Man: I do enjoy talking with you.
Woman: Me, too…except I would love to start seeing some things change instead of just lamenting how they are.
Man: Where would you start?
Woman: I think I would start by exposing the dangers of the “religion of romance.”
Man: What an interesting phrase. The religion of romance. What is that exactly?
Woman: It’s over-emphasizing the pleasure of sexuality between men and women, leaving out the greater benefits we have for each other.
Man: Which would be…?
Woman: Men and women are both controlling and conniving. It’s the weakness of the human race. We don’t learn to address these two vices when we’re children, living in a house with Mom and Dad, or even when we hang around people of our same sex. Because there is so much controlling and conniving put into romance, it is an excellent opportunity to expose that troublesome two, and in the process, become better human beings.
Man: I see. So you think that because we focus so much on sexual intercourse, we never allow our relationship to mature, to be the give-and-take of discovery.
Woman: Not only that–because we characterize romance as “sexiness,” when that begins to die down, we feel we have lost something. Then we go out and find other lovers to ignite the memories.
Man: Meanwhile, we have a mortgage and children through our initial flame, which have to be distributed as “goods” when we decide we’re not right for each other anymore.
Woman: It’s one of the few things that the religious and secular communities agree on–they feel romance should be hot, scintillating and so strong that we can’t keep our hands off each other.
Man: It’s so foolish when you think about it. Sex obviously won’t stay at level ten, so there needs to be a transition to something deeper. But since romance centers on our genitals instead of our brain, we lose faith in each other and start looking for that “necking session in the back seat of the car” from high school.
Woman: It isn’t like maturing a relationship is not absolutely dazzling. Having someone who challenges you on your controlling nature, or who doesn’t put up with the shit of your lies, is a gift from God. But if you’re afraid you’ll lose your bedroom magic, you may play the game and end up losing.
Man: So what would you suggest to get this thing started?
Woman: I think we should make fun of the overwrought plots in movies and television that focus on the physical aspects of love instead of the complete package. I would be so thrilled to see two mature human beings of the opposite sex talking about this issue in candor as a plot for a movie.
Man: So to overcome the “religion of romance,” we have to really prove that sex is not a god.
Woman: Very good. Because we worship sex. We sacrifice at the altar of carnal relationships. And we end up mistreating each other when the fire turns into a cozy sensation of security instead of a torrid affair.
Man: This is really interesting.
Woman: I know. It’s great to talk about. But here’s the truth. As a human, I will be controlling and conniving unless I have a long-standing relationship with someone who refuses to let me be ridiculous.