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Are men still romantic in 2013?

DEBATE: Are men still romantic in 2013?

Each week we ask two writers with contrasting opinions to debate the question…


YES
NYIMA PRATTEN

The internet, particularly social media and viral videos, has given men so much to live up to now in our hyper connected lives. We constantly check our phones/tablets/computers to see who is in a relationship, engaged or married, who has the best looking boyfriend and the most attentive partner.

As Brits, I think I can safely say that we, unlike our American counterparts with their trashy engagement videos or tacky wedding dances, will never live up to the stereotypical Hollywood romance made unattainable in the movies. British people are just too cold and cynical for this type of ‘romantic’ behaviour yet we will still judge our men for not trying.

Men can still be romantic in 2013, but we first need to put aside our preconceptions of romantic behaviour and prejudices against men not living up to them. Stop banging men around the head with this romantic, metaphorical yardstick. Some women have unrealistic expectations and men will always fall short.

We need to learn to accept and appreciate the romantic gestures our partners do make for us, from small things such as holding a door open or carrying heavy items to larger gestures like sharing their food, putting the toilet seat down and remembering your anniversary.

After all, love, trust and communication are the most important things in any relationship so let's be grateful for what we do have.

After all, it doesn't matter if our men are romantic or not. We do not need them to be. This is not the 1900s.

We are independent women and do not need to have things bought for us by knights in shining armour. As Beyoncé says, “I buy my own diamonds and I buy my own rings.”
I think there is a lesson in that for all of us. Valentine’s Day is horribly commercialised. Men, just saying I love you everyday is romantic enough.

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VALENTINA ETAGHENE
NO

As a single woman in 2013 I have to say the days of traditional romance and courting are officially extinct!  

Chivalry is said to be dead - I can confirm that it is. Long gone are the days where a man was a true gentleman, who would open doors for you, pay for dinner, hold your shopping bags and take you out to nice restaurants and theatre productions for the fun of it, just to make his lady smile.

I wonder fellas...what the hell has happened to you? Have you simply forgotten your ‘basic manners’ at home?

I see certain men have no respect when it comes to addressing women these days, never is ‘yo babes’ deemed as attractive or purring at me like some cat or better yet harassing me by my favourite word ‘oi’ going to get you anywhere!

These days a first date is a meal at his favourite chicken joint (wait for it…) if he pushes to go to that particular restaurant it’s because… (Sighs) he has a ‘whole chicken’ voucher to use. Is anyone else not repulsed by this? I know I am. I really dislike ‘cheap’ men.

I understand that men get the impression that we are ‘independent women’ and that Destiny’s Child made a full album preaching about female equality etc… But it doesn’t give men the excuse to be lazy and not make any effort at all, to at least try and be the perfect gentleman.

So men ….Valentine’s Day is today! For those who have forgotten how to romance here is how: 1. Buy a rose and a card 2. Greet her with a smile and be polite 3. Open the door 4. Be respectful 5. Make her laugh 6. Pay for dinner 7. Drop her home, to her front door! 8. Don’t force or expect a kiss on the date either. 9. Most of all - try your hardest to resurrect the romance of yester year! (For my sanity please!)

The 'Head to Head' column is by the London 360 reporters. To find out more about what our reporters are up to go to communitychannel.org/london360 WE ARE LONDON!

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