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Who Took the Romance Out of Dating?
by Susan Dunn

Do you know how to date?

I’m not talking about calling up someone and asking them out. I’m talking about really dating. Romancing the other person.

Whoever took it out needs to put it back in! We need it.

Dating … we set a date for a doctor’s appointment, a tennis game, a court hearing, a wedding. Ah hah!

It implies intention; that something important enough is going to happen that you’ve put in on your calendar, and not just penciled in.

Dating rituals seem to be falling by the wayside, and I’m not sure it’s for the best.

The purpose of dating hasn’t changed, has it? To meet someone of the other sex?

Well that’s what we say, but we’re hoping it will work out, meaning we’ll get along, hit it off, become a couple, enjoy time and kisses together, eventually marrying.

It’s all about possibility. It’s all about mystery. Expectations, met or dashed. Dreams coming true. Love. Romance.

So what are the elements needing to be present?

The first is the time-thing. After all it’s dating, meaning it’s going to go on for a while. I’m reminded of a conversation I heard between a friend of mine, Carrie, and her younger sister. 

We were listening to some song on the radio about anticipation … getting faint at the thought of making love with someone, dying of longing, that sort of thing. “How come that never happened to me?” said Carrie.

“It’s because you always jumped right into bed with them,” said her older sister.

There’s something to be said for letting the tension mount, about letting the other person fantasize for a while.

Meanwhile, build a little illusion. Back in my college days, we actually had co-ed dorms. The guys never saw us with our hair in rollers or without our makeup.

They never saw our messy rooms. No, it wasn’t realistic, but that’s sort of what it’s all about … something nearly perfect, something staged, something special.

After all, there’s a time to experience your knight in shining armor unshaven, with bad breath, farting under the sheets, but it can wait. You have to fall in love with him before you can tolerate these things!

There's no need to worry about realism showing up. There will always be plenty of floors to mop, dirty diapers to change, and spreadsheets to type. It's the fantasy-moments that are in short supply.

A little illusion is part of it. I don’t mean lying about your alcoholism or marital status. I mean making it a little bigger than life.

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