Does love in a romance novel parallel love in real life?

Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 2:20 PM

I read an interesting article yesterday in a back issue of Psychology Today, which questioned whether love in a romance novel parallels love in real life. In the article, Maryanne Fisher analyzed whether romance novels actually reflect what women want in their real life relationships. To put simply, do women really want the multi-millionaire, “bad boy” who by a miracle of birth happens to be both incredibly good-looking and an intellectual giant. I would say that this inquiry is difficult if not impossible to answer in a “yes” or “no” format. Like many questions, the answer is “it depends.” In so far as a woman desires some level of safety, to know that her partner will always be there for her and has the means to protect her, then yes some of the above traits may be useful. But I think it’s erroneous to assume that simply because a man has financial means he also has the “emotional” wherewithal. Likewise, while the bad boy is fun—and I’ve had my run-ins with a few—for the most part that type of relationship is fleeting (though obviously there are exceptions to that). While some romance novels do reflect relationships that theoretically a woman should want others may not. But at the end of the day, romance novels should be fun and have some degree of escapism. And the swoon-worthy “bad boy” alpha males are pretty fun to write about AND read about at the end of the day! Any thoughts?
Loren Mathis


  1. Thoughtful response. I try to make my characters amazingly wonderful with at least one huge fault. Whether or not that can be overcome is pretty much all I write!

    Your blog looks very professional. Thanks for stopping by mine. I gave you a tweet.

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, Virginia! I look forward to reading your blog posts and wish you the best of luck with your future books!

    Have a Happy Holiday Season!


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