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The loveless state of modern romance


With all the changes modern life is bringing us, here’s one that makes me sad: romance is dying.
Here are some interesting romance trends, as reported in CNN health:
– The percentage of Americans who don’t have a steady partner is up 50% since 1986.
– Americans are less likely to have sex than at any point since 1989.
– Fewer Americans are celebrating Valentine’s Day now than they did at the end of the 2000s.
Psychology Today reports that millennials between the age of 27 and 42 are “resisting entering into serious relationships because they may involve love.”
“With many millennials up to their ears in college debt and children of divorced parents, love is often perceived by members of that generation as a luxury they cannot afford, or as a foolish enterprise on which to embark,” says Psychology Today.
It’s heartbreaking to see so many people so cynical at such a young age. Their lack of hopefulness is costing them so many opportunities, including the opportunity to experience lasting love.
Pursuing lasting love is risky. It means you must open yourself up to the possibility of tremendous hurt.
But as the great poet Tennyson wrote, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Love is one of the strongest feelings or emotions a human can know, yet strong feelings have been on the outs since the early 1970s, according to Manhattan Institute scholar Kay S. Hymowitz.
A Wall Street Journal article she wrote in 1995, notes Psychology Today, argues that strong feelings, such as love, became frowned upon as far back as the early 1970s, partly as a result of the feminist movement.
Terms such as “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” “dating” and “commitment” started losing favor, as they limited one’s personal freedom.
Fast forward to 2024 and the “rigid” past in which couples courted with the end goal of marriage has given way to a meaningless hookup culture that robs individuals of experiencing a deep, lasting, highly-satisfying connection with another human being.
We need only examine modern love songs to see how well the hookup culture is working out.
Consider the lyrics to Dean Martin’s 1953 hit song, “That’s Amore.”
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
That’s amore
When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine
That’s amore
The longing for an innocent, romantic love was very strong in 1953, when my mother and father were courting — their love story still fills their offspring with tremendous joy and satisfaction.
How do Dino’s innocent, hopeful lyrics compare with those of modern love songs? Let’s take a look at Billboard’s top three “Hot 100 Songs” for 2023:
Number 1: “Last Night,” by Morgan Wallen, shares the details of a whiskey-fueled argument a fellow had with his girlfriend, who slammed the door in his face on the way out.
Number 2: “Flowers,” by Miley Cyrus, is about a woman who leaves her man and convinces herself she doesn’t need him because she can hold her own hand and love herself better than he can.
Number 3: In “Kill Bill,” by SZA, a woman plots to kill her ex and vows that his new girlfriend is going to be next!
Well, there you have it.
Modern love songs capture well the sorry state of romance in 2024.
And now you know why the death of romance is making me so sad.

Copyright 2024 Tom Purcell, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.