I’ve read my fair share of Danielle Steele romance novels in the past. The thing that’s great about them is that they always have happy endings. No matter what obstacles the hero and heroine face, in the end you know if you keep reading there will be a happy ending. Most formulaic romances are the same. It’s a sure bet that if you stick with it, at the end it will be worth it and your heart will be warmed. Same goes for romance movies.
With other genres, sometimes right away, there is conflict and violence and disturbing subject matter, and you have to put the book down, because what if it stays that way, with no happy pay off? Really, why read a book where there is strife and more strife and then they all die? Yes, I know there some classics like that but in this day and age, where so much more feel good literature is available, I stick to happy.
When you think about it, relationships are like books. If they start off riddled with volatility, there probably isn’t going to be big change. Sure, there can be a paradigm shift and a character arc, but in real life? People generally don’t change. If it starts rough, it’s probably going to stay rough until it’s over. Some people enjoy that, they like the roller coaster and the mystery and hate the formulaic romance in literature and in life.
There are some readers who will stay with the book till the end, no matter how bad it is, and then there are people like me. Hit some slow patches, or too many chapters of hopelessness, too many chapters of bad writing or inconsistencies, and I’ll put the book down. I’m guilty of the same in relationships.
It’s taken me this long to see the connection. If I could discover and immerse myself in a “good book,” a worthy relationship, where I could trust “the author” that no matter the struggles mid-book, if I just stuck with it then there would be a happy ending, then I think I could risk it. I could put myself on the line for one of those epic novels where the characters start young (okay missed that boat) and have a long life of trials and tribulations and in the end, they’re sitting on a porch together holding hands and smiling.
I think my relationship failures have been in trusting the wrong authors to co-write my life story. Surely there exists a man who I can believe in for the long haul, who I can stay with till the very last page.
This is the year I switch genres and up my expectations for happiness.
Here’s to starting a new chapter in my book of life.