A few days ago I watched an episode of Sex and the City. (I know.)
It was the one where Carrie's new boyfriend (the Russian artist) showers her with old school romance: reciting poetry, writing her a song and playing it on the piano, taking her to the opera, inviting her to dance with him under the moonlight, you name it.
She couldn't stand it. It was too much for her "as a modern New Yorker" (her words).
It made me think about our current definition(s) of romance.
Somehow the first images that come to mind still are: roses, hearts, candlelight dinners and long walks on the beach. Try the keyword "romance" in Google images and count the number of sunsets, or the German word "Romantik" and it's even worse.
Now, I happen to love roses, candles and beaches, but when they're being applied as an infallible strategy, they make me queasy.
Does this mean romance is dead?
I don't think so. But we might have lost sight of its essence: spending time, energy and most of all attention on the person / people you love. Consciously looking for something that will surprise them, which you can only do if you've put in the effort to really get to know them.
That's what romance comes down to for me: get to know the ones you love, and not just in the things they have in common with you.
The opportunities for romance might be hiding right there where you're different.