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Are Chicagoans really anti-romance?

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Jessica Downey

Coffee addict. The serial single girl. Jessica will give you the what’s what on single life and dating in Chicago.

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I recently read an article in Chicago Magazine that talked about how Chicagoans aren't really romantic. According to the article, Chicagoans do not think that poetry, flowers, restaurants, snowstorms or views to be particularly romantic. It seems that things like sunsets, ice skating, or candles don't woo us all that much either.

I kind of feel like I need to throw my two cents in here. Who says that Chicagoans aren't romantic in their own way? I mean the only types of romance listed in the article were the purely conventional kind. Don't you think it's a little unfair to say that we aren't romantic at all just because we aren't into the typical ideas of romance? That doesn't mean we don't have alternative ideas of our own.

Let's take a look.

Poetry
Ok this one isn't so bad. Though I have to say most of it is highly cheesy and borders on lame. Instead I would rather have a little post-it stuck to my mirror telling me to have a good day or a middle of the day text from a guy saying he's thinking about me.

Flowers
Definitely have to disagree here. Flowers are totally romantic. Sure, they don't last and maybe that makes them seem like a waste of money. Though I prefer daises and actually you can even pick them (read that as you can still be cheap and romantic).

Restaurants
I tend to agree here, but see that's the thing with letting other people create the mood for you. Personally, I say create the mood yourself. Get take out or cook dinner. Thrown in some candles and eat on the floor.

Snowstorms
Well, obviously. I mean really, who feels all that romantic like walking through the slush and hurdling over puddles (half of which you miss and then totally soak your boot) to get to the bus stop only to wait for 15 minutes for the CTA while the snowy wind blows in your face. Yeah, I don't care who is waiting for me with what at my destination. All that it took to get me there kind of makes me a little angry at the snow. And if I am angry at it, I have a hard time seeing the romance here. Though the idea of staying in drinking coffee and watching the snow fall (as long as I never have to leave) doesn't sound all bad to me.

Views
Honestly, I can't say that I have ever gone anywhere to see a view on a date. Doesn't that seem a little pointless if you live in Chicago? Let's face it, sure Chicago has some awesome architecture in it's skyline but when you have seen it countless times it tends to loose its luster.

As you can see, I don't really feel that many of these things are all that romantic either. However, I definitely wouldn't say that I am not a romantic person.

So it might not be that Chicagoans aren't romantic, it could be that we just have a different idea of what is involved with romance. Take one of the comments from the article for example. One person said, "What's romantic about a view? I didn't make the scene beautiful for her." Pretty well said, I think. It's not technically the view that isn't romantic to him but more so the fact that he didn't do anything to make it that way.

A little story for you. I went out on a date with a guy who ducked into a sports shop because I was running late. Later, he told me that he found a hat that he really loved and wanted to buy but he opted not to get it because he wanted to make sure he had enough money. Something I have to say is an extremely sweet gesture and definitely romantic to me. Of course, he was able to buy his hat and truth be told I would have bought it for him if he didn't. Kind of seems like a little exchange of some romance there.

Now I know to some people that might seem lame and not romantic at all (which is coincidentally my point). Romance, to me, is something that is out of the ordinary. It is something that takes a little effort and planning. And I am not talking about anything extravagant here (see the post-it example above).

All in all, I have to say that everyone has their own idea of romance and to some we might seem like we aren't a romantic type of city. Maybe we are just a little more realistic about things. For example, snowy nights aren't like what you see on TV and some people need the fire to actually keep warm - not to set the mood. So if that kills the romance, so what. There is no saying we can't find another way to bring it back. And I also have to say that I have a hard time getting all that excited about romance when it's negative whatever degrees outside. Perhaps you should ask us at a better time.

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2 Comments

Stacylogical said:

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I wouldn't necessarily agree with you that Views, Snow, and restaurants are not romantic. In context those things are ABSOLUTELY romantic with the right person at the right time and with the right mindset.

You may be right that Chicagoans don't find these things romantic bc the dating services and matchmakers are making abundant which means that folks are not looking for romance in everyday circumstances.

Jessica Downey said:

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I definitely agree with you that much of romance is about the person and timing. And people have so many different ideas of what is romantic. Thanks for the comment!

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