I’m totally guilty of reading too many romance novels, although I don’t like when people refer to them as a ‘guilty pleasure’, after all, it is one of the most popular genres for a reason. Romance novels are one of my favorites right up there with drama, autobiography, and realistic fiction. So why is it that romance seems like the one I enjoy so greatly, but am so ashamed to admit my love for? I think it has something to do with the reputation it’s acquired throughout the years.
Romance novels in the past have been seen as quite notable and some of the best stories in history. However, now it seems that if you read too many, it may not be the best thing. I have had a good share of them, re-reading ones with characters whose relationships I loved or were very relatable and felt just like me. And yes, at times I have wished I was in a novel like that, I will admit it. So is that so wrong? It can be. Here are the pros and cons to reading many romance novels.
1. Pro: It inspires you to feel a little more passionate
Whether it’s your relationship or little moments of your life, it can’t hurt to feel a little more romantic. It may be a bit cheesy since life is nowhere near like in the movies, but it sure can feel like it if you look for all the beautiful snippets in day to day life. A feeling of romance doesn’t necessarily have to do with a partner, you could have that starry-eyed even when you’re solo or with friends.
Con: Sometimes you forget how seriously you have to take certain situations…
It's very easy to get caught up in the feelings romance books provide, and soon enough, everyday life stops feeling living up to the world of literary romance. Nothing is planned to work out, we actually have to work to fix things. And if there’s a fissure in your relationship you can’t just give your partner a single grand line and expect it to be magic again. Romance can sometimes make you forget the difference between people and paper.
2. Pro: These stories can help us better understand ourselves and what we really want
Novels like these tend to dig deep into their protagonist; whether it’s a self-assured heroine or a strong minded mysterious hero, we get a good backstory. I tend to put myself in the character’s shoes so I may or may not agree with everything they do. If a certain scene is very poignant I will usually remember it and apply it to my own life. There have been moments where it takes a literary character to knock some knowledge into my own head. When it comes to relationships, you can use some parts from these novels to better understand what you may or may not want. Even if it is a little far-fetched, we all deserve a good love.
Con: Sometimes we just end up confusing our own feelings
After reading a lovey-dovey story that begins with a two people and hardship then ends in a sweet and magnificent finality, for me the feeling is hard to shake. I’ve been a little googly-eyed after finishing stories. With this can come some rash choices. Nothing is perfect, we know that, but we still tend to lean toward those flighty actions. With relationships: Do we stay with whoever catches our eyes first? Should we leave the second things seem shaky? If we meet someone we like, do we abandon everything we had just in case it’s something incredible? The danger is thinking there is always something better to come with acting on emotions.
3. Pro: They provide the perfect escape from reality
When the world is a little crazy and things have been stressful, my first choice is to read, and it will be almost always be a romance. It’s sweet, enjoyable, and almost always has a happy ending. We all need a little hope and a daydream now and then. It’s sweet and reminds us how good things can be, even if they are a little reaching. Sometimes after finishing a serious book I’ll counteract it by reading a romance after. Works every time.
Con: The escape can last for a little too long…
These mushy works of literature can screw with our head and our expectations if you let them. No one is perfect, so if you’re looking for a partner who will keep coming back even when you push them away to be poetic, dramatic, and damaged… Guess what? They won’t keep coming back. And if someone doesn’t have that smoldering look to them, that doesn’t mean they don’t have an interesting or deep past. Not all that glitters is gold, so if you have something good, hang onto it. We can all dream now and then. Just remember to enjoy the sweet moments and let the love story start with yourself first.
Featured Image Via Maria's Farm Country Kitchen