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Sex + Relationships

Who Said a Candle-Lit Dinner is Out of Style (Even if it’s Over FaceTime)?

About a year ago, I picked up a second major in sociology. Since then, I’ve learned quite a few things about our societal shift away from certain aspects of “dating culture,” if you will. What was once a candle-lit dinner, followed by a kiss goodnight at the doorstep, has taken a heavy shift into the virtual realm of online dating apps, confusing mixed signals over text and then maybe a date in-person. That just doesn’t sit quite right with me.

My cabin fever has left me with ample time to wonder how I can keep the spark alive with my significant other, even if we’re miles apart and can only see each other via video chat. More than that, it has also left me to wonder just how in the world we are supposed to celebrate our anniversary when we can’t even physically be around each other. Take these thoughts and couple them with the sad outlook on dating culture today (and my question regarding how people who were talking on dating apps, before the whole world changed, are ever going to make it out of the “talking phase”), and I’ve decided that we need to bring candle-lit dinners back in style.

Only, it might have to be a candle-lit dinner aided by a little technology. I propose we keep the romance alive in these times, keep love flourishing in times when it may feel like we’re alone. I say we grab our phones or laptops, call that special someone and make our dinners together.

Follow a recipe in your respective homes; laugh and smile, while you both cook your favorite meals. Light a candle on both ends, sit down at the table and enjoy each other’s virtual company. Yes, it sounds a little silly, but for me, it also sounds a little fun and full of love, and in these trying times, I fully believe that we could use a little love. As crazy as it sounds, this is likely how I’ll be spending my anniversary.

What strikes me as the most interesting part of this whole idea is the way it combines the older dating tactics with modern ideas of what dating should be. Coupling candle-lit dinners with the use of technology serves as a fun way to combine two separate eras in the history of dating, while also allowing you to have a fun time with someone you care about. Keep the romance alive.

Who said that candle-lit dinners were going out of style? Not me—they’re just evolving.

Ashley Oldham

Chapel Hill '20

Ashley Oldham is a senior English and Comparative Literature and Sociology double major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her free time she enjoys drinking way too much coffee, attempting to write the next great American novel, and going on spontaneous road trips, all in the name of procrastinating on whatever schoolwork she currently has to do. To see what she's doing next (and get bombarded with cat pictures) follow her on Instagram @ashleyyerinno.
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