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What comes to mind when you think of Danielle Steel, Nicholas Sparks, Jane Austen and Nora Roberts? If you guessed that they are authors, you’re absolutely right! If you guessed that they’re romance novelists, you’re even more right! According to the 2014 Nielsen Romance Buyer Survey, eighty-four percent of women read romance novels as opposed to sixteen percent of men and sixty-four percent of those women read the same romance novel more than once. They usually go for the friends to lovers troupe as well as the fated/star-crossed lovers troupe.

When I see these statistics, I notice something: women are actively seeking romance while men are generally not. With that being said, women may be expecting something out of men that they are not naturally able to give. We women read up on romance. We imagine various instances that we’ve read about in novels happening to us in real life. We want to have those experiences in the person we’ve sought out to be our partner. The following pictures are typically what we read about in novels:

But in reality, we see couples like this:

When we women see our reality and compare it to what’s in the romance novels, it’s easy to see why we feel so disappointed with our relationships. When we hear another person’s partner doing above and beyond for their loved one while it seems as if the most romantic thing our partner does is move stuff off the couch so we can sit down, it gets disheartening. We wonder why we are not recipients of such treatment. We wonder if it’s even possible to get such treatment.

Well, it’s somewhat clear to me in the statistics above. See, it’s been my experience that when people want something, they will do the proper research to get it. They will read books, watch videos, talk to people who are successful in that venture, attend seminars and programs about that topic, and much, much more. So when the above statistic (for this purpose, I will use a male/female relationship) says that most men are not researching romance, we women have to understand that they are only going to do what they know. Even more clearly in that statistic, most men are not even remotely interested learning about romance. For women who have certain expectations when it comes relationships, this can be a startling statistic to overcome and may leave us with self-reflection.

The question of are we women expecting too much out of our partners when it comes to romance starts to appear in our mind. The answer varies because some have the all the romance in the world before marriage and then after, it drops off quicker than a drop tower ride at Six Flags. Others have some whose partner will get a clue and start to become more romantic as well as those whose partner will still do nothing in the romance department. Regardless of what may happen after reading this post, there is one thing that can be changed with regards to romance: your own personal view of romance.

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What have you done to love yourself lately? What have you done to show yourself how much you love you? How much have you found out about yourself that you can do to reinforce the love your have for yourself? Do you do those things on a regular basis? If not, why not? When you realize that you can romance yourself, your partner may can have a better understanding of how to romance you too.

Here are some ways you can romance yourself:

  1. Take charge of your life. Do things you love to do.
  2. Take charge of your health.
  3. Learn more about yourself and open yourself up to more of those experiences
  4. Change your outlook on life and embrace it.
  5. Change what you can and try to understand what you cannot change.
  6. Know that no matter what, trust that you’re good enough.

The sooner we realize that fantasies may never be our reality, the better. However, we can change our reality to become more loving and accepting of ourselves, thus creating the best romance of all.

Until next time, my sincerest hope is that you continue to love yourself more and embrace the idea of romancing yourself more. Sometimes you have to do for yourself what your partner cannot until they learn how they can do it for you too.  So, if that means continuing to read romance novels, make sure you do it in a rose petal bubble bath with a glass of wine and a box of chocolates and see what you think about romancing yourself after that.

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