Modern Love Recap: Why Our Generation Sucks At Romanceby Chiara Atik on November 21, 2011
This week’s New York Times Modern Love essay is both depressing, and inspiring.
Depressing: The author’s realization, through hearing the dating stories of her mother and grandmother, that ours might actually be the least romantic generation of all time.
“Although the romantic rituals of my generation (late-night texting, loaded e-mails, Facebook stalking) may expedite courtship, they make for exceedingly dull love stories.”
Oh, she’s so, so, right! Look, I’m the first to admit that the carefully worded text message can be romantic (I’ve even been known to copy them into my journal to remember them by). But I’m not looking forward to sitting my grandchildren on my knee and saying “Well, after we drunkenly made out at a mutual friend’s party, your Grandfather texted me and said ‘Ugh, so hungover. U feeling ok?’”
There’s a reason Jane Austen novels remain so popular to this day: their slow and sustained courtship is as foreign to us as it is appealing. If Darcy and Elizabeth’s fiery exchanges had taken place entirely over email, or if Emma and Mr.Knightley had hooked up one night after drinking too much punch at a country dance, there wouldn’t have been a story to tell.
Courtship and dating seem like they have become things of the past, which would be fine if it didn’t seem like so many of us are missing them.
Inspiring: Not to toot our own company’s horn too much, but this dissatisfaction with modern dating is exactly what HowAboutWe is all about. Obviously we aren’t trying to bring back the elaborate dating rituals of the regency period (though, if that floats your boat…). But we can make dating a part of our lives again. It is possible, even in 20
1112 for a relationship story to involve butterflies and meeting someone at 8 and picking out an outfit and a restaurant.
Someday, we’re all going to be in rockers with our grandchildren/fellow nursing home residents around us. Let’s make sure to have a good story.
[NYT: Romance's New Format]