In an age filled with online dating and connection via social media, is romance still on the cards for us? Those generally considered to be a part of Generation Z are people born between 1995 and 2012, in other words, my generation. And though we are not the creators of Bumble, Tinder, and a whole host of other dating apps out there, we are a portion of humans that use them regularly. From sending eye-heart emojis to ‘dropping into someones DM’s’, the actions that are now more commonly considered to be ‘old fashioned’ romantic gestures seem to be few and far between. Are they being fazed out altogether? Is Romance dead for Generation Z?
Rom-Coms: Now, and Then.
Movies like 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s All That, Love Actually and 13 Going on 30 taught me that romantic gestures can be big or small, but it taught me that they are always thoughtful, heartfelt and truly special. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Rebel Wilson’s character in her recent movie Isn’t It Romantic thought so too, till it was pointed out to her that this isn’t exactly realistic. Though she goes through a whole romantic rollercoaster within the film, culminating in (surprise, surprise) her ending up with the man she really loves (after, of course, realizing that she needs to love herself first…), it makes you think. Things are different nowadays. Crazy gestures and romantic declarations just don’t seem to happen.
Are we simply evolving with the times?
Most of the people I know, myself included, spend more time searching for a connection through a dating app than we do creating new ones in real life. AND I HATE IT! Technology is so key to our day to day activities now, our screens grabbing our attention at every turn. Maybe this was to be expected? If we are hoping for more romance in our lives, we certainly aren’t doing much towards creating an environment for it.
But who’s to say that we can’t still be romantic? Generation Z, let’s get it together. Dating apps can be a fantastic way of meeting people, of helping you make that first connection that then allows you to pursue all of your romantic dreams. But that’s the catch, it has to get off of the screen and into the real world. Pursue the face to face date people!
Expectation vs reality.
Clearly, you can already see what I had expected when entering into the world of dating based on my 90’s and early 2000’s rom-com choices… And honestly, there have been times when I’ve been incredibly disappointed by the lack of romance in my life, and times when I’ve been genuinely shocked (in the best way) by the romantic actions of someone else. Though it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, because that just isn’t maintainable, people can and do surprise you. I think so many of us have unfortunately come to experience little to no romance in our lives and thus expect it to always be this way, which is crazy! We call people who believe in the power of love and in romantic gestures ‘hopeless romantics’ – how on earth are they hopeless?! They aren’t buying into some kind of conspiracy, they are searching for the real deal and giving their all which is nothing but admirable. It’s all about showing another human you care, and more importantly that you can care away from the screen. That they are the most important thing to hold, touch, tap (if that’s what you’re into) and keep safe, not your smartphone.
So, is romance really dead for Generation Z?
Honestly, I’m not sure. After asking a variety of my friends this question, I received very mixed but generally positive answers – positive in terms of their hope. One jumped straight in with ‘yes, it’s been dead for a while now and it’s never coming back’ (they were having a particularly hard day when I asked them this question), whereas another responded with ‘nah, I don’t think so…’ (truly groundbreaking stuff). But, what they both followed up their statements with was a cry to someone or something out there to save romance! Generation Z don’t want romance to be dead, so let’s make sure it lives on, because we are the ones who have to keep it alive.