Is romance really dead?
Words By Ambar Ramirez
I know what you’re thinking. We are done with the standards the patriarchy has instilled, and we don’t need outside validation as we should all love ourselves. And I am all for that. I write love letters to myself all the time and buy myself flowers and so on. But let’s be honest. Every now and then, it wouldn’t hurt to receive a personalized mixtape or a love letter that doesn’t end with “xoxo, yourself.” And for me it’s not about needing validation (though, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I ask my boyfriend constantly if he still loves me) but about having that special someone who will go above and beyond to show me he loves me without having to ask for it. I once had a boy “indirectly” tweet about me and that was the closest thing I got to a love letter. Seriously… tweets! But I can’t speak for the whole as I am just one 23-year-old living in a man’s, man’s, man’s world, as James Brown put it.
Of course, love and relationships are a two-way street. And the root of the dying form of letters and personalized mixtapes isn’t due to romance being dead, rather it just being different … more evolved. No, it doesn’t help that we live in a digital world where handwritten letters are probably sent through text and dating sites have made finding love much like shopping online. But it’s more than that. Gen Z are more comfortable swimming within the gray areas of relationships. We’d rather stay single or in “situationships” than settle down with the wrong person. Which, can you blame us? Considering that most Gen Z and millennials are children of divorced parents (not all, but most), the only examples of “true love” we have to look up to are couples from rom-coms. That’s right. Fabricated relationships glamorized for the screen. So it’s no wonder that most of us are disappointed when we don’t get our own intimate kissing in the rain scene. Also, while back in the day women had no other choice but to depend on men for financial stability and married just to fit the societal standards at the time, now women and men can provide for themselves. And some would rather be financially independent before bringing others into the mix.
While the traditional sense of romance is dead, a new and evolved idea of romance is looming. This generation is more into prioritizing themselves rather than basing the trajectory of their life on a relationship. That is, we are more in love with the idea of independence and the ever-changing aspects of life. More in love with the idea of loving ourselves before we love others.
So love letters and mixtapes have gone where all other things go to die, the past. But just as some advise, it wouldn’t hurt to get crafty when giving to your partner or even to yourself.