There’s a knock at your door. It’s about noon on a Saturday and you’re curious as to who it could be because you live alone and all your friends decided to go to the beach without you, even though they claimed that you were invited. Curious, you turn your doorknob and open the door to reveal the guy who once bought you coffee at the Starbucks down the street. You don’t know his name or why he is there, all you know is that you wanted this to happen forever. He’s panting and is holding a dozen white roses in his fist.
“I think I could be in love with you,” he says between breaths and you jump into his arms, kiss him, and ride off into the sunset, even though it’s still noon. Your alarm goes off and you wake up. If this dream sounds like something you would think up, then you may be a romantic. Welcome, we’ve been expecting you and the first message we would like to say is:
You are not alone.
We exist, we are out there thinking up wedding proposals with flash mobs and animal assistants, and picket fences, and puppies named Chowder and Emmett. We exist, yet we are colluded by cliches; hidden beneath the romantic comedy tropes of boomboxes held over heads and love poems read aloud in class so as to profess a newfound feeling we never knew existed. We are also hidden beneath the raindrops of the torrential downpours on beaches and cold winter nights spent spooning under the covers. It’s appropriate to say that our expectations on love are constructed by these notions found in every film and television show because they are things that surround us everyday. And that’s okay. We hold those scenes so close to our hearts, because it’s what we feel is true to us. It fills us with hope and we try our best to bring those romantic professions out of the fiction and into the reality.
But in a world that is constantly changing, are these notions slowly going extinct, just as quickly as the romantic is disappearing? With the uprising of Tinder and Grindr and social media, in general, have we as a society lost track of traditional romance? Will we no longer hold boomboxes over our heads or write love poems? Have we already traded these for right swipes and thumbs up? For the romantic, these notions aren’t something that is going to be given up easily. We will hold steadfast and stoic in our ways, knowing that our romantic gestures aren’t for naught. It’s a lonely road, but it’s one that’s worth taking.
So perhaps, romance isn’t dead, maybe it’s just changing with the time and haphazardly sweeping the traditional notions under the rug of outdated cliches? But that doesn’t mean we, as romantics, should let up. That’s not in our nature. When all else fails, isn’t love the only thing left worth fighting for? If it’s there, shouldn’t we hold on for dear life and hope that it will work out? We are needed in the world, because we perpetuate the idea that true love and romance still exists out there somehow. We feel the need to say how we feel all the time in letters and grand gestures because that’s how we were taught to act. Yet to those who brush that off as cliche and tired, see us as weak. Romantics aren’t weak and whiny and holed up in their rooms hopelessly dreaming; romantics are strong and adamant. We aren’t hopeless or whiny or even hopeful; we’re certain. To all the romantics out there: stay certain.