Not into Valentine’s?

“So how many of you are excited to celebrate romance this week?”

That’s the question I asked to a group of 100 singles earlier this week – with a few isolated hands shooting up.  When I asked the opposite (“how many are ready to kiss dating goodbye?”) – heads started nodding as people laughed.

Is romance supposed to be this heart-breaking?  Is this really just how dating is?

I don’t buy it.  Something’s rotten in the state of American romance. And I’m not the only researcher who’s reaching that conclusion.

Dr. Barbara Whitehead, from Rutgers University, writes that the world of romance is “currently undergoing profound change,” citing a “historical upheaval in the long-established mating system” wherein “social forces have changed the timetable and course of love” – leading to a “pervasive sense of romantic discontent.”[i]  Dr. Wendy Walsh highlights a cultural “shake-up of love’s playing board that no one could have foreseen”[ii] – illustrated in this comment by historian Stephanie Coontz:  “The current rearrangement of both married and single life is in fact without historical precedent…Everywhere relations between men and women are undergoing rapid and at times traumatic transformation. In fact…the relations between men and women have changed more in the past thirty years than they did in the previous three thousand.”[iv]

So how do we adjust to these far-reaching cultural shifts?  Is there anything we can do to neutralize the impact of the societal expectations on relationships?  If so, how can we boldly act to preserve romance and sustain the health of our long-term relationships?

After interviewing nearly 100 singles and couples,  I’ve learned a few things that might help – with my findings now available on Amazon in both e-book or hard copy.    

If you know anyone who’s not quite ready to celebrate Valentine’s, maybe he or should would appreciate a bigger conversation about romance?

[i] Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Why There Are No Good Men Left: The Romantic Plight of the New Single Woman (New York:  Broadway Books, 2003), 8, 11, 19, 97.

[ii] Wendy Walsh, The 30-day Love Detox (New York:  Rodale, 2013), 24.

[iv] Emphasis mine.  Stephanie Coontz, Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage (New York: Viking Books, 2005), 2, 4. 


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