Dearly Beloved,

We are gathered here to lament the traditional, pure memory of romance. As it’s been watered down and diluted that the idea of it in its purest form has become a flicker and a whisper of its former being.

This precious beautiful idea has been marred by technology, social media and the acceptance of low expectations. Join me as I eulogize this half-dead illusion. Let’s us rejoice in these romantic song lyrics.

“We were lovers through and through and though we made it through the storm, I really want you to realize, I really want to put you on, I’ve been searching for someone to satisfy my every need, won’t you be my inspiration and be the real love that I need.” -Mary J. Blige.

These immortal words are the lyrics of the iconic Mary J. Blige and her iconic song, “Real Love” of the timeless “What’s the 411?” album. These were the types of lyrics that were the soundtrack of our ideas of love as 80s babies, however now as 80s babies, we are millennials in a world where this 90s R&B feel isn’t in the pursuit of love anymore, which makes me wonder, what happened to romance? Was it murdered? If so, who killed it? Who will be the love detective who solves this mystery?

This lovely notion of romance didn’t just stop at the music we listened to, it was in the movies we loved and recited through poetry. “I gather up each sound you left behind and stretch them on our bed. Each night I breathe you and become high”, those words were uttered by Nia Long as Nina Mosely in the movie Love Jones, words that she quoted from Harlem Renaissance writer and Afro-icon, Sonia Sanchez. With romantic contributors such as Mary J. Blige and Sonia Sanchez highlighting the beauty and complexities of love no wonder those like me are completely devoid of the notion because, in today’s world, things just aren’t like that.

My ideas of love and romance as a teenager and then college student were illuminated by the sounds of men who sang about the beauty of loving a woman even through heartbreak. I grew up believing that a man should formally ask a woman on a date (LL Cool J, Hey Lover) and even call her to have a meaningful conversation leading up to the encounter. My thoughts are that men are supposed to make the date, be on time, and give the woman their undivided attention during the encounter. Wow? I sound archaic huh? Even though I’m only 34.

The reality isn’t that dreamy nowadays.

Men don’t call, they text…. They text all damn day!

They don’t ask you out, they DM or attempt to FaceTime.

They don’t make real dates and give undivided attention, what is that?

This reality is so sad, no wonder the world of love is so jaded, romance is seemingly dead. Or it’s been completely watered down. So what is the cause of such?

What has happened that has allowed people to deem all of this as acceptable?

When did “wyd” suffice as picking up the phone and admitting that you’d been thinking of a person all day? Hell even if I’m lying, the entire notion is beautiful.

What happened to true romance?

Now, I don’t mean that a man has to spend tremendous amounts of money in pursuit of the notion however the effort is what I’m referring to as of now. The effort just isn’t there. Nor do I mean that the entire notion is just confined to the male species. I can be quite romantic to a deserving man. So again, what happened?

Of course, my ideas on the tragic disappearance of romance would be futile, if I didn’t ask the men in my circle their ideas on the matter. On an engaging Sunday afternoon at a dear friend of mine’s new home, I asked several men what they thought about the fleeting idea of romance.

There were several retorts about it that included that women are too independent nowadays, the idea of submission is extinct and the effort is sometimes chastised by the women so a lot of men don’t even bother to try. All of their opinions were valid and I didn’t disagree with anything that they said. Although I have some extended ideas about that whole thing about “submission” but that’s an extensive topic for a different day.

Truth be told, I believe that romance is an endangered species, not completely dead but the attempted assassination of this precious thing can be attributed to so many murderous factors but romance can be resurrected.

With all of that being said, one must understand that romance is subjective, multi-faceted, full of possibilities.

For me, romance is simple.

Romance is…

  • Calling me just to hear my voice.
  • Planning something different, because spontaneity is the spice of life.
  • Texting me while you know I’m dead asleep all of the things about me that you love, admire and respect.
  • Bringing me dinner after a long day.
  • Sending me a poem of how I make you feel.
  • Asking me to go workout with you.
  • Bookmarking a book that I’m reading with a note.
  • Leaving me your favorite hoodie to borrow for a while.
  • Actually talking to me.
  • Sending me a song/playlist on Spotify.
  • Leaving a single flower on my doorstep with a note.
  • Riding through the city listening to trap music.
  • Initiating a pillow fight.

You see gentlemen, romance doesn’t have to expensive, nor does it have to be complex, but coming from a busy, ambitious, millennial woman, I’m telling you, it’s still needed. With the right woman, of course, your efforts will be appreciated.  

SMOOCHES!

This past January marked three years since I lost my dear friend EJ, it has been extremely difficult, each day doesn’t get easier, just go by.  Things are especially challenging when you have those around you are ingenuine.  So I’ve been removing those show themselves as such.  Just like we should be in love with our significant others, we need to love our friends too.  If you don’t have friends around you who loved you the way my friend EJ did, I feel sorry for you.  He was real, he was raw and he stayed true.  Not too many people can do and show love while being true to themselves.  Rest in Love, dear sweet friend.

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