by Kaitlyn D’Souza, Staff Writer

Photo source: Pinterest

It’s February 14th and three couples are sitting in the back row of the movie theatre. One couple just celebrated their two-month anniversary and are still in what their friends call the “honeymoon phase.” The second couple was in a rush to get to the movies, causing an argument about time management and irresponsibility. The final couple would rather be sitting in this theatre with other people, yet neither individual wants to be the one to pull the plug on the relationship. The theatre is packed with couples: some old, some young; some happy, some sad; some in love, some not. No matter their situation, every couple in the theatre is silent with their eyes glued to the big screen. For the next two hours, they don’t have to navigate the complexities of their relationships. They don’t have to discuss issues or hopes for the future. They don’t even have to utter a word to each other. They just have to look at the screen.

Growing up, I was always confused as to why going to the movies for a first date was so idealized—why to some it was considered the “perfect first date.” After all, don’t you want to get to know your date and see if you like them? It was this line of thinking which caused me to view just watching TV or movies to be a “cop-out.” To me, it didn’t seem like a real date. Rather, a movie date was merely two people sharing a couch and some snacks but not sharing words. 

Maybe I’m being overly critical on the matter. After all, so many couples have excellent relationships and can sit in silence just watching movies. And then, there are the pairs who enjoy making jokes, comments, and “that actor was in …” statements, making the TV show just some background noise.

Reflecting on how love manifests itself in modern times, I’ve come to realize how romance is an ever-changing and evolving phenomenon—how the romantic gesture of buying someone flowers can spark the same butterflies as a hard launch Instagram post and how getting ready for picnic dates can create the same sense of unease a movie date brings about. The more I think about how dating is today versus in the past and how technology influences relationships now versus then, I’ve come to the realization that there’s no one way to love. If the silence of a movie date is comforting in the way a conversation about future hopes and dreams is, who am I to undermine that? 

So, in navigating the complexities of love and romance in the digital age, I conclude that it is important to acknowledge and embrace the different expressions of this sentiment. While movie dates may not be my cup of tea, to some it is what they crave most on Valentine’s Day. At the end of the day, romance is different for everyone. ​​So whether it is through a FaceTime call, a heartfelt text message, or a handwritten letter, love persists, connecting hearts and souls in the most profound of ways.

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