The Death of Suspense

I blame the 24-hour network news, Twitter, Facebook, and the general instant gratification world in which we live. The idea that we can get everything on-demand, at the exact moment that we want it has translated into areas in which it is anathema to our best interests. One of those places is politics, but I’ll save that for another post.

The area in which our on-demand world is causing me pain today is in our romantic lives. It seems that there is a general expectation that when we identify something, or someone, we want, the immediate impulse is to let them know, in no uncertain terms, of our intentions and expect the same. Making the leap to the physical aspects seems to come earlier and earlier.

And maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s the very strange place in which I find myself, newly single for one of the longer periods of time in the past two years and bound and determined to remain that way for a while. Maybe this nostalgia is a symptom of my self-imposed detox from all things relationship related. But I don’t think so.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve heard someone gush about a look that lasted just a bit too long with an attractive man across a crowded room. Since I’ve met someone that seemed to appreciate those incredible, heart-stopping moments before what you know will be an amazing first kiss as much as the kiss itself. Since someone has considered an amazing conversation as much an aphrodesiac as an amazing make-out session.

I long for the days of Humphrey Bogart. For the days when a meaningful look actually meant something. When the sign of a good date wasn’t the amount of money spent, but the thought put into it. Anyone can make a reservation at an expensive restaurant; not everyone can take the time to plan a day-long adventure incorporating things both participants like and things that are new experiences.

I do not mean to lay the blame for this squarely on the doorsteps of the opposite of sex. I take a fair share of the blame for this myself. At some point, I stopped appreciating these things and stopped expecting them. And when they’re not expected, how can you be upset when they fail to materialize? When you stop appreciating them, how can you hope to identify these traits in someone else?

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