Can we bring back old-fashioned romance or is it too late?

It seems like it was all so easy in our grandparents’ time. Meet “The One,” be courted for a while, get married, have kids ASAP, live happily ever after. Okay, I’m sure it wasn’t quite so clean-cut as that, but there’s certainly something to be said for the simplicity of love back then.

We have much more freedom these days when it comes to finding our Mr. Right – and if someone isn’t perfect for us, we can just move on. But I’ve a feeling that if my grandparents looked at the dating scene today, they’d say that we’re all too picky, that we don’t try hard enough, that we’ll never find the right one if we keep hoping that something better is just around the corner.

Maybe the problem lies in how we initiate our relationships. If we’re meeting someone on a drunken night in Coppers, or with a quick swipe-right on Tinder, is that really a solid foundation to base a future on? Sure, you might exchange numbers but in most cases it never leads to anything more than a random hook-up. Ah, true love.

Even with the most devoted of couples, the advent of smartphones and on-demand TV means there’s not really a huge need to ever engage in conversation with your other half. We now consciously need to set aside time to talk to one another and to resist the temptation of sitting side-by-side on the couch and scrolling through Facebook.

Constant access to the virtual world means that we can never really devote our total, undivided attention to the person sitting next to us… and with that can come a huge breakdown in communication.

So the next time you’re chilling out after work with your significant other, put your iPhone away and force yourselves to chat, or at least to just appreciate and enjoy each other’s company. Take time to do thoughtful things for one another. Put the same effort into your relationship as you do with your Instagram profile.

If you’re single and finding that you keep hitting dead ends with a string of random one-nighters, consider trying to meet new people in an environment that’s not online or fuelled by alcohol. If that guy next to you in the queue for coffee looks cute, make a comment about the weather, or how much you love this café, anything to strike up a chat. It’s easier than you’d think – and I reckon our grandparents would definitely approve.