Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal State Chico chapter.

Puis-je vous embrasser? Seras-tu à moi ce soir? I sometimes dream about saying these words on a cold autumn night, surrounded by the lights of Paris. Could you imagine? The whole day leading up to that moment, being surrounded by the inspiration of luxurious fashion and art. I am talking Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, even Voltaire! Standing center stage in the Louvre Museum, stomach full of croissants and an espresso. After walking the historic town, the stars would dance in the sky. Amidst the chaos of Paris and the shimmering stars, a love story would be etched into a moment of time. A true masterpiece.

Look, I love the idea of romance and love stories. Exchanging beautiful words to a woman, and watching her eyes light up as a subtle smile forms. She can only say, “Wow, you are so corny…” I would think to myself, corniness often arises from a form of romanticism lacking self-awareness, repetition, and not originating from genuine emotions. However, the truth remains that when I’m in your presence, my heart becomes the sole narrator, as my mind becomes entranced by the depth of your gaze. But we are having a moment, so instead, I give her a smile back and keep speaking from the heart.

Yet, nowadays, it sometimes feels superficial, as though romance and fairytales have been clumped in with Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. Would it be strange to hand a young woman in class a poem I wrote for her? In the book Five Women Who Loved Love by Ihara Saikaku, it is common courtesy to show interest in someone by writing them poems. In the 1800s, if a woman found a man attractive, she would drop her handkerchief on the ground in front of him, and he would pick it up and say, “Madam, it seems as though you have forgotten this.” From there, the story would unfold. 

I can admit that I have watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s one too many times. In today’s modern love story, Holly might be some renowned Instagram model. Paul might have a plethora of “day in my life” TikTok videos. Maybe they would be hitting Elf Bars and listening to PartyNextDoor, but in the end, they would be just as lost. 

Perhaps there’s something mysteriously enchanting about dating apps and the thrill that comes with receiving a late-night “I’m here” message at 1:00 a.m. The butterflies suddenly take flight in your stomach, and the idea of inviting a stranger into your home for the very first time feels strangely romantic and exhilarating. Maybe there’s a kind of magic in breaking the old, and many would argue outdated, dating norms, like daring to hook up on the very first night instead of being tethered to your first love for all of eternity, allowing love to take its own mysterious course. It’s as though we’ve embraced the spontaneity of life, letting go of the scripted narratives of how love should unfold. We’re not confined by the old rules and expectations, and in this newfound freedom, there’s a sense of liberation. Who wouldn’t cherish those never-ending Facetime calls where one person gradually drifts off to sleep, only to wake up and realize that neither of them had hung up. These are the tales of modern romance that we will one day cherish and write about, for they are the good old days we’re living in right now.

I am humbled to think that the great romantics of the centuries were stepping stones for the ultimate romance. Maybe, getting a woman’s number by telling her I lost my phone is just as romantic as the woman who dropped the handkerchief. Perhaps love isn’t dead; instead, it is evolving and becoming more pure, and just a simple “hi” at the right moment, at the right time, is just as beautiful as any of those ancient love stories. The moment we find ourselves in now can be just as enchanting as the timeless tales, if we let it be.

Haston Paul

Cal State Chico '24

Haston is currently a 25-year old student at Chico State. He grew up in Los Angeles. Haston loves the color navy blue, In n Out, and the ocean. He has a passion for romance and poetry, the moon, and meeting new people. He enjoys stargazing and practices fortune telling! He spends most days in solitude, listening to music and writing about his daydreams. Haston's Horoscope Chart: Sun Sign (Zodiac Sign): Sagittarius - 7th House (28° 8') Ascendant / Rising Sign: Gemini (19° 22') Moon Sign: Virgo - 4th House (7° 32') Mercury Sign: Sagittarius - 7th House (21° 51') Venus Sign: Aquarius - 8th House (3° 1') Mars Sign: Aquarius - 8th House (1° 21') Outer Planets: Jupiter Sign: Aquarius - 9th House (19° 51') Saturn Sign: Aries - 11th House (13° 32') Uranus Sign: Aquarius - 9th House (6° 30') Neptune Sign: Capricorn - 8th House (28° 32') Pluto Sign: Sagittarius - 6th House (6° 21')