Does Loss of Innocence Equal Loss of Romance?

Today I'm watching a pretty weekend storm outside, by myself of course. I've been having moments of weakness, listening to Bob Seger (you know you've fallen into weakness when you start doing that). But, aside from obsessively playing along with the opening chords on my guitar, I've been analyzing the lyrics to the song. And on my favorite lyrics site, I see that other users are having the same reactions to this song: It's heart-wrenching and uplifting at the same time.

The song reminds me of why it's so hard for me to fall in love. I touched on this before when I suggested that it was harder to have romance in your life when you have responsibility and practicality injected into it.

Seger's song is about a teenage summer romance:

"We weren't in love oh no far from it
We weren't searching for some pie in the sky summit
We were just young and restless and bored
Living by the sword
And we'd steal away every chance we could
To the backroom, the alley, the trusty woods
I used her she used me
But neither one cared
We were getting our share
Workin' on our night moves
Trying to lose the awkward teenage blues

My fundamental problem right now is that I'm still restless and bored. There is still a lot to learn in life, but most of my peers are settling down and I'm expected to do the same. I'm just not ready for all that yet.

I used to love that feeling of sneaking off with a girl. But when I was younger I always wanted to grow up and have my own apartment. Now that I have that, it feels mundane.

When I was younger, right before I kissed a girl I used to feel numbness all over my lips. That doesn't happen anymore. I no longer hear and feel my heart beat intensify, I no longer notice any indescribable/amazing feeling take over my body, pre-kiss. Is it my fault? Is it the fault of the girls I have been hanging out with? Or is it the fault of the world around me?

Summer is the season that touches the child inside all of us. What were our summers like when we were younger? They were long, carefree, and—yes—boring. But it's much nicer to be carefree and bored than to be bored while having to pay rent and have a job.

So, is the common denominator in my loss of romance more of a loss of carefree days and innocence?

Since I've "grown up" I've noticed that people are dying in wars, there are a lot of bad people with tons more money than the beggar in the street who never hurt a fly, and people are selfish, the Twin Towers are gone: people are blowing themselves up just to kill others. Maybe my faith in romance is just melting along with the glaciers as the earth dies?

There must be a way to be grown up and in love. Along with Seger I'm listening to a lot of Arcade Fire. In their song "Wake Up" they make references to growing up as deteriorating and as a loss of the summer:

"But now that I'm older
My heart's colder
And I can see that it's a lie

Children, wake up
Hold your mistake up
Before they turn the summer into dust

If the children don't grow up
Our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up
We're just a million little gods causing rainstorms
Turning every good thing to rust

I guess we'll just have to adjust


Sometimes it feels like all my summers have turned to dust. If I could have somehow grasped how harsh growing up was, I wouldn't have wanted to do it so badly when I was a teenager. On the other hand, I haven't really let myself grow up, but sometimes I feel like I'm being forced to do so. Maybe, like the lyrics say above, I'm just having trouble adjusting.

My feelings today are hard to explain. But I think what I'm trying to ask is: how do you fall in love as a grownup, and how does it feel new and adventurous every day? What's it like to fall in love? Do moments with the person, once again, make you feel like the "Night Moves" lyrics above when you're with them? Will falling in love restore my summers, and make me look back fondly, instead of wanting to go back? Will it make me look forward to every day instead of feeling like every day is corroding me? Is it unfair to expect love to cure all of this?

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