“Romance,” this mystical, magical thing that everyone gushes on about, is a lie. It’s something we’ve made up to explain why we all want to jump into bed with each other constantly and to keep the hope alive that there’s something more wonderful to look forward to in life than just work and paying bills. But let’s be real here — roses and chocolates have a whole lot more to do with consumerism than they do love, and most love poems and songs are just awkward and overwrought. Ugh. I know this is probably an unpopular opinion, but someone has to say it: romance as we know it is corny AF and totally cringe-worthy.

Real life is not a rom-com. Did you think that the notion of romance just popped into your head one day? Think again. Since we were young girls, we started slowly learning what ‘true love’ and ‘romance’ should look like. All those cheesy rom-coms with Meg Ryan and the like weren’t just entertaining us, they were brainwashing us. Now, we think that if a guy does anything short of singing his declaration of love outside our bedroom window, he doesn’t really care. We, as a society, need to get a grip.

I value conversation that’s real AF. Most people don’t talk in flowery expressions and OTT language, and thank god for that. Every phrase he utters doesn’t have to be poetic and loving. I’d seriously rather have a guy who can have a frank, honest talk with me than some creep who proclaims his undying love for me in every breath.  It’s completely disingenuous.

Face it — romance is fake. Romance has absolutely nothing to do with genuine feelings. If a guy buys us a bouquet of flowers, it’s usually because he knows that’s what he has to do for us to drop our pants. It’s like guys know all the buttons to press to get us into bed… and it tends to work every time.

Men get a raw deal and you know it. Hey, I’m not saying that this is easy for guys either. Don’t get me wrong; I honestly believe that they get a raw deal in all of this. Society expects them to be this suave, cool, charmingly romantic guy. When they fail to live up to those ridiculously high standards, it’s gotta be tough. I’d rather not continue to perpetuate a ridiculous idea that doesn’t really matter in the end anyway.

Grand gestures are usually an effort to gloss over a bigger problem. When a guy screws up in some despicable way, he knows that there’s one easy way out. If romantic movies have taught us anything, it’s that everything can be fixed with the help of a large romantic gesture.  Whether it’s a flash mob, a viral video or an unexpected sign in the airport arrivals lounge, there are loads of options. That should theoretically make us fall to our knees from such overwhelming passion and start frantically pulling at the guy’s zipper when he does this. No thanks.

I’m not a freakin’ damsel in distress. The absolute worst thing about the idea of romance is how it portrays each gender. Men are these heroic specimens of sheer masculinity, while us ladies are stuck being dumbass damsels who need saving. I refuse to conform to that BS — and so should everyone else.

PDAs make me feel awkward. You may well disagree with me on this one, but I don’t care. Displays of affection are a private thing that you enjoy in the comfort of your own home. They aren’t something that you display out in public for the whole world to ogle as you walk by. It’s awkward for other people and it’s awkward for me. Now, let go of my damn hand.

I’m not a prize — don’t treat me like one. While we’re on the subject of PDAs, I’m onto some guys’ games. They’re not holding our hands or kissing us because they want to make us feel special; they’re figuratively marking their territory so other men know to stay away. Ever noticed how they up their PDA game when there’s another hot guy in the room? Yeah, that’s so not a coincidence.

Romance steals your independence. Once you start buying into this whole romantic fairytale deal, there’s one key thing that you will lose instantly — your independence. There’s no room for an independent lady in the romantic spectrum. Women are meant to be weaker, poorer, and dumber than guys. That’s why we need a strong, rich, clever man to come save us, right? Gross.

It’s the everyday things that count (duh!). I don’t want to state the obvious here but I will. It’s not those cheesy romantic gestures that mean the most when it comes to a relationship — it honestly is the everyday stuff that matters. When a guy loves you, treats you with respect, and is supportive of your decisions on a daily basis, that’s romantic AF — and it’s not a whole lot to ask.

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