Why romance?

Romances, like coming-of-age stories, deal with one of the most dramatic and risky times of the human lifespan: choosing a mate. Choose wisely, and happiness may result; choose badly, and we get misery. Many of us have experienced the misery, but we still like to be reminded of the courtship phase, that thrill of meeting someone and thinking, “Could this be the one?”

Could this be the partner who will help protect and provide for us when we’re at our most vulnerable; who’ll share the housework – not as a “help” but because it’s their job as a human being; who’ll stay fit and good in bed; who’ll share our sense of humour; who’ll put us first – but can care for others, too?

With 3.5 billion females on the planet, logic tells us that we can’t all find that perfect partner or, at least, not in the same person continuously. Most of us have “settled” for someone all-too-human, someone with irritating habits, a little selfish at times: people like us. We’ve had to develop our own qualities to keep seeing the good in the person we wake up with, qualities such as patience, tolerance, forgiveness and a willingness to let go of mistakes, both ours and theirs; as well as a sense of humour. We’ve had to become the kind of person we want our partner to be.

In reading romance, we relive the time when everything was at risk. We hope that something good will come of it, and fear that maybe the person we’re falling for is not the one we want them to be. We remember that extraordinary high called “limerance”, and the agony of not being sure it’ll work out. Except, in romance novels, we know it will work, because it’s fantasy.

My debut romance, Snowy River Man, is about more than limerance; it’s about love, and the qualities a couple need to create a happy life together. It’s a story of what happens when two people who have seen the worst in each other are given a second chance.

~

This is the fourth in a series of guest blog posts I wrote for the release of Snowy River Man. A version first appeared on Love Reading Romance blog and is reprinted here with permission.