Love in 2013: Is the romance still alive?
We asked six people, in different generations, for their take on romance and being in love.
If you’re romantically interested in someone, how do you let them know?
Glenn Best, 28: I’m fairly straightforward. I’m not afraid to tell somebody if I’m interested in them. I’ve been in enough relationships to date that I just go for what I want.
Rachel Remz, 31: I generally act like a crazy person and talk to them nonstop. I just start talking them nonstop about anything.
Alice Barlow, 29: I get really drunk and let them know in a really sloppy way.
Best: I wouldn’t be afraid to also become physical with someone I was into if I thought if they were open to it as well. I think it’s a nice way to let someone know.
Frank Marchesa, 45: I don’t know. It’s been too long, I’ve been married for 21 years.
John Killian, 61: Well, I’ve been married 40 years. I was Homecoming king for my high school, and I had to have a date. I was very shy, and I thought I’d ask the one girl who’d say no so I could get out of it. She said yes, and she’s my wife.
While you’re dating that person, how do you tell them you love them?
Marchesa: I guess I just said it. It’s nothing special.
George Haeberlein, 67: It just came out one time. I think it was unplanned, spontaneous.
Remz: It’s usually we’re drunk, and I’ll be like, “Oh my God, I love you” when were making out.
Barlow: I do the stupidest, cheesiest girl thing. It will be after we have sex, and I’ll be all cute and say “I love you.”
Killian: Well, for me it was probably to have sex. I had to say that before I could get it.
What’s the way you communicate most with a lover?
Killian: Still on the phone. I travel a lot. I don’t do the Facebook with her or anything like that.
Marchesa: Call and see her in person. A lot of phone calls, too.
Remz: I’m a texter. I text people all the time. Even my friends know if I’m into a dude, you will get 1 million texts from me. And now I’ll Instagram them all the time. I’ll Instagram at them.
Barlow: It’s in person for me. If I’m dating someone, all day, every day there’s a lot of texting going on, but then I try to hang out with them in person.
Best: I would say in person. I’m very much a face-to-face person. Texting would be a close second, I would say.
How do you know when you’re in love?
Haeberlein: We know each other so well, we can anticipate. You don’t have to say things at times: You just do it.
Marchesa: I guess it comes down to when you want to be around the person all the time. That’s pretty much it.
Killian: [It's] knowing that you want to be with that person when you’re not with them and looking forward to seeing them when you’re not with them.
Best: It’s very emotional thing. I think that’s what love is. You can think and overthink it. I just listen to my emotions. It’s something you can feel.
Remz: For me it’s that sinking feeling. You know how I know? They are incredibly wrong; they do incredibly terrible things. It’s just awful — and I will just go for it.
Barlow: I know when I stop calling my friends.
How does texting affect romance?
Remz: I think [texting] has made it less romantic. I think, “This is a guy who I could be interested in,” and then we text all the time. Then, in person there’s just no … textual chemistry.
Barlow: It’s made it way too controlled. Before you would say things and then you’d say, “Oh s—-, did I say something weird? Did I mess it up?” Now like everything is so planned and controlled because of text messages. It’s made it a lot more safe and not as fun. The fun is in the risk.
Best: I think that it changes the face-to-face interaction because you can actually be in touch with someone anytime you want constantly.
Killian: It’s opened up new horizons, but it’s very impersonal.
Haeberlein: You don’t have that much contact.
Best: Constantly being able to connect with people anytime kind of lowers the pressure that exists in the moment in person.
Is romance dead?
Barlow: Hell to the yes.
Remz: I am weirdly, outwardly the least hopelessly romantic person you will ever meet, but I do believe romance is alive. I think people do sweet things for you. It’s unbelievable when somebody does it.
Marchesa: It just doesn’t seem the same. The technology kills it. Facebook killed it all. Spontaneity is the most important thing in a relationship. Going out to dinner, just jumping in a car and going on vacation. Just something, going away for a weekend. I don’t think that happens anymore.
Do you think older people are more or less romantic than your generation?
Remz: Kind of both, because there’s a certain level of our generation where everything’s temporary because of the Internet.
Best: I think they’re different times, different explanations. It was a different type of courtship, and I do think it was more romantic.
Remz: [In] our parent’s generation, people stayed together and they went through the hard times together. Now if there’s a hard time you bail.
Do you think young people are more or less romantic than your generation?
Killian: I think it was more about the courting and dating [in my day] than about meeting people with groups.
Haeberlein: It’s much more difficult than it used to be — well not difficult, but different. You don’t form a bond.
Marchesa: I don’t think they get it, to be honest with you. They don’t get the whole thing.