Is the economy having an effect on romance? Most definitely, but what the overall effect will be is hard to say. For the moment (spring 2009), romance is making headlines…
Dating services are reporting record profits since November of last year, with some of them claiming a 70% increase in memberships, and they’re attributing this increase to the poor economy. Apparently, love is in second place on the list of things that are important to us.
On the other hand, the poor economy is also being blamed for the reported 20% increase in domestic violence this year.
And as with all new economic trends, the increased interest in romance appears to have attracted some of the more disreputable opportunists out there. Up to 10% of internet scams are now romance related. Men and women are using false identities to finesse unsuspecting “love interests” into sending them money. The amounts are relatively small, most often under $3,000.00, but its still gotta hurt.
But then again, if you get it right, romance can drastically improve your life. Take Pony Cook, a homeless alcoholic in Raleigh, NC who got the willpower to turn his life around from a woman. After about 17 years as an alcoholic and drug addict on the streets, he met schoolteacher Barbara Abbey, and that was all it took. They were married on New Years, and…so far so good!
Also in the news, there’s the heartwarming story of Edna and Simon from Britian, two lovebirds who overcame a 40 year gap in their ages to be together (Edna’s 40 years older than Simon). Here’s a married couple who kisses each other “150 times a day.” I really love this story, and not just because of my own personal belief that women should be the ones trading their spouses in for younger models, but also because…well, actually, that is the main reason why I love the story so much.
With all this talk of romance, do you think men are becoming more romantic? Well, there’s at least one man out there whose getting in touch with his romantic side. Although I couldn’t find his name on his site, www.romancenews.net, the site’s originator says, “I was getting tired of hearing how un-romantic men were. It had occurred to me that perhaps this general lack of a romantic spirit among American men could actually be due to the lack of modeling of a male romantic ideal.” Interesting. I will have to keep checking back there to see what he’s up to.
And finally, for a really good romantic movie, you might want to check out Australia, with Nicole Kidman. It’s a romance both sexes can enjoy, as it’s packed with action too. Baz Luhrmann, the director, said in an interview that he was influenced by such movies as Lawrence of Arabia and Gone With the Wind. Both great movies too. Australia runs a little on the long side, but you’ll still be sad when it ends.