Traditional Acts Of Romance Make Me Cringe

I hate romance. Okay, hate is a strong word, but the mere idea of a guy placing candles around a rose-scented bath for me while love songs play in the background make me want to shrivel up and die inside. It’s not that I am ungrateful, it’s that it’s gross AF.

  1. It’s all just so cliche. Romance shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all concept at all, but Hollywood has sold us the idea that all women love being showered with flowers and chocolates and that worming their way into our hearts and pants is as simple as taking us out for a candlelit dinner. Yawn. I’m sorry but we’re all totally unique, so when a guy attempts traditional romance-by-numbers, I just want to do a Forrest Gump and run.
  2. It’s often used to win points. What’s the motive here really? Are these romantic gestures being used as a symbol of love or are these guys trying to win points with me? I’ve heard so many guys in the past boast about how romantic they are, like the ultimate goal is to win a medal (or, you know, get laid). Forcing me to appreciate him through corny acts he regurgitates mindlessly from terrible rom-coms is not going to win me over, ever.
  3. It makes me feel obligated. Big romantic gestures just put pressure on me to either tell the guy how amazing/thoughtful/kind he is or to strip naked and get to it. I don’t want to feel that pressure. Feeling like you owe someone something is definitely not romantic.
  4. Grand gestures feel fake. It’s just a bit contrived, isn’t it? Teddy bears holding hearts, chocolates, rose petals… just stop it! Unless a guy has a serious passion for stuffed animals (in which case, uh, maybe we shouldn’t be dating anyway) or is a prize-winning horiticulturalist, there’s little to no thought going into these gestures so they’re meaningless.
  5. Poems are self-indulgent. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’m not a big fan of love poems. I think they’re cheesy and incredibly self-indulgent and they make me want to cringe. Some thoughts are probably best left in your diary, dude.
  6. Romantic getaways are my version of hell. Weekend breaks are awesome—I love to travel and getting to experience new places with my boyfriend is the best feeling ever… unless that weekend is pre-labeled as a “romantic break” and then it’s my idea of hell. Pressure to bring special clothes, pressure to buy expensive underwear, pressure to find a ‘romantic’ restaurant, and don’t even get me started on rose petals on the bed. Whoever thought that was a good idea? Ugh.
  7. A guy staring deep into my eyes makes me feel violated. While I appreciate a guy who can make decent eye contact, I certainly do NOT appreciate a long, lingering stare that makes me feel violated. Don’t try to enter my soul through my eyes—what’s in there would scare the hell out of most guys anyway.
  8. Public displays of affection are just wrong. You know those public marriage proposals that go viral on the internet with hundreds of dancing strangers, a Bruno Mars soundtrack, and a poor, unsuspecting other half? They make me want to projectile vomit. There’s something deeply cringeworthy when people desperately need to show the world how utterly in love they are. If you’re truly in love, shouldn’t it just be an intensely wonderful feeling between two people?
  9. Knowing how much effort a guy has put in to be romantic is anything but. When a guy goes out of his way to create a romantic day or evening for me, I just feel awkward about it. I don’t know what to do with myself or how to act and for that reason alone, this makes me hate the whole idea of romance. Showing someone that you love them or care about them shouldn’t be difficult but so many guys break into a cold sweat and feel they have to subscribe to the movie-version of romance and this is so unsexy. I don’t want to feel awkward about a guy feeling awkward. On the other hand, I also don’t want to feel angry about a guy feeling smug. That romance checklist just serves to make most people feel uncomfortable. It’s time for cliched chivalry to GTFO.
  10. The little things matter. I’m not a cold-hearted robot. It’s pretty clear that I have an allergy to traditional acts of romance but I still appreciate the little things. The little everyday acts count more than the fake grand gestures. When a guy knows I am feeling depressed and comes home with pizza and a few beers to cheer me up, that’s more romantic to me than anything. When we treat ourselves to a weekend break but end up goofing around instead of holding hands across a dinner table then that’s the money shot, the thing that makes me warm inside. Seriously, these thoughtful acts that guys don’t even notice matter more to me than anything. I’m just that kind of girl—I’d take a cactus over a bunch of red roses any day.
Rebecca Lori is a freelance writer and artist based in England. She spends as much time as she can travelling around Europe and finds inspiration for her writing, art and jewellery design everywhere: in the woods, by the sea and down the pub where friends and strangers tell her their most hair-raising stories!