Sunday, 29 July 2012

Does Romance Exist Only In Books?

Are we holding out for a hero?
I was feeling, as per usual lately, a bit melancholy the other day, (I promise I will snap out of it one day) and posted on Twitter whether romance existed outside of books. With my head and heart ready to move on, I get these thoughts/ideas/feelings, and wonder if it's just romantic rubbish that others will just roll their eyes at.

Maybe I shouldn't be thinking this yet, but I can't help it. I ponder on who the next man in my life might be, and what he will be like... and will I be too choosy. Are my expectations as a romance writer too high?

I know I'm going through something very un-romantic at the moment, but I do believe I am a romantic. (Or a dreamer lol!) It's possibly why I have moved on. My life lacked the romance I crave. I like little intimate moments, cuddles and kisses, and gestures.

I believe romance is like writing. You need to show someone how you feel about them every single day, not just tell them.

With a new relationship, once the "can't get enough of each other" phase passes, does the romance still exist? How do you keep it alive? Is there a natural chemistry or such a thing as a soul mate? 

Are some people just more romantic than others? Do some feel it's just mumbo-jumbo?

Do people really have candle lit dinners, and write love letters?

Admittedly, I do feel the romance is taken out of a meal in a restaurant on Valentine's day.  All sitting in rows, eating from the same set menu. But to come home to a house lit by candles and dinner on the table...

Before the days of email, I did used to write to my first boyfriend a lot. He joined the army, so my letters were very important to him. And he would even write back. I also used to write to my husband when we first met and lived across the country from one another.

Have letters been replaced by texts, emails and direct messages?

Will a knight in shining armour ride in on a white horse and save the day?

I always remember the episode of Will and Grace where Leo (Harry Connick Jr) arrives on a white horse to save Grace. (Could I find a clip or photo on the internet - sorry, guys, no! - but it's season 5 episode And the horse he rode on.) Does it only happen in fiction, or do real life heroes sweep us off our feet? Not necessarily on a white horse...

Do perfect strangers kiss, drawn by sexual chemistry and attraction? (Actually I can answer that one as a yes... it usually all starts with that first kiss).

Is there such a thing as love at first sight?

I do worry that because I am a romantic novelist, that some of the romance does only exist in books, even though I'd like it to happen in reality, will the guys I date get 'it'? Or do I day dream too much?

Should men hold doors open for ladies? It's not sexist, it's romantic and a gentlemanly gesture in my eyes. But how do others feel?

I suppose I worry that when I do get to start dating again, will the (new) man in question look at me as if I'm odd if I make a romantic gesture? Or will he feel daunted that I might expect them? I don't believe you have to be 'in love' to love.

Favourite Love Actually moment.
Do you tell someone that you love them, or care, whether they want to hear it or not?

How does romance exist for you, outside of books? What do you believe?

I'm looking forward to my new romantic adventure(s) and hopefully will gain good writing material if nothing else from the experience - I'm eager to try speed dating!

Sorry, there are an awful lot of questions in this post, but interested to know your thoughts. Why do you write romance?


  1. Hubby tells me I've beaten the romance out of him, so I'm not the best person to ask. But I'm a sucker for film romance (your fave Love Actually moment is one of mine too). Maybe it's just that real-life romance is a little bit more muted. Hubby once slipped a smiley face into my lunch box when I was feeling depressed - not a big scene at a front door, but close?

    1. Ah, now the little things is what I like, and think are important. Sometimes too showy can be a bit false... or embarrassing. The secret things are nice.

  2. Oh my. Such a lot of questions! LOL

    First - yes, I do think you're a bit impatient about the 'next one'. BEWARE! Rebound romance and all that jazz. You need time to find you, first. Then you'll be strong enough to really know when you find the right guy.

    Now, as to the rest of this...

