Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Romance Novels v. Real Life

August 11, 2009 6 comments

I read my share of romance novels in high school and early college. My collection consisted mostly of Nora Roberts paperbacks, which were on the bestsellers lists and could be read in public without shame.

The basic formula Roberts used worked for me. Strong, career-driven female meets pesky, but very attractive man who challenges her basic way of life and makes her realize she doesn’t want to go it alone. There are fights along the way that only ever lead to two things: hot, makeup sex or romantic grand gestures. And there was never once an unhappy ending.

But here’s the problem, fights don’t always end in great sex or grand gestures. Happy endings seem to be fairly infrequent. And at the ripe old age of 21, I figured that out. So I stopped reading romance novels and I never looked back.

Last fall a friend I respected told me I had to read the Twilight series. I was clued out of what the books were about, and so when she told me that she could guarantee I would think vampires were hot after I read them, I thought she had hopped on the crazytown express.

Turns out I think vampires are hot and Twilight is really four romance novels disguised as pre-teen vampire novels. Except the happy ending lasts forever because the vampires live forever. Romance novels on steroids.

Here’s the catch about reading romance novels three years into a rocky relationship, they remind you of something important–it’s okay to want big love.

I won’t find a hot vampire who turns me into a vampire so I can be with him for all of time and have sex all night every night instead of sleep (because according to author Stephanie Meyer vampires don’t sleep).

But I can do better than someone who is never sure and won’t hold my hand.

Post-Twilight I have not returned to reading romance novels. I don’t want to believe I have to wait for the perfect man to sweep me off my feet (literally and figuratively). If I thought that’s how it worked, I wouldn’t be online dating.

Cheesiness aside though, romance novels do deliver an important message. We all deserve big love. We don’t all find it. But it can’t hurt to try.

Update August 13, 11:31 am: Looks like they have turned a classic hottie, Mr. Darcy, into a vampire, or should I say “vampyre.”

Categories: Books, Dating, Ex-Boyfriend, Love