Jack and Jill: Romance: What is it, and who does it better?
Romance in America is dead. And women killed it.
There’s nothing better to me than a dinner by candlelight, and a long walk in the park, hand in hand with my lady. Nothing at all.
I’d love nothing more than to bring flowers home to my sweetheart to let her know how much I care, or bring her breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning.
But I don’t do those things, because I have to keep up my inherent manliness. Who defines manliness? Women do.
See, somewhere in between the time where the ideal of a woman went from Betty Crocker to Hilary Clinton (not a bad thing, I must stress, even if there would be less conflict in the world if everybody came home to a warm plate of chocolate chip cookies after a hard day’s work), women decided, in a secret vote at an undisclosed location (probably in Staten Island), that if men showed any overt display of affection, let alone a public display of affection, displayed an unacceptable neediness and sissiness and was not to be tolerated.
So instead of Boyz II Men’s “Til the End of the Road,” (sample lyrics: “You belong to me; I belong to you,” we now have Lil’ Flip and Lea’s “Sunshine,” (sample lyrics: “We don’t have to be in love; we can just be friends.”).
See, at the heart of it, everything we do as men is to impress women. And when the Staten Island Secret Convention of Women decided that acts that men considered romantic (opening doors, paying for dinner, etc.) no longer appealed to them, men adjusted.
Now, if we don’t return calls, or show up late or forget special occasions, it’s because, at the heart of it, you like it that way. You don’t want us to be too attached, so we act like we’re not. On the outside, we look super macho, uncaring, cool to a fault. On the inside, oftentimes we just want to tell you how great you are, or how pretty you look in that dress.
But we can’t do that. We’ve seen you run back to cheating exes and guys who don’t appreciate you while leaving the nice guys who just want to serenade you with a guitar solo in the dust too much, so we’re adapting. Natural selection and all that.
Secretly, men still want to be nice guys that are there for your every need. We want to introduce ourselves to your parents when we pick you up for our first date. Well, maybe not, but you get the point.
But the days of that are gone, because we’re terrified of being labeled sexist—or worse, as “too nice.” That’s equivalent to a life sentence to the friend zone, and we all know how men feel about that (refresher course: not good).
So, the next time you complain about how your boyfriend never does anything nice for you, or never seems to appreciate you, remember this: you, or at least other women like you, brought it on yourselves.
Who is more romantic?
Are you kidding? Is this even a real question? We defined romance. Of course women are more romantic than men.
Men think romance is some huge gesture of love. You all think it has to be a big deal – requiring extensive planning. It really doesn’t. Romance isn’t about what you do, but how you make me feel.
Merriam Webster defines “romantic” as “marked by expressions of love or affection.” That is all I want – something that reminds me that you love me. It’s never a question of whether you love me or how much, but the little things are what keep me feeling secure when I’m feeling down or special when I’m just feeling ordinary.
I don’t need a horse-drawn carriage carrying me to a candlelit dinner on a private yacht on the Hudson. Despite what you may think, I’m not crazy. I don’t need a bouquet of roses hand delivered to me at work, though I have never heard of anyone turning one down – and I certainly wouldn’t.
That reminds me – don’t shower me with unnecessary gifts in an attempt to buy my love. First of all, that’s not romantic. Second of all, it’s not going to work. Spending an exorbitant amount of money is not romance, it’s just silly.
Romance is leaving me a note and a small red velvet cupcake on our 16-month anniversary, one that may seem arbitrary. It’s romantic when you grab me, take me into your arms and we start slow dancing to no music in the living room. When you come up behind me and whisper in my ear that you love me, that’s romantic.
Romance tells me that you love me without you having to say those three little words. Romance is love in action.
Women do romantic things on a daily basis without expecting anything in return. It’s not that we are better at it, we are just more conscious sometimes. We don’t need a special holiday or anniversary to demonstrate how much we care.
Whether it’s making your favorite dinner on a rough day or leaving you a note on your windshield, we find little ways to go above and beyond and show you that we care.
And when I do romantic things, you don’t even blink an eye. Men expect it from women. But when you do it, I should throw you a parade? I don’t think so.
So rather than saving up all your romantic points for Valentine’s Day, or my birthday, or our anniversary, spread them out throughout the year. If we’re both doing romantic things for each other sporadically throughout the year, we’ll be much happier and these things will mean more.
But like I said, I’m not asking you to grab the moon and pull it closer to earth Bruce Almighty-style. Just use your head; you know me and you know what makes me smile. So just remember those and the romance will come naturally, just like us being together does.