“Whatever happened to romance?”  I asked this very question on Twitter today.


‘God’ (not sure that’s her real name) replied with a resounding YES, romance IS dead … and a few others echoed her sentiments. All rather depressing.


I had posed the question from a philosophical POV more than anything … more of a ponderment if you will of whether people are romantic with each other any more. It has been a long time since I’ve been in a relationship so I honestly can’t remember what it’s like. (Yes, yes, woe is me.)


It’s something I often think about but particularly today as I was approached on a dating site by a young man (28) who, in his opening gambit, explained that he had recently come out of a 4 year relationship, and I quote … “ie. swinging and cuckolding” … and that at times, he may ask for photos, (not the type on Facebook).”


This is how he introduced himself to me.


Whatever happened to: “Hi, my name’s Bob, fancy chatting?”


I’m sure he was/is a lovely bloke. I’m sure someone, somewhere thinks that this is a perfectly acceptable way to address a woman in an introductory message, after all we’re talking online dating here.  And if he’s into that shit … fill your boots sunshine, seriously!  I’m in no way judging your sexual preferences.


However, picture this scene:


You’re in a bar, or at Waitrose/Lidl* (delete as appropriate) buying your meal for one, and a guy makes eye contact with you, and you smile at each other, and you think he’s cute, and he obviously think’s you’re gorgeous. So eventually he comes over. It probably takes a lot of courage.  You might think he’ll ask you for the time, or pretend he knows you or, a long shot, he might offer to buy you a drink (or garlic bread to go with your microwave lasagne) … but instead, he says he’s a swinger and he might like to ask you for explicit photographs.


What would you say?


You see my point?


Why is online so very different to real life? Why are the rules completely different?


I could write a book about the messages I’ve received during my time dating online. A lot are graphic … what they’d like to do to me etc. I normally ask if they’d kiss their Mum with that mouth then block them, but is it any wonder that I find myself asking questions like ‘whatever happened to romance?’ when this is my experience of dating?


A lot of friends (that just want the best for me no doubt), remind me that love happens when you’re not looking for it. They mean well. But none of them are single and it’s oh so easy to judge from the comfort of a relationship.


But it’s probably THE worst thing you can say to someone that’s single and frustrated with the dating scene.


But here’s the thing … I’m not desperate for love to come into my life again, I’m actually fairly laissez faire about it (contrary to what you may think as a regular reader of this blog), but are people really naive enough to think that someone is just going to come and knock on my door and be my perfect man?


Nope.  I have to take at least some responsibility for finding a partner … there’s no point leaving these things to fate.





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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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  1. it’s just so bloody hard work tho!
    So much easier to not look for it!I’m currently running away from trouble, and yes… it always seems to find me… but…
    Oh who am I kidding… Romance is not dead… It’s jsut very hard to find… It kinda hides… like I do! 😉

  2. THIS!!! *jumps up and down* This, this, this! With bells on! Why is ok to send these awful messages to people you have never met?! I got asked what I’ve been doing for sex all this time by a guy I don’t know! Who asks that?!
    Oh I sincerely hope romance isn’t dead, but I think it may be on the way out by the looks of the dating scene!

  3. I find it odd how much more comfortable people are in general behind a screen rather than in real life (and how quickly disagreements can turn into full on spats with things said that wouldn’t likely be said in person).

    I don’t think romance is dead, I do think it is different for everyone, depending on the stage of a relationship. For example, I have been married for 7 years this month. Romance to me is my husband doing little things for me, insisting I have some time to myself each morning or taking our son out when I feel a bit stressed. To me, it’s romantic because it is a sign of his love and respect for me and social media would have me believe that not many people do that for each other. Naturally, if I was dating, I wouldn’t expect the same. That said, I would not be impressed if a first approach was the same as you received!

    1. I would say that that’s my idea of romance too (once in a relationship) … it’s just hard getting to that point when the first message is ‘can I kiss your feet?’ I kid you not. I don’t think I’m asking for too much, do you? 🙂

  4. You must be psychic, because I was thinking of writing about something similar, but from a twitter perspective, as I have no experience of online dating. I don’t think romance is dead yet, but I think love is an endangered species. It all depends on your definition of it though. (Sorry if I’ve posted this multiple times.)

    1. Hey Andie … they don’t call me Septic Kate for nothing! My conclusion is that romance isn’t dead once you’re in a relationship (at least I hope!) but social media and online dating has meant that perhaps it’s all just become rather impersonal and people feel they can say and do whatever they like if they’re behind a keyboard. I still believe in love but you’re right, it’s very, VERY rare … and those that have it are extremely lucky.

  5. Even when you clearly signpost your profile and say “NOT LOOKING FOR CASUAL HOOKUPS’ they still insist on getting in touch with their indecent proposals… it’s just blooming rude!

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