Romance is dead...
Yes. I leave the question mark there on purpose. It is not a typo.
Let's go back in time. I was once a hopeless romantic. My beliefs about love and romance were based on finding that one person to spend your life with. I believed in grand gestures and surprises and the whole nine yards. It was truly my belief that no matter what happened, love would find you in the end. If that man or woman was truly the love of your life, then love would find a way.
My young heart was shaped not only by the love I saw between my parents, but by t.v. shows and movies. The love story of Cory and Topanga from Boy Meets World rivals any of those love stories throughout time. Theirs was one of fate and destiny. They had their issues (Topanga moving away. Cory cheating on Topanga) but in the end, love figured out a way. They were meant to be and they made it work.
These are just a few examples of what I looked up to. Perhaps I lived in a fantasy world. In my eyes, though, art imitates life and these stories must have been taken from true life experiences. I truly believed that when I found "the one", the story would work itself out no matter the obstacle. This didn't help either:
As it is, as time went by, I became a bit on the jaded and bitter side. What happened? Well, a lot happened. I got older. I saw the world in a different light than my younger self did. I lost that everlasting belief in love, hope, and the human spirit.
It wasn't one thing that did it. The soul got fractured over the years. Break-ups do that to a person. Self-doubt creeps in and only grows with each corresponding heartbreak. Walls are built up. Just as another would chip away at these cement fixtures, letting my past hope creep back in, failure would occur. In turn, the wall would be built up higher and thicker.
Lost first loves. Cheating. Indecision. Trust. Missed connections. Misunderstanding. All things that happen in relationships across the world. The aforementioned, along with miscues and mistakes of my own, have led me down this path of pushing love and romance to the background of life.
Over the years, I lost the sense of romance. After putting so much into earlier relationships, I pushed romance to the side. I was tired of putting in the effort to only watch the relationship deteriorate down the line.
Take Valentine's Day, for example. In college, in my first real relationship, I was very broke. Instead of just using this as an excuse, I went through the effort of creating a scavenger hunt for my girlfriend. One that led to some homemade gifts/cards and perhaps a rose or two. Nothing too grand, mind you, but something I put some thought into.
Last Valentine's Day, it was a card I printed off the internet and a piece of chocolate. Very little thought put into it.
What a difference 13 years makes.
Yet here I am today. Chipping away at that bitterness. By myself. Because I finally realize that, yes, I have had my heart broken. Yes, I am tired of giving myself over completely only to have it end in misery. Being bitter and jaded by the opposite sex is no way to go through life.
I am slowly finding my way back into the youth I once was. There is hope out there for love and romance. There is hope that eventually I will find that one person who I am destined to spend my life with. I need that hope in my life. There may be a certain naivete to it, but I don't care. We all need something to believe in.
It's not there yet. That will take time and eventually the test of being in another relationship to see if I've regained that sense of wonderment and romance. The rejection of the past has forged who I am. For once, I am using that as a good thing and not as a reason to build up walls.
Romance is not dead to me. It just took a little break for awhile to let me realize how much I missed it.
"Please travel lightly
Caring takes a lot of time
The soul is fragile"