Last week my co-workers and I were sitting at an airport gate in Chicago, waiting to board a delayed airplane. Our conversation shifted to the topic of men and dating. My friend started reminiscing about the possible best gift she got from her date – a book by her favorite author. Her face lit up with excitement over the fact, that the man was actually listening to what she was saying and that he cared enough to remember and surprise her with such a perfect present! Her story reminded me of building a bookshelf I was gifted once, also on a date. Another time, back in my teenage years, a friend of mine wrote a song for me and even learned how to play a saxophone simply because that’s what he envisioned for the sound of the solo. As me and my friend’s thoughts drifted to the past, our young colleague, freshly out of college, sighed:

“Men… It’s the new era for sure! You guys must have been living on a different planet. I’ve never met anyone as romantic as obviously your dates were! These days I am lucky if the guy texts me back!” she complained.

This sad confession made me wonder what is there for my daughters to look forward to and it made me think about relationships in general. It is so important to keep the spark going between two people! Social media is full of “romantic memes” and “cute quotes” and #relationshipgoals! But what is truly behind it? Long evenings of staring into computer or smartphone screens? Don’t forget to mark your status – social media will help you narrow it down: “Single”? Or rather “It’s complicated”? Some days I tolerate this modern technology dictatorship, other times I find it sickening.

What I see definitely lacking these days is a good conversation between people.  Instead of sharing the joys of every-day life, we tend to spy on our loved ones on social media, checking out what they liked, whose picture they commented on and who is in their group of “friends” or internet stalkers.  looking at their phoneWe focus on reading and seeing but what happened to listening?

I asked my fiancé to take me on a date. While we want to go see a movie, I’m hoping that we will be able to sneak in some time to sit down and talk over a cup of coffee. I refuse to give in to the whole “Netflix and Chill” movement and keep the romance alive instead.

Here are a few tips to keep it interesting: Flirting Young African American Woman

  • Go on a date
  • Surprise each other with a small but thoughtful gift (flowers, favorite pastry or dessert, new office pen…)
  • Listen to each other and try to remember the highlights of the conversation (watch for things the other person is passionate about)
  • Help each other with every-day tasks (chores, groceries, refueling the car…)
  • Plan a trip and talk about exciting places you want to go to together
  • Sign up for a fun class (fitness, dance, cooking… there are many discounted activities on Groupon)

Don’t be afraid to be romantic!!!