Early Writings of Evan Bailyn

How Has Romance Changed Since We Were Eleven Years Old?

Posted by on Thursday, January 19th, 2012 with 0 comments

Romance was a whole lot better when we were eleven. Back then, there was so much more to hope for, so much more to wonder and worry about. In the end, all of the hype basically boiled down to one essential question: whether or not someone liked you. If a girl liked you, you were consumed with elation. You were sparkling with specialness.  Liking a girl was exciting and mischievious; it meant you thought she was pretty, that you wanted to kiss her – about as bold a declaration as you could make in sixth grade.

It was always somewhat shocking to hear that someone liked someone else. The word went around the grade about as quickly as a marriage announcement. In fact, the word “like” carried a lot more meaning than the word “love” currently does. Now, when I hear that two people are in love, I just think “Wow, good for them.” But back then, when I heard that Justin Berk liked Tracy Anderson, I would literally marvel at the prospect for days. Oh my god, I would think. “I wonder if they’re going to go out.”

“Going out” was also a much weightier term than our modern-day “dating.” It had a world of possibility within it. How was the new couple going to act when they walked in the hall together? Were they going to hold hands? Did they ever kiss? Was it true that he got to second base with her?

I won’t even get into the shock, the absolute astonishment, I felt upon learning that a couple “got far” together. The idea of a girl letting a guy feel her up sent tremors through my stomach and stirred me inexplicably. If when I was eleven, I ever got the opportunity to feel a girl up, I think I would have frozen from stupefaction, or melted out of sheer stimulation.

The type of raw excitement that sixth graders feel about physical contact with the opposite sex simply doesn’t exist in more mature mammals. Kisses were planned. They were practiced. They were talked about for hours. Twenty year olds feel less hesitation about intercourse than eleven year olds feel about a peck on the lips.

In short, romance nowadays has lost its novelty. It is less forbidden. And, while there is still plenty of thrill in courtship, the most exciting moments feel like a flashback to the days of awkward slow dances and spin the bottle.

Evan Bailyn is a serial entrepreneur, search engine and social media expert, celebrated author and child advocate. His company, First Page Sage, is a leader in search engine optimization and social media marketing - vastly increasing business for its clients through high SEO rankings, targeted Facebook advertising and viral videos. Evan is also the founder of the Evan Bailyn Foundation, a foundation dedicated to teaching emotional awareness to children and adults. 

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