If you’re old enough to remember bell bottoms, mullets and “Who Shot J.R.,” you may also remember a time when love and romance were prominent themes of the decades. That’s right- love and romance used to be pretty cool and there was this novel concept where you weren’t ashamed to outwardly show affection. Nowadays, simple romantic gestures could get you socially crucified and put you in poor standing below even . The Nerds and Geeks! They’re no longer the bottom rung of social standings- romantic lovers have taken that distinction.
The younger generation doesn’t want anyone to know they’re in love. Old commercials for romantic getaways to vacation destinations definitely don’t help. Have you heard the jingles for some of these? They sound like they were written and performed by a cult for happy people. The actors in the commercials? They smile at everything. “I can’t believe you hit that volley ball!” says to his new wife, Miranda. She responds by laughing jovially and anyone within a 50 foot radius of Tad and Miranda will also laugh and embrace as if everyone is in on the joke. Love- haha!
Love was way cooler back in the day, but it was also corny. The big difference today is couples don’t like to acknowledge the corniness of love and romance. That doesn’t mean you can’t enable perfectly normal acts of love towards a significant other. In fact, it can put a strain on your relationship to not embrace the fun side of love.
Why are we afraid to let loose all of these emotions? You shouldn’t be concerned with whether or not you’re being judged for writing your significant other a silly poem, writing a long love letter, or going to extra lengths to make a night at home more sensual. After all, it’s not your peers who kiss you goodnight and wake up holding you each morning (or maybe your relationship is like that…we won’t judge.) Then again, maybe it’s not your peers you feel awkward around- it’s your significant other. This is what we traditionally refer to as “bad news.”
You don’t have to go all out and create ridiculously public displays that will inevitably wind up on Youtube. Is there a point where you can be too cheesy? There sure is. We would recommend avoiding interpretive dance, learning to play guitar and performing in front of a large crowd in a restaurant, or excessive crying with every phrasing of your love. If your face looks like a waterfall while you try to say “I love you,” you’re going to send them running for Argentina (unless you live in Argentina, in which case they’ll just run to Guatemala.)
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go the extra mile with having some romantic fun; just be aware of the comfort level of your partnerLearn an instrument and play them a song in private (xylophone especially recommended). Show some sensitivity when you’re saying meaningful words, but keep the crying limited to “I just ate a Habanero pepper and got punched in the nose” levels of tears. There is no level of interpretive dance that is ever acceptable for expressing romantic feelings- you should do just about anything else to show them you love them, like telling them you opted not to perform interpretive dance because you love them.
Go enjoy your cheesy, kitschy romance. It’s meant to be fun and silly. This isn’t like when you’re a kid and your mom or dad obsessing over whether or not the birthmark around your mouth suddenly became chocolate and they have to wipe it off in front of your friends using a crudely made washcloth device from their shirt and spit. In the end, all that matters is the expression of love between you and your partner (and that you never, ever perform interpretive dance, under any circumstances.).