You can't really blame some modern men and women for rolling their eyes at the idea of old-fashioned romance. The phrase brings to mind antiquated images of dramatic gestures, overly poetic assertions and a sort of starry-eyed obliviousness that most contemporary lovers find pretty silly and unrealistic.

The classic knight-in-shining-armor story can make for a fun diversion occasionally, but prevailing wisdom has for the most part left old-fashioned romance for dead; a charming but absurd remnant of times when people were less worldly and more gullible.

Real Romance is Subtle, Not Flashy

But is real, lasting romance truly dead in the modern world, or has a cynical pop culture just made us all think that romantic relationships are on the decline? Here's a newsflash that thousands of couples who are in a long-term, monogamous relationship have already figured out: old-fashioned romance is as present today as it ever has been... and the theatrical, melodramatic type of romance you see in movies and read about in books never really existed in the first place.

That's not to say that romance isn't a very real, very powerful force that can open up amazing new avenues of contentment for couples. But the real power of old-fashioned romance has always been in its subtlety and consistency... not in the ridiculous, over-the-top gestures that pop culture wants you to think constitutes being romantic.

In fact, the very reason that some people think old-fashioned romance is dead --- because they just don't see it around them all the time --- stems from the fact that real romance, by its nature, is a very private, very unpublicized affair. And ironically, the flashy, truckload-of-roses type of romantic gestures that modern media wrongly promotes as yesterday's norm is exactly the type of stuff that can quickly lead to the end of a relationship if you depend too much on it.

Are You Trying to Promote Your Relationship... Or Yourself?

Don't get me wrong; dramatic productions that declare your love for another person can be wonderful. But anyone who thinks that proposing to someone on live television will produce an unbreakable relationship is sorely mistaken. Bringing your sweetheart a truckload of flowers on one special day is fine, but real old-fashioned romance is better illustrated by bringing them one flower once a week for the rest of your life.

Thanks to the in-your-face, self-indulgent nature of today's diverse media, a whole new generation has emerged that thinks that romantic relationships are only validated if affection is shouted over the airwaves or witnessed by millions. But that kind of flashy, public flaunting isn't what old-fashioned romance is all about.

Real romance is quiet, patient and consistent. When people go out of their way to show the world how romantic their relationship is, it's usually themselves they're trying to promote.

Let Them Think Old-Fashioned Romance is Dead!

So, is true, old-fashioned romance dead in the world? Well, by today's pop-culture standards, the answer is yes. You won't see much real, durable romance on reality television shows or splayed out on a blog for web surfers to dissect. Truly romantic people take satisfaction from romance itself, not from bragging about it. And because real romance is about long-term commitment and dedicating yourself to a relationship that can frequently be difficult, not many people in the immediate-gratification crowd will want much to do with it.

But that's just fine; for those of us who have added old-fashioned romance to our lives, the reward comes in subtle, wonderful ways every day. And the fact that those rewards are private and unpublicized make them even better. Let the pop-culture crowd think that old-fashioned romance is dead. Romantic relationships will continue to blossom all around them, unnoticed, just like they have for thousands of years.

Phil Van Treuren is a professional writer and web entrepreneur from the Cleveland, Ohio area. You can read more about his thoughts on old-fashioned romance on his blog, Romance Tracker. Phil is also the webmaster of a site called Contest Blogger.

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