Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.
I realize that finding that special someone, falling in love, and having that person reciprocate is the basis of most romance novels. Romance is the best-selling genre among women, and research has shown that women read more books than men.
When you’re an author, the sales figures alone make you at least consider taking a crack at writing a romance.
I’ve kicked around the idea myself, but so far all I’ve done is thought about it because I’m more than a little jaded where old Cupid is concerned.
Heartbreak can do that to a person.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been in love. I currently have Rhett Butler syndrome, I suppose. (Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.)
I can honestly say I currently do not know any man that I could envision loving and living with for the rest of my life.
I don’t say that because I have a superiority complex, and that there isn’t any man alive who would be worth the effort. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I say it because I’m not sure I personally am up to all that hard work.
People tell me that being in love with the right person is the ideal way to live, and when two people are truly in love, it really isn’t all that much work. They love the other person so much, most of it comes easily to them.
I’m happy for them, but it’s been my observation that’s rare. I think even people who are head over heels in love will agree there will be times in even the most loving relationship that will require some very hard things like compromise, sacrifice, trust and (big gulp) forgiveness.
Part of the problem for me is that I value my independence too much. When you’re in love you become (egad!) a couple. Not losing oneself in the process and even wanting to BE part of a couple all the time seems like a lot to ask.
I did a quick, unscientific search of the personal lives of some popular romance authors to see if I could figure out what they knew that I don’t.
The results were inconclusive.
Jane Austen, perhaps the “mother” of all romance writers, was never married. Of the seven authors I Googled, only two have been married only once. Even Nicolas Sparks is divorced, and the great Danielle Steel has been married and divorced FIVE TIMES!
Clearly success in matrimony isn’t a requirement for spinning a good romance novel, so perhaps I do have a chance in that genre. But really being in a love that lasts….now that’s a much harder challenge.
Most romance novels aren’t about the sacrifices and the devotion it takes to stay married. They’re mostly about the giddy “hunt” that brings two people together in the first place.
The excitement of all that is what makes interesting reading.
But it’s really only the tip of the iceberg. The commitment to stay in love through the good and the bad times is what true love is really about.
It might not be as dramatic or as good reading, but it’s way more important, and way harder to achieve.
Universal links to Linda Mansfield’s books:
Stories for the 12 Days of Christmas: books2read.com/u/m0xny0
Twelve Stories for Spring: books2read.com/u/bMr8Jv
Twelve Stories for Summer: books2read.com/u/3nOjdo
Twelve Stories for Fall: books2read.com/u/bPJj2Y