Bring back the romance because we “want it that way”

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Melissa Hughes

It’s tearin’ up my heart to hear these lies.

“Every time I breathe I take you in, and my heart beats again; baby I can’t help it; you keep me drowning in your love.”

As a child of the ’90s, these Backstreet Boys lyrics set the stage for what I expected my adult relationships to be like. I later found out they were almost as big a lie as Sleeping Beauty telling us how she met her prince and fell in love once upon a dream. Long gone are the days of surprise flowers, doors being held and love letters being sent. We live in a time where the death of romance smells as strong as Wilkes-Barre’s gutter sewage and swiping right is the new compliment.

For those of us who still believe in the possibility of romance, have Disney movies and boy bands tainted the modern-day idea of what romance should be? Or are there still guys out there willing to put their coats over a puddle so you don’t ruin your shoes and tell you that they cherish you?

Over the weekend, I took a road trip with friends. On the way there, we found ourselves singing along to the greatest lies ever told: boy band love lyrics. With each romantic word, my heart melted. I sang along to every song, each note still turning my 30-year-old heart into a romantic ball of mush. When the Backstreet Boys told me they’d never break my heart and that their love was all they had to give, I remembered eighth-grade Melissa believing them, convinced that this is how men in love really acted.

It was at this very moment that my friend started telling me about her recent hook-ups and how the most romantic gesture she could remember as of late was a guy telling her that her boobs looked great in the shirt she was wearing. Guys think calling you “Bae” can replace calling you back. Or that being there for the party is more important than being there to help you through tough times. The outlook on prince charming sweeping you off your feet was becoming quite dismal.

Bring it back.

Bring back romantic gestures, sweet texts to wake up to (which, I suppose, equates to the modern-day love letter). Bring back flowers for no reason and feelings in the heart, not just the loins. For those girls like me who believed Justin Timberlake when he said, “this I promise you,” men of the world, don’t let us down.

When it comes to having a relationship full of romance, I want it that way, because you’ve got the right stuff baby.