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Gone are the days of old fashioned romance, when passionate kisses dotted the silver screen and holding hands was as far as a first date went.
Today, we click through online dating sites spending less time on each profile than we do on a pair of shoes at Aldo, and have come to expect a first date will end with a hug, kiss, or maybe more. In a time driven by instant gratification, a romance, it seems, can begin and end in the same amount of time it takes to press “send.”
That is the lesson a friend of mine learned recently when, several dates into a new relationship, a charming dinner date lead them back to his place. He dimmed the lights, she offered him a little gratification of his own, and he reciprocated by … getting up to check his e-mail.
She was stunned.
He didn’t seem to notice.
She left and closed the door on that relationship.
Luckily not everyone is as clueless as my friend’s date, and most have even learned how to mix romance with technology.
Such was the case for one self-professed hopeless romantic in the United Kingdom. Tom Lane convinced a local movie theatre to screen his homemade video in which he proposes to his girlfriend. After the trailers, he appeared on screen in a dinner jacket with a cue card reading “Hi Tina,” Sky News reported. A series of pictures and anecdotes followed, all leading up to the last card which read “I’m sure you want me to do this in person. I’m right behind you.” She turned around and saw Lane with a ring, she said yes, and a crowded theatre broke out into applause.
Lane isn’t the only one out there with a penchant for passion. Most men (84 per cent) and women (88 per cent) think it's cool to be romantic, Harlequin’s Romance Report 2007 suggests.
“(People surveyed think romance) is more important in their life than money,” says Marleah Stout, co-editor of this year’s Harlequin report.
For Stout, being busy is no excuse for ruling out romance. In fact, it’s during those busy times that technology can be our biggest ally.
“A lot of people are just trying to fit romance into their life. Sometimes sending a text message when you are in a meeting saying ‘I can’t wait to come home to you,’ or maybe a flirtatious e-mail to your partner is all it takes,” says Stout.
“I think you’ve got to break down those barriers and explore new ways to romance, whether that be online or not, it’s just keeping that inner romance alive,” she adds.
But even if the Bill Gates of this world can inadvertently help Cupid, we should still switch off those computers (or in the case of my friend’s date don’t even turn it on) and reconnect with our partners in person, not over our Blackberries.