Romantically Challenged


I think I may have a serious problem, and I don’t think I am the only woman to have it.

No, I’m not pregnant. No, I don’t have any sort of STI.

I am just romantically challenged.

I literally repel romance. For some reason, if a guy comes around with flowers, or gushy text messages with emo lyrics, or, heaven forbid, shares his feelings, I don’t know how to react. I’m either shocked, freaked out, or just plain confused.

One of my ex’s is a guitar player and I loved going to his shows around town. All was good and fine when I was just a common spectator enjoying his music. But when he wrote a song for me and played it for me, I thought I was in a bad-romance-novel-turned-even-worse-movie that would never end. I didn’t know where to look or put my hands. Should I smile? Do I fake a tear? Do I saw awww while he continues to strum away on the guitar and spew out lyrics about love? I had my own personal Jack Johnson and was turned off by him.

But why? Shouldn’t I be happy, joyous, or even giddy? Doesn’t every girl want a boy to bring her flowers for no reason and tell her how he feels?

Well, the idea of it sounds wonderful to me, but in reality it kinda makes me queasy. I mean, why do we have to hold hands all the damn time?

I think women today, including me, are simply desensitized by romance. Many women are just products of our generation of technology, instant gratification, and too many romantic comedies. Maybe I’m romantically challenged because I am so accustomed to the anti-romantic relationships of today where Facebook messages replace phone calls, text messages replace love letters, and hooking-up replaces dates.

There is no more courting in college – where you truly get to know a guy before hooking up, where he pursues you without expectations, and is honest about his romantic intentions. Ok, so maybe there is some, but certainly not enough. And maybe never experiencing it is what makes it so weird when we do.

This is not to say that it is simply the fault of today’s boys out there for my total romance intolerance. I am just as responsible. I am just as eager to hook up with a guy before I really know him, or chug beers with him at frat parties and drunkenly stumble into his room. Of course I am romantically challenged – I’m not giving any guys a chance to be romantic. And so many of us college ladies are the same way.

Are we setting our expectations low so its easier for guys to impress us? Have most guys evolved past the point of flowers or romance so that when once in a blue moon a guy is romantic it’s considered creepy?

I don’t know the answers to most of those questions, but I do know that maybe a flower or two from a cute boy is okay. And maybe I should try to be more romantic with myself and wait a while before pouncing on a guy, giving him the chance to court me.

Ask A Dude: Is He Hiding Something?
Ask A Dude: Is He Hiding Something?
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