Dictionary.com defines romance as I'm just kidding, but I had you going there for a second, didn't I?
I meant to write that beginning as a joke, but defining romance as "I'm just kidding, but I had you going there for a second there, didn't I" sounds weirdly accurate from a cynical perspective.
I've been thinking about the idea of romance a lot, lately, and it's come to my attention that it's a rather vague idea and word. I'm not entirely sure what to do with it.
I can understand "romance" as an artistic and literary movement, and I get "romanticization" as a problem with a blurred and fuzzy perception of more serious things -- but romance, as it equates to relationships? -- forget it.
I suppose I could spin some hasty poems about "her face glistening like a dew drop on a rose" or "his voice singing my name like a chorus of morning doves" or "their fingers caressing my skin like soft waves on warm summer sand" but none of those things mean anything without context. Romance is an idea, and it's an idea presently defined by societal and cultural norms and by capitalist shit-posting about what products to pile on those we love. (and I'm pretty certain at this point that capitalism is just shit-posting ads at my generation because they're not entirely sure what makes us all tick)
So if products and words don't necessarily make romance -- what does? Is it affection? Holding someone or touching someone or kissing someone? Is it chivalry? (no it's definitely not chivalry get that crap out of my face)
A lot of sites I've browsed describe romance as a feeling -- an elation and a change in usual cognitive function or a deep love, but I feel as though all of these changes can exist and be described in ways other than romance. You can be in love with someone without romance, and you can experience elation without romance just from affection and intimacy alone, which I don't think necessarily play into this idea of romance.
Romance to me seems more like an illusion, a stained-glass reflection of the reality of feeling, whether it be love or just infatuation. I could be wrong.
I'm stumped, kids, and I'm trying to figure it out. What in the hell is romance supposed to be?