Fictional Romance: A Real Relationship Killer?

July 14, 2020 by noelbranham in People 7 comments
Fictional Romance: A Real Relationship Killer?

You’ve heard it before… All romance novels give readers unrealistic expectations of relationships. Yep. They totally do. But I think most of the time, with life in general, we have unrealistic expectations not only of others but of ourselves. We live in a world where there is always something else to try, buy or satisfy our ever-evolving aspirations of happiness and fulfillment. So here are three things to remember while reading romance novels that will lead to having deep, meaningful, romantic, relationships in real life:

  1. Happiness isn’t fulfilled expectations. When you expect your significant other (SO) to see you and romantically sweep you off your feet while pulling flowers from behind your back and force-feeding you chocolates… you may have some unrealistic expectations. Would it be nice? Sure! But there is always something more they could do to make you happy, feeling loved, satisfied, etc. It’s a bottomless pit of desire and implied anticipated actions. We have to realize that no matter how many things we want out of a relationship, we can never receive them all… because realistically, we could never live up to the things expected of us either. Romance is a two-way street.
  2. Happiness is the unexpected, fulfilled. Wait… how can you fulfill something that isn’t expected? You can’t. And that’s what makes it so great. Your SO fills your car up with gas, takes you out for a date for no particular reason, watches that Victorian-era PBS drama with you even though they can’t understand the accents… When we get rid of expectations for ourselves and others we are able to really enjoy the things and people we already have and anything else is simply adding to lovely life that we already possess.
  3. Happiness in relationships is what you make of it. Just not feeling the love anymore after five years together? Was it that you chose the wrong person? Was it something they did? Something you did? Love can be a feeling and an action. Your relationship doesn’t have to be defined by feelings. Feelings fade. They aren’t realistic. They change with time as people change with time because all people change. But actions… actions are what you choose to do on a regular basis. They are a daily intentional choice (made by you) to care for another person. You can control your actions, but not so much your feelings. Funny thing is often times your actions create feelings you never thought you could have.

If you are looking for a romance novel with a bit more realism to test out these principals, check out The Simple Soul of Susan. You can have the realistic expectation that you won’t be disappointed. 

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7 comments on this post

  1. Amanda
    July 14, 2020

    Yeah, but I think that feeling has a lot to do wit it and sometimes you can’t make yourself feel a certain way. No matter how hard you try.

    Reply
    • noelbranham
      July 15, 2020

      I get that, Amanda! Sometimes you can’t!

      Reply
  2. Emily B.
    July 14, 2020

    Gosh I wish he would watch shows with m. Lol! Good points

    Reply
    • noelbranham
      July 15, 2020

      Don’t we all! 😉

      Reply
  3. Helen
    July 14, 2020

    😍

    Reply
  4. Jessica
    July 14, 2020

    Yep, I would add though that you can’t make someone love you. Like you can’t make yourself feel that way about someone.

    Reply
    • noelbranham
      July 15, 2020

      That’s true sometimes, I can get behind it! 🙂

      Reply

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