I know that relationships can be defined quite loosely, and can start through many channels, but to me, nothing is harder than forming a relationship digitally. I have had my Tinder romance, my OkCupid romance, and now even an Instagram romance. That’s taking it a bit far, no? Clearly not, because this is becoming a common thing. Ask anyone under the age of 35 (40?), and chances are they’re having some sort of romance through some sort of screen.
But what is the meaning of romance? According to my dictionary, it’s “a novel or other prose narrative depicting heroic or marvelous deeds, pageantry, romantic exploits, etc., usually in a historical or imaginary setting.” This definition, along with the others for the word ‘romance,’ are utterly heartbreaking. “Usually in a historical or imaginary setting”?! How disappointing to hear that romance is *historical* and *imaginary*. Is romance gone, or is it just hard to find?
I never was one to fantasize about romance as a kid. I didn’t have this big elaborate idea of a wedding with a ball gown and rose petals strewn about my feet. I didn’t imagine the perfect partner, what this person would look like, the proposal, etc. As I’ve become older, I see myself getting a bit more “romantic.” For example, when I meet and like someone, I find myself creating all of these scenarios in my mind (I really hope I’m not alone on this). It’s kind of like creating a Prince Charming in your mind, only to be let down that the person whom you’ve made into this fabulous creature is in fact, anything but.
The most recent incident to drive home this point happened on the latest trend in online dating: the dreamy, filter-y world of Instagram. He was a rockstar. Yep. He was a 33-year-old guitar player, with black hair, plenty of tattoos, the whole thing. Most people told me right from the start that “Rockstars won’t commit”…to which I thought, Blah blah blah, whatever. Since I don’t stereotype, of course I gave him a chance (and it helped that he was gorgeous).
So the ‘romance’ began. We talked all day everyday, and it was going beautifully. I thought that we were destined to go on tour together with his band, sing Queen together, and get married by locking it in with ring tattoos. After talking for about two months, we finally met. It was going to be magical, or so I thought…But in real life (IRL), I HATED him. He was not only not as cute, but boring, rude, and not so sharp. This was such a disappointment. I’m glad I didn’t get his named tattooed on my forehead or anything, because that would’ve been a bit awkward. Oh! And to top it off, his ex-girlfriend messaged me to let me know that he has Instagram romances all the time, so that felt nice. What a joy.
What have I learned from this? One: I understand the trend of meeting people online, but don’t imagine your futures together until you meet, because the inter-web is an inter-web of lies… to put it nicely! And two: There is NO better way to form a ‘romance’ than in real life. Unless you follow the exact definition of ‘romance,’ in which case my fantasy was just that.
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Photo: Ian Schneider via Unsplash