It’s the season for romance. Valentine’s day is just over a week away. Many people celebrate other milestones around this date, too. My husband and I started dating on February 7th, so we almost always have our date on that day instead of on the busier night of the 14th.
Being a romance author, I look for romance everywhere. I can’t resist. It’s most of what I read and always what I write.
But as much as I enjoy a good romance novel or chick flick, I notice a sad trend in the genre.
Sure, most of the story is focused on getting the boy and girl together and leaves the happily ever after to our imagination, but many of the stories tend to be … well … shallow, even in the Christian market.
Boy sees girl and there’s an instant ZING.
Girl sees boy and tries to deny the flutter, but can’t.
And the deeper into the book we get, it’s mostly more of the same. There’s a bit of conflict. A bit of resolution. But for the most part, their relationship is left up to feelings and emotions.
Don’t get me wrong. Feelings and emotions have a big part in the world of romance and I would be sad to see them go. But I also know that LOVE has more to it than the butterflies and warm fuzzies brought on by those first moments of attraction. In real life, when the going gets rough, the emotions tend to get going.
Love is an action. It’s a choice. Our culture is so quick to “fall” in and out of love instead of realizing that it doesn’t have to be that way. When we decide to be in a relationship, when we pick someone as our forever, it should last that long. No matter what.
If more of our stories showed that part, the reality that happily ever after doesn’t have only cheerful moments, then we might be able to portray more of our characters working on deeper relationships and building each other up through the trials and growing closer to each other through them. That’s the way my marriage has worked over the last fifteen and a half years, and I have been with the man who is my husband through some seriously rough stretches.
Who’s with me? Can we deepen our characters, building their relationship on more than feelings and attraction? It’s my goal. I want happily ever after to truly last that long … through everything. What about you?
PS — There can still be romance and warm fuzzies even in that kind of loving relationship. Check more examples on my blog in my Real Life Romance section here.
Amy R Anguish, author of An Unexpected Legacy and Faith & Hope, grew up a preacher’s kid, and in spite of having lived in seven different states that are all south of the Mason Dixon line, she is not a football fan. Currently, she resides in Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and son, and usually a bossy cat or two. Amy has an English degree from Freed-Hardeman University that she intends to use to glorify God, and she wants her stories to show that while Christians face real struggles, it can still work out for good.
Check out her new book, Faith & Hope, available now.
Her new book, Saving Grace, releases September 2020.