Can a romance novel improve your relationships?
I recently read some marriage counselors ask their clients what type of books they read and if romance novels aren’t on their list, they suggest it.
I know you’re thinking…Why not just watch the movie instead?
It’s NOT the same thing!
We’ve all heard “The book was so much better than the movie.” Want to know why this is?
First, take a look at this. It’s an email I recently received. One of those you read, chuckle, then hit send to forward it on to half your mailbox. I have no idea who originally wrote it, so unfortunately I can’t give credit where credit is due:
Tonight: I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a bar to have a drink. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it. Conversation wasn't flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn't say much. I asked him what was wrong; he said, 'Nothing.' I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn't upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can't explain his behavior. I don't know why he didn't say, 'I love you, too.' When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. To my surprise, he responded to my caress, and we made love. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep - I cried. I don't know what to do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.
Missed a big deer today, but at least I got laid.
Admit it, it made you laugh. AND this little story is so true! Men and women DO NOT think alike.
This email is also what a good book can do verses the movie version. A book allows YOU-the reader- to become the “diary”. You not only get to live vicariously through the hero/heroine, you also read both points of view. A movie (though actors do a great job at it) can only SHOW you how the characters are reacting. But a good book not only shows you what happens, it also lets you know every thought behind the actions. Ultimately, you know more than the characters do about each other and the situation.
Almost all basic romance stories, (not counting chic-lit and erotica, which over the past few years have rolled into the ‘romance’ category) has a very basic plot. Boy meets girl, boy looses girl, and boy gets girl back. And there HAS to be a happy every after ending.
When we are in a relationship, we often think we know how the other person feels, and vise versa, but as the email demonstrates, we really don’t. Reading romance novels can remind of this. Through the characters the reader learns how others may think and feel in certain situations -- ways they may never have thought of before. This can also give the reader new insight and understanding in their personal relationships.
One study I read states romance readers are less likely to divorce. Another claims romance novels are good role models for young women because the heroines are usually strong, independent women. Here is the latest RWA survey of romance readers.
Romance novels come in all sorts of categories, from werewolves to pirates, cops to cowboys, historical to contemporary, and everything in between. Finding a story that might appeal to both of you could be easier than imagined. Don’t worry, if you can’t convince your significant other to read a book, you can still read one while they watch TV. This too can be good for your relationship; we all need down time, as well as alone/together time.
To check out a large selection of romance books visit The Wild Rose Press.