Romance is (or so I am told) an abstract, beautiful enigma that drives so much of everyday decisions that it's probably damaging to everything from the construction of our homes to the destruction of our economy. Something so powerful shouldn't be abstract, though. If it decides so much of our choices, it should have some concrete explanation. Recently, I have found that a piece of it (dating and courtship), has just that: a science, and a history (chemistry and a past relationship if you will). The concrete facts of dating are not much easier a pill to swallow, however, because it is as follows:
Dating in America (or England, not picking favorites) began with the girl in charge. A man would come to the girl, on her territory (her home) and would do all the activities she chose. You know, all the greats: Her playing the piano (yawn) reading poetry aloud to him (yawn again), or perhaps, them singing a duet together (combination yawn and shudder). After she seduced him (or bored him) with her musical talent, he would propose; but only if she allowed him to do so. This is option #1.
Then a shift happened. It was the industrial age and men were at war, and women could Do It! (Rosie the Riveter shout out) and were working in the factories. When men came home from the war, the women did not want to give up her newly found position in the world, and dating became a low form of prostitution. Let me illustrate: Men made more than women in the workplace and could afford the nicer things like movies, games, and dinners. Women wanted these things because they felt entitled to them. They, however, could not afford it because their wages were exponentially lower than that of their male counterparts. Thus prostitution was born: Man buys woman an expensive dinner with his inflated masculine salary; woman repays with whatever form of sex is expected at the time. This is option #2
Today, there has been a mass rejection of both these earlier options and the single race has now produced what has been warned against, has been degraded, has been feared by General Authority and Relief Society alike: Hanging out. It is the woman no longer wanting to sing, but no longer wanting to prostitute (how dare she), and instead playing Rockband and watching movie after movie with large groups. This is option #3: Reject message of the First Presidency and never get married.
Weighing the facts and options, it seems as though the evolution of romance has caught me in a Catch 22.