CAN anyone hear a clanging noise?
That's the death knell sounding for romance. According to new research, the good, old-fashioned love letter is going the way of the dodo.
A survey by dating site SeekingArrangement.com found that a mere 6% of women and 4% of men still write traditional love letters. This compared to 96% of women and 92% of men who said they sent romantic emails, and 97% of women and 89% of men who expressed their love through text messages.
Even Twitter is more popular than putting pen to paper, with 43% of women and 39% of men favouring it to exchange tweet nothings.
I should have had an inclination of how things were headed. On a train recently I eavesdropped on a group of girls as they giggled over text messages one of them was exchanging with a boy.
Beep beep. Another message arrived. The girl triumphantly waved her phone around the carriage. The screen showed said lothario stripped to the waist and gazing moodily into the camera. "See," said her friend excitedly. "He likes you."
It's a far cry from the courtships of my younger years. I once found a note tucked into my high school jotter. It was written on thick Basildon Bond paper and sprayed liberally with CK One.
In looping handwriting it read: "Dear Susan Swarbrick. You are the girl of my dreams. Would you like to have tea in my bedroom? SWALK (Sealed With A Loving Kiss)." Sellotaped to the back was a "gold" chain which, the first time I wore it, turned my neck green.
I still have the letter, tucked away in a box. It's hard to imagine doing likewise with an email or text. There is something cold and sterile about a key stroke, compared with the heartfelt flick of a pen. It's time to re-invent the art of the love letter.
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