Love versus romance
Are you a hopeless romantic? Do you get excited by the idea of falling in love with the man or woman of your dreams? Does watching a romcom or a period drama on TV make you cry? Or are you someone who thinks romance is based on an idealised view of reality that doesn't really exist? Well, you could be right!
I'm no romantic and more of a realist - taking a more practical approach to love - maybe that's why I never had many girlfriends! But if you really are expecting the kind of love that makes your heart flutter with happiness you may be dissapointed.
Our expectation of what romance is, probably originated from the Romantic period - an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe in the 18th Century. The notion of falling in love, getting married and living happily ever after were culturally held ideas formed during this period and still exist today.
Of course there's nothing wrong with liking the idea of romance; it makes us feel good - but we must be careful not to use it as a benchmark for our own relationships. This idealised version of love leaves out the nitty-gritty of real-life relationships. There's usually work, finances and other stresses of everyday life to deal with. You can't expect romantic gestures like a bunch of red roses every day - there are bills to pay!
Many popular love stories end at the point where the characters get together or tie the knot. That puts the focus on finding someone special. But very few show us how to keep that perfect catch over a long period of time. A relationship is hard work. It's frustrating, messy and can be emotionally damaging.
If you're still convinced romance isn't dead, how will you ever find it? Historian and TV presenter Lucy Worsley thinks nowadays, any idea of romance is dying because it has become "too easy" to meet new people via dating apps. She told the BBC the "slow exquisite torture of love in Jane Austen novels no longer existed in the age of Grindr and Tinder [apps]."
Perhaps romance is best left to the movies - a fantasy that makes us feel good - and instead concentrate on finding a good and healthy relationship with its ups and downs but one that is full of love. Do you believe romance really exists?
a hopeless romantic
makes your heart flutter
tie the knot
ups and downs