Romance Is Dead



The Tale of… the Flatliner

1.0 fl. oz. of Sambuca
8 Dashes of Tabasco Sauce
1.0 fl. oz. of Gold Tequila
We all know how the traditional first date should go, from the man picking the woman up with a bunch of flowers, tells her how beautiful she looks before he takes her to dinner at a restaurant a female friend told him she’d like, he pays the bill and then they walk together ‘accidently’ touching hands as they go. And then there is that one most anticipated moment of the date, the first kiss.
Well, that’s how it should go. In fact, gone are the days where this is even the basic set up of a date. You’ve usually kissed the first time you met in some grimy club where neither of you could really see the other and had sex before knowing their full name. 
So where did the romance go? Has it just disappeared or are we pushing against it. In my case, perhaps it is me that is avoiding romance. I have a few rules when dating someone new, firstly, the first date is never dinner, only drinks. In fact, I only ever really commit to dinner when I know that I could sit through a few hours without running out of things to say. Secondly, you always have an escape plan with your friends. Yes, perhaps it is a little clichéd but it’s smart and you should always have one.
So with an attitude like this, can we really complain that romance is slipping away? With more and more women swearing off men and doing everything within their power to avoid falling for someone at the first hurdle, romance seems to have gone on strike. But do we do deserve it if we are not going to put ourselves out there?
The other day I was sat in the pub and there was a couple in front of me who appeared to be on a first date. They seemed to be getting on well and chatting but there was a certain degree of awkwardness about them.
Next thing I know they are both looking over the woman’s iPhone, so I assumed they had managed to save the conversation by showing pictures of family, or an event they were talking about or something funny. To my surprise, after smiling over the phone for a while, I watched the guy sit back in his chair while she continued tapping her phone. So naturally, I sent a spy to ‘casually’ walk past to see what she was doing. Sure enough, on her iPhone, in the midst of what could only be the first of very few dates, she was playing games. I couldn’t believe it, is this what romance has come to?
A few days later I saw the demon iPhone strike again. This time at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Possibly one of the nicest places to be around Christmas time, especially at night when you are surrounded by pretty lights, Christmas songs, German market stalls and other lovely things. And there they were, a young couple walking side by side ignoring each other completely with their heads down glued to their iPhones.
After more talks with friends, I was told another story that places further doubt on the sanctity of romance. She told me of a couple she knew who recently went on holiday and to ensure that they paid the same amount towards spending money they put the same amount into a ‘kitty’ every morning. On this particular occasion, they were £5 short of what they needed for a dinner bill so the guy put the extra in, only to clarify afterwards “remember that I have put that extra in so you will need to put the same in tomorrow”. Talk about taking any spark or excitement out of a relationship! I’m guessing any flowers she will be receiving he will probably be asking her to pay half towards.
Avoid the conversation of money… at all costs.
It seems romance is out of the picture without any help from us. But there are still some of us who push against romance, for our own sakes at least. But here is a girl who is highly unsusceptible to romance…
Waking up from a heavy night is a painful experience in itself and when waking up remembering you may have made many mistakes the night before can add to that suffering. The situation can only get worse when that mistake is texting you asking you to meet up for drinks later that day.
Not only did she not remember his name, and whatever he was saved in her phone as could certainly be no new addition to The Big Book Of Names, she was quite uncertain that she would even recognise him. So when he text saying he was waiting at what was sure to be a male-crowded bar, turning around and bailing on the whole thing seemed like the most sensible plan. However, the shots must have been working their wicked ways inside her as she proceeded to enter the bar and to her absolute relief, his face prompted some recognition (or screaming flashback).
The perfect gentleman and “quite hot actually”, she noted points on his side as he bought her a drink and they started talking pleasantly.  She went on to tell me that in fact, she went on to talk, as he spoke no more than two words, and that was only to agree with whatever she had said, offering no opinion of his own and continuing to stare into her eyes as if they had known each other forever… “it was horrendous”. Strike 1. The date continued into the standard questions heard on a first date, “what music do you like?” “what’s your favourite film” etc. This in turn took them onto the topic of comedy and humour, to which she contributed that she didn’t really find “silly” humour that funny. She then went on to tell me his justification for this agreement was that his favourite actor was “Jim Carey”… “Can you get much sillier than that?!” Strike 2. Arms spread out to emphasise her disbelief with his remark, she managed to swipe her glass of wine across the table, which then upended into his lap. Strike 3. The conversation furthered to him asking her what humour she enjoyed, to which she answered that she preferred more dark humour, “you know sarcasm, banter, like dead baby jokes…”  Silence.  STRIKE 100000000. To make matters worse, he appeared to be looking completely blank and plainly terrified at the phrase she had just used. Apparently, wherever he was from, the epidemic that is “dead baby jokes” had not reached the ears of the citizens and the phrase isn’t one that is welcomed in everyday conversation. It was safe to say that it led this date from uncomfortable with turbulence, to tragic train wreck. Call off the search– there are no survivors. 
But can it be said that this was her fault? Maybe it was because she just wasn’t that into him, therefore any romantic attempts he makes towards her will simply be defined in the same way I define the 8 dashes of Tabasco sauce in this cocktail, cringe-worthy, painful and entirely unnecessary.
I’d like to think romance isn’t dead. But while you’re looking for the ones that take your breath away, you’re bound to come across some flat-liners, so laugh about them and don’t forget to tell your friends so they can write about it!