    I absolutely believe that there is romance outside of books, and that it can happen and continue to happen after that first "Oh I can't live without you!" phase. Just be aware that it's not going to be there all the time. People still fight and disagree and have habits that drive their partners batty. I know couples who do all those little 'romancy' things after being married for decades. One of the most "awwwww" pictures I have of my folks is them walking through the Redwoods, holding hands - and they'd been married for over thirty years. The funny thing was, neither of my folks were demonstrative overall - which made those moments even more special, I guess.

    Do you tell someone that you love them, or care, whether they want to hear it or not?


    How does romance exist for you, outside of books? What do you believe?

    Not yet. I've had it in the past, though, and it's nice. To a point. Too much sugar and not enough spice gets boring.

    I'm looking forward to my new romantic adventure(s) and hopefully will gain good writing material if nothing else from the experience - I'm eager to try speed dating!

    Speed dating? Speed dating????? Good God, woman. Might as well hang out at a bar...

    1. I know, I'm not going to be looking for anything serious at all! Don't panic there! But I would like to have some fun in the mean time ;-) I like the idea of kissing a few frogs.... until I meet my prince charming lol!

      But I do know it doesn't come straight away. I know that from my own past experiences. And I don't want it to. I want to live on my own, stand on my own two feet and know I can cope with it all. Once I have my independence, I don't want to lose it.

      Funnily enough, I was talking to a friend the other day about my situation, and she said, sometimes it just goes that way. Thinks fizzle, or just aren't meant to be forever. I was happy once upon a time, but the last couple of years have just been meh! for me. The romance is dead in our relationship. I do love seeing people who after 30 years really are in love.

      Ha ha! The speed dating really is for research. I don't expect to get anything out of it but a bit of a giggle and to meet some 'characters'. I will be going in with a notebook - if they let me ;-)

  3. I do think some people are more romantic than others,but to maintain a relationship there needs to be romance or love at some level at least.I don't feel the candlelight dinners are especially romantic but they are a good tool,Chris and I do like to do them now and again just because our conversation seems different,we can ethier have a flirt (without it turning into something straight away (there is something to be said for anticipation ;-D) or have an in depth conversation about love,life and the universe,without it going back to day to day conversation.I also get to dress up which seems to impress him still and he gives me compliments which are good for my self esteem,which makes me feel more romantic.
    Chris has taught me to be more affectionate too.I have learnt from bleaker periods that Chris does struggle if we're not intimate often enough and I become very disconnected with him too but I also find we become distant if we're not affectionate in other ways too,I try to show him he is loved and needed in the little things i do as well as keeping a good sex life.(Like a stroke on the knee or a kiss to the top of the head even when we're not going further that night or to ask him how his meeting went and remember who he was meeting that day).In return I need him to respect my space and me as a person. I need him to value my opinion and to listen to what I have to say.So that is more important to me than hearts and flowers (although he'll always bring me a chocie bar or cake i like back if he pops out which is nice too) I don't like to overuse 'I love you' ethier,as it seems to me if you use it on each phonecall it loses impact so we will say it when we mean it or really feel it sometimes.
    I used to write to him in his Army days, but these day's it's more likely to be a quick saucy text to remind him i'm still sexy and what he might be missing when he works away ;-D and i wrote a funny limerick in his birthday card last year with incorporated some fun,some sauce and a bit of romance.I think he liked that and i didn't feel daft cos it's not to over the top.
    But for me the most important aspects of all in a relationship is support and respect as opposed to romance.Supporting the other person in all of their life goals,triumphs and disappointments and respecting the other as a valuable individual with imperfections and strengths but all that said,you are lucky to know,I think is the key to a successful long term love affair.
    I think romantic fiction can be a bit dangerous as it is so idealistic and can give you such high expectations of love,and in my opinion long term love is not like the books.But it is still worth having and you deserve to find it.

    1. Ah, thanks, Kara. Yes, in books, romance probably glosses over the real life issues, like getting the bills paid and the housework, that can dampen the mood lol!

      I hope Chris doesn't mind you saying all this. I think you two have a wonderful relationship, actually. I'm quite jealous ;-) And it is about showing you love someone, which is done with the little things, as well as sometimes a bigger gesture.


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