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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

The decline of romance in our society

Published: February 12, 2010
Section: Opinions

ILLUSTRATION BY Ariel Wittenberg/The Hoot

To say romance is dead would be an overstatement, but it is in a noticeable decline. When was the last time you noticed a “spark” in your relationships? Have you ever? That’s my point. It seems many people have not. In the world we live in–the world of hooking up and the word “hott”–real relationships are rare.

An example of the decline of romance is the relatively new use of the word “hott.” In my honest opinion using hott to describe a person is a form of mockery. To say “she’s hott” is to say “I’d like to hook up with her, but that’s it.” Other words in less frequent use such as “beautiful” do a much better job of conveying the appreciation one should feel for someone they are in a relationship with. Hell, even “lovely” is better than “hott.”

We live in a world of instant gratification. We live in a world about having things here and now rather than waiting for a better reward later.

We live in a time of songs like In Da Club (50 Cent) with lyrics: “I’m into having sex, I ain’t into making love.” The problem is that there is no meaning to it. I know that song isn’t exactly new (it came out in 2003), but it illustrates the point. You have your booty-call; I’ll take substantive relationship any day. Sure, a relationship is more complex than casual sex, but relationships are what make life worth living.

Baseball metaphors illustrate just how thoroughly relationships are defined, for some people, by the pursuit of sex. A “home run” is sex. The flaw is that sex should not be what defines a relationship.

My last example is current dancing trends. It seems like at almost every party I go to there is at least one group that thinks the only way to “dance” is to grind. That seemed the case at Pachanga, the WBRS Rave, and for a short while the case at the first year welcome back dance. Where has dancing gone? Where has class gone? I don’t know where dancing has gone, but I feel the need to mourn the loss of artistry and, in some ways, etiquette.

Go ahead, call me a traditionalist; in some ways I certainly am. I’m not in any way advocating a return to arranged marriages, but a return of some chivalry, a return to behavior fitting of a gentleman, a return to some form of courtship with class.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and many of you are probably making plans intent on making it a special day, provided you won’t already be traveling for our weeklong break. But have you ever asked yourself why it’s considered a special day? It’s because most people don’t “step up to the plate” unless it’s Valentine’s Day. Guys show the girl in your life (or guy if that floats your boat), that she’s special on more than just special days. If she truly is special, then why the hell are you only showing that one day a year?

Maybe it’s just that people don’t actually know what they want. You have your bombshell; I’ll look for a girl next door.