that’s probably true, is it possible that just this once, in regard to romance, that’s not the case? Could the problem actually be that reality is quite simply coming up short? Or, as the article suggests, are we twenty-somethings stuck in a world of Ryan Gosling, romcom-fueled unrealistic expectations?

10 Signs That She Loves You

Okay. So you’ve been seeing this girl for a while, and you think things are going pretty great. Could it be? Does this majestic creature called woman actually care for you? Or is it all in your head? Despite your best efforts, reading her mind is like understanding Sofia Vergara. Hopeless. So, how do you know? By checking for any one of these ten tell-tale signs:

She loves you if…

1. She shaved her legs.

shaving

Those battlescars running up her sikly smooth legs are for you and you alone. They’re bloody nicks of love. No woman spends a mind-numbing ten minutes running some scratchy, tetanus-infused razor up and down her legs for her own sake. Trust me.

2. She ironed her clothes.

ironing

Aside from your grandma, no woman uses an iron these days. Those ultra-crisp pleats snap “love” every time they swish in the soft summer breeze on that moonlit walk you’re taking.

3. She laughs at your bad jokes.

A woman in love will always offer up a courtesy laugh. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. Pick any line from this bad jokes site, and give it a go. If she humors you with a full-on courtesy laugh, you’ve landed the gig.

4. She eats your cooking.

Cooking

While this rule may not apply to the culinary-inclined, it holds true for the 97.3% of men who consider boxed macaroni gourmet.

5. She cooks for you.

Dwight

They say the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and she knows it. Don’t be fooled by her, “Oh, I just enjoy cooking” line. She knows what she’s doing. Oh, she knows.

6. She sits through Die Hard.

Die Hard

Die Hard, Fast and Furious, the old Bond films…basically if the cover features some ruffian carrying a gun while zipping away in his flashy car, she’s only watching it for you.

7. She brings you to a wedding.

Tuxedo

Weddings are like the county fair of the social world: it’s a great place to bring your prized stud, parade them around, and go for the gold. A gold engagement band, that is.

8. She buys you just-because gifts.

Gift

There’s a special gene encoded on her second X-chromosome that prompts random gift-giving for those she loves. “Just because” means “just because I love you.”

9. She hangs out with the guys.

"MY BOYS" "Mike-Fest" / Ep 403 TBS Ph: Karen Neal

As much as she probably loves your friends, she loves her more. If she voluntarily sacrifices a Saturday night to hang with the boys, it just got real.

10. She really, really likes you.

List

When a woman says she really, really likes you, that’s her working up the nerves to throw the L-card on the table. As long as this statement isn’t followed by “but…,” you’re in the clear.

So, what’s your go-to “I love you” sign? Drop a line in the comments below and be sure to follow my blog for regular updates on this growing list!

How to Write a Nicholas Sparks Novel

Couple

Want to be an instant billionaire? Of course you do. Who doesn’t? The solution is simple: write a Nicholas Sparks book!

“But I’m not an author!” you say.

That’s alright! By simply filling in the blanks using the template below, you will soon be a literary sensation and arch nemesis of reagular dude’s in relationships everywhere. What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

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Once upon a time in (North/South) Carolina, there was a (misunderstood/quiet/angsty) man named (generic name) who enjoyed his independant, macho life by the sea. His only company was his (overly intelligent dog/kids/severely autistic father). One day, an unbelievably beautiful and (fiery/gentle/sporadic/wealthy) woman moved into town. She caught (generic name)‘s eye, and he began to pursue her despite the advice of the overly friendly, strangely tight-knit town. As expected, she turns him down. A lot. Not taking a hint, however, (generic name) pursues her further by giving her a (bike/collection of letters/rare book) that he most likely (made with his rough, calloused hands/wrote from his heart/bought just for her). Now that she feels indebted, she agrees to go (kayaking/canoeing/sailing) on a mystical (lake/swamp/river) that houses an unnatural number of white birds. Suddenly, a downpour begins out of the otherwise perfectly blue sky from earlier. The two run for shelter, but not before engaging in a steamy (intense stare/kiss/plate of whoopie). Afterwards, she realizes she acted impulsively, being swooned by the white birds, and is filled with regret. She leaves (generic name) just when crisis strikes in the form of (an abuse ex-lover/alzheimers/fire/cancer/a raging storm at sea/amnesia). Despite the odds, they survive the incident together, and realize how deep their feelings for one another run. They tell everyone of their newfound love just in time for her to die of (cancer/alzheimers/a miscarriage/a freak accident). The end.

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After you finish filling in the mad lib, simply type up the completed version in Word, add a few thousand filler words, and bam! Universal Studios just bought your book for $3 million. Congratulations! How can you repay me for my help, you ask? Oh, just following my blog is more than enough. I promise. Although royalties would be nice, too…how about 30/70? 70 me, that is. Great! I’ll be looking for that check in the mail. Thanks in advance!