I was reading an article that stated that addiction to romance novels could ruin your chances of real romance.
(Damn! Guess I’m in double the trouble. Not only is Romance and Erotica my primary reading genre, but I also write Romance novels.)
They stated that romance novels are a bad influence on women and lead them to make poor health and relationship decisions because they give women an unrealistic view of love.
(Really? All unhealthy relationship decisions, unrealistic views on love, and stupidity is the fault of romance novels?)
They give the example of a woman who had the “perfect” relationship with a man that showed he loved her in small ways, but because he wasn’t sweeping her off her feet, coming home with chocolates and flowers, getting her the house of her dreams. etc. she dropped him. Her reason? He didn’t meet her unrealistic exceptions.
(No, shit, Sherlock!)
If I had her high expectations of men and life, nothing would meet it. I’d be dissatisfied too.
But realistically, why would her messed up life be the fault of romance novels? They said it was because she was too picky and idealistic about what she wanted in a man. Why shouldn’t she want to be happy? I wouldn’t marry just anyone man either.
I didn’t date until I was 24 for the sole reason that I was picky about the type of man I wanted. I met lots of nice guys. I didn’t want to date any of them.
But none of that had to do with romance novels or even growing up the fairy tales. I thought all the girls in fairy tales were idiots for expecting prince charming to save them when they could have done it on their own. I thought the princes were all morons for choosing the girl because she was the fairest in the land and with no idea if she was nice or a bitch. and don’t get me started on symbolism within each fairy tale, you’ll never read them to your children again. 🙂
Besides all that, who wants the life in romance novels. I might like to read about Vikings and Medieval England, but no way in hell do I want to live in that unhygienic, disease ridden land with war around every corner.
I might like to read about the international spy that sweeps the heroine into a grand adventure with lots of sex, gifts, and danger. But do I really want to live that life or have that man? Um…No! (Think 007, his women all died! And the bad guy never let him retire!)
I will also forgo the vampire who could suck me dry of blood or the werewolf who will kill me in a fit of rage. I don’t want to have sex with a ghost. I would rather not know if there are angels or demons seeking human mates. I don’t want to be taken by aliens to another world or have tentacle sex. But I don’t mind read about them (except the tentacle sex one, it just sounds to bestiality for my taste).
As for the men, think about it. Yeah, I love the alpha male image. But I’m smart enough to know that a true alpha male would have me pulling out my hair in frustration and devising his death. I like male dominance and arrogance in the bedroom, but it stops there. A chauvinist porcine would piss me off.
Yeah, I like the sensitive man who would never think of hurting my feelings. But realistically, who isn’t going to say something at some time or other that won’t touch a cord and having me crying a bucket load of tears. Although if he says sorry when he is at fault, I’d like to have two. 😀
I don’t see romance novels as the destruction of relationships. Men and women don’t really need help in that regard. They can destroy a good thing all on their own. Just wish some of them would be adult enough to admit it and stop blaming books.
Romance novels are like any other fiction, they provide an escape from life for a short while. They are about the emotional, personal, sexual, and intimate experiences of the individual that are important to our lives. They show us a picture, a glimpse, a moment in the lives of someone else.
And despite people’s claims that they ruin relationships and lives, a 2005 study found that women who read romance novels were less likely to divorce. So maybe what it really boils down to is the type of people who read romance novels and not the books themselves?