Ever since I entered this week knowing Valentine’s Day being on Thursday, my mind kept going around the various romantic and dating topics. The most recent? What kind of impact reading romance novels might have on me as a young woman in her dating prime years.
I briefly researched and talked about the benefits of reading romance, though that research didn’t turn out a lot, in another bookish thought post (you can read here).
One big difference from the time of me writing that post is that I wasn’t seriously dating and trying to find a partner. Now I’m thinking if reading a lot of romance just keeps my head in the clouds and wishing for a fantasy rather than reality.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that when reading a romance novel, I’m reading fiction where a lot of aspects are fantasy; romance novels allow the reader to dive into a world where love wins and people always get their happy ever afters.
But a fear that I have is that elements from romance novels, especially those that portray realistic relationships, are always in the back of my mind somewhere subconsciously influencing my decisions when it comes to dating.
Am I putting enough effort into conversations and getting to know the guy in the beginning? Or am I expecting everything to fall into place on its own?
I honestly don’t think that I have unrealistic expectations when I’m first talking to a guy or going into a first date. However, I have caught myself sometimes thinking that a lot of romance novels (and random real life people too) that show that as long as yourself, doing what you want in your life, etc. then your person will show up.
Snap your fingers just like that.
This is where reality sets in. I do believe that if you’re living your best life and all that, then you’re more likely to meet someone that aligns well with you. But that doesn’t mean work doesn’t need to be put in.
That is one of the big differences that stands out to me between romance novels and love and relationships in real life. Work and effort need to be put in.
Looking at what I just wrote, I can see that reading romance novels haven’t had a detrimental impact on my dating life. Or at least nothing noticeable.
It seems that romance novels act as a reminder that everyone can have a happy ending or find their person as long as they live their life for themselves and make themselves available. As long as every reader remembers that romance novels are fiction and not always realistic.
What are your thoughts on the the effects of romance novels?
Book Riot’s Why Women Read Romance Novels by Jessica Avery
Elite Daily’s 5 Tips From Romance Novelists That’ll Revamp Your Love Life by Hannah Schneider
This great discussion on Goodreads about the affects of reading romance
NPR’s Romance Fiction And Women’s Health: A Dose Of Skepticism by Linda Holmes