Yeah, I watched the season finale of The Bachelorette. Yes, I got a little teary eyed when Jef (who I knew would win) proposed. I even watched the “After the Final Rose” show… I was a little obsessed this year. Turns out, so are millions of other women. Is it because we get to live vicariously through other people? Is it because the men are cute? Is it because we like drama? Yes, but I also think it’s because we are watching something that lacks in our relationships – and it fascinates us.
In an age where you can find a potential husband on the internet, have complete conversations via text message, and discuss weekend plans over email, romance has been lost. Not saying I don’t value these technological tools, I did find my boyfriend on the internet, he makes my whole day when he texts me good morning, and I love seeing his name in my inbox, but I also daydream about the old fashioned sort of stuff.
I think women like the idea of the bachelorette because we want amorousness and butterflies in our stomach. These couples go on exotic dates; the men say hopelessly romantic things, they talk about their (gasp!) future together, they bring flowers and in the end there is a huge diamond ring. Never in the show do you see someone check their cell phone mid-dinner or flip on the tv to get Sports Center updates. There is hand holding and talking over a glass of wine. There are walks on the beach and picnics in the woods. I know “normal” couples don’t do these sorts of things on a regular basis, but what if we could get back to the basics, take a break from technology, unplug and get to know someone?
My first date with my now boyfriend was 5 hours long. We literally sat at a bar, drank beer and talked for 5 hours. It was one of the best dates I’ve been on. He didn’t keep his cell phone sitting next to him on the bar; his attention was 100% on me. He looked me in the eye when he talked. He was confident and didn’t need a crutch to make the date go well. It was perfect. And several of our other dates following were the same thing. But then life sets in, and you get comfortable with someone. We hang out on the couch more and go to dinner less. There is more tv watching than face-to-face talking, and pretty soon I’m are wondering what the heck happened? I realized the other night that my boyfriend sees me more in my lounge pants and an oversized tee-shirt than he does in regular clothes…hot. I feel like I’ve gotten lazy with him. I take for granted the times he’s over – letting them fly by while each of us is doing something completely separate from one another. While I think it’s very important for each of us to have our own hobbies, I should be taking advantage of the times I do have him around.
Eventually (hopefully sooner than later) I want to marry my best friend. I want to marry the man who knows me so well, he could write my life story. I’m not going to find that sitting in my lounge pants watching Dexter. I’m going to find that with more conversation and sharing experiences together. My cell phone will always be around (even though most the time I can’t find it) and you can record tv now. There’s no excuse not to be more present when you’re with the person you care about.
So I challenge you to turn off your cell phone, close your laptop, flip off the tv and be present. There are countless times I wish I could have had that opportunity with loved ones I no longer have. I don’t care to make the same mistakes twice. So, grab a drink and find a comfy spot and sit down and talk to the person you care about. Cheers!