The
overwhelming success of Fifty Shades of Grey has sparked a revolution in female
writers and readers joining the bandwagon of exploit novels. There is no doubt
women today are much more free to discuss the intricacies of desire and
relationships more than ever before and in some ways this is a great thing. But
the incredible rise to the heights of a novel based on the physical is a great
source of objective thinking and does it reflect the sign of our times?

Over
the years the greatest romantic novels and films have touched our hearts,
brought tears to our eyes and most of the time led to a fairy tale ending. Gone
with the Wind, Dr Zhivago, Wuthering Heights, Love Story are all past
successful epics of their time and beyond. They all have been threaded with the
same colour cotton, beautiful and sometimes sad or eventful stories intertwined
with heroines, heroes and a love line which beats up and down and round and
round. Centred around love and passion, they have brought to screen or book the
feeling that love is the defiant warrior and that it will survive somehow and in
some way. They also have been reflective of our way of thinking and society at
the time and how men and women view relationships. So is the romance of
partnerships something we do not get excited about anymore?

Deep
down most women want the same and few do not want the romance to go with the
good guy. Of course physical playtime and attraction are part of it but there
is also a great queue of women awaiting the rose on Valentine’s Day or the poem
filled card ,.And over time the male hero in stories has always been shown as a
little of the swashbuckling hero or the knight in shining armour. Films and
books where the man has whisked his girl from the depths of her poor life and
existence or have been portrayed as strong and ready to fight for her honour,
have captured the hearts of most with wistful sighs. The strangest thing is not all women nowadays
wish to admit it. In a world of powerful women rising in all career and society
areas, few women cite romance as the big attraction and yet will ooze
excitement over romantic extravaganzas such as George Clooney’s wedding, but not
the olden day Romeo, who will let nothing stand between him and his love .

Has
it resulted in confused men that they no longer know which direction to go?
They are surrounded in the media with women who have successful careers, who
earn fortunes and can easily fund their own shopping sprees and home ownership
and in the work place are shown to be powerful and equal in many places. We are
shown many more men taking on roles in society of house husbands and Mannie’s
(male nannies) more and more frequently?
Are the men now thinking with a more “equal” head got in their minds
that women do not want to be treated like princesses and showered with a wave
of impetuous and spontaneous gestures?

Have
they now become slightly hesitant and therefore they hang back and wait or cast
the thought aside that their partner would not enjoy such efforts or even worse
criticise their wayward thinking? Some romance and especially around wedding planning
is of course prevalent, but the confusion in how far it goes still remains
blurred.

Romance
is part of the courtship procedure, very often it is the little things which
become memorable in the later years and part of the growth together. It is
something to be celebrated and shared in every relationship. The evidence is
there as Scarlett O’Hara may have come across as a bit of a bossy boots, and
free and independent thinking woman, soon melts when her handsome suitor showed
his feelings openly. It is of course part of our world that women have
thankfully found a voice and are able to succeed and a lesson to be learnt and
treasured, but as in everything the balance between two people and
understanding what each other wants is
just as important. There are very few
women on the planet who will discard the gift of a surprise bouquet or even a
bunch of flowers from the supermarket, there are few women who do not wish to
be treated with respect and kindness and few who wish their partner to shy away
from opening a door, or arranging an unexpected trip away. It can always be
said that partnerships should grow together and be equal in many ways and if
the guys get the romance right, they may find they have become the hero of ages
past and that their princess in the tower will actually let her hair down much
more often than he has ever dreamt !