It would appear, in 2017, that romance is something that millennials would consider “old fashioned” or “cheesy”, which is true to an extent – I mean in the internet generation how could we possibly maintain the sanctity of romance when most interaction is done through a screen? However, we do still maintain a certain level of expectation and pressure on our other halves which is something that annoys me and often the people I go on dates with because, as I am sure my regular readers have figured out by now, I am not one for conformity.
There shouldn’t be a reason for me to say “Sorry, I’m not very good at this” or make excuses as to why I am not comfortable with the expectations of the people I am dating, but there is. From a young age we have been exposed to “Date Etiquette” through films, television and well, watching our parents which causes us to create these fake rules about what dates and romance should be. The thing I want to know is why have we put all this nerve-wracking pressure on ourselves when we could act the exact same way as we would around our friends so our potential partners could see the real us instead of the condensed, fearful and overly-refined version of ourselves we create to keep them interested?
Don’t get me wrong, I am also guilty of bowing down to these pressures because that’s what I am supposed to do. As a woman who (mostly) dates men I have to dress a certain way, wear make-up and do my hair to make me look “pretty” as opposed to turning up wearing a hoody and jeans, the more comfortable option (which I also did recently on a date). There is an unspoken rule that I have to act girly and innocent and smile and laugh at every compliment given when in reality I’m thinking “Yeah, alright. So you want sex then” and this is where romance becomes an effort. People think that if they are romantic towards you they deserve a reward, sex, so people get gifts or compliments which are supposedly spontaneous and feel temporary happiness causing them to be lead in to the false illusion that the person they are with wants more than just sex.
One of the other things that bothers me is public displays of affection. I’m fine with hand-holding and maybe one or two kisses here and there, but generally, I’d rather not be all over someone in public as it makes both myself and others around me feel uncomfortable. I’ve been in a position in a group of friends where I am the single one and it generally leads to watching other couples show high levels of affection to each other and it ruins your night. I prefer just chilling, as friends would, and enjoying each other’s company. Especially when around other friends.
Yes, I am completely overthinking all of this, but it wouldn’t really be me if I wasn’t. The thing is I find myself panicking at the thought of dating because I am far too sensible now, as an adult, to fall in to the dreamy, lovey-dovey, romance aspect of it all or maybe I’m just afraid of being hurt. I am a dreamer, but more in my work life than my personal life so find it difficult to take compliments or romance seriously and often end up making the other person feel awkward when I make a joke of it all.
Please tell me I am not the only person who feels this way? Am I weird?