Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy discussion

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General Discussion > Do romance novels effect your relationships?

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message 1: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) | 160 comments I think we learn how relationships work from examples we've seen, heard, or read more than what we experience because we go into relationships with so many expectations based on these things. My opinions on love and romance are based on what I observed as a child and I never read anything romantic until I was an adult, so the genre seem a little funny to me at times (albeit entertaining).

I once talked with a young girl when I was in a leadership role who was scared to start dating because she had only really seen boys and relationships on TV (she attended an all girls school) and she thought all boys were one dimensional, sex crazed, and that they weren't expected to love women as much as women loved them.

My opinion at the time was the exact opposite, as all the adult relationships I had witnessed consisted of the men having undying love for the woman and the woman being a bit apathetic. This has persisted through my own adulthood as all my straight female friends are just as apathetic and my male friends (gay and straight) are just as loyal and obsessive.

Has reading romance novels had any effect on your opinions of romance or what you expect from a partner?


message 2: by Julia (last edited May 04, 2009 07:14PM) (new)

Julia (rhodium_maiden) | 53 comments Great topic, H! I've thought about this issue a great deal, and I think that fictional representations of relationships are hugely damaging for the most part. I truly mean romance in all contexts, from blockbuster movies to much of classic literature, typical 'romance novels' included. So I don't think that reading romance novels specifically has affected my opinions of romance, but I do think that media in general has.

Obviously there are exceptions and I do think there are many examples of very realistic romance, but I find these to be the minority, and I think that they impress less than the more 'epic'/perfect stories.

In particular the idea of soulmates and how heavily media pimps that concept bother me. Along with other rare (or possibly nonexistent) phenomena like love at first sight and perfect compatibility. I feel that media far too often portrays couples who enjoy all of these - EVEN if various obstacles occur.

I didn't read romance novels as a child, but I read a great deal generally. And I would often fantasise about being whisked away by a prince on a white horse (yes, I had very cliché fantasies) to some magical cottage or castle where we would make exquisite love for hours while fireworks exploded overhead from our passion. This is obviously not very likely ever going to occur, not least because there are few princes (and they don't date down, or ride horseback much), and while I've felt damn good from sex before, the fireworks thing is a bit much.

I would say that 'classic' chick lit - Jane Austen et al - falls into this false-hope generating category as much as the Authurian legends I read so much of, or romance novels, or even your typical romantic comedy. There *was* a bit of a rude awakening when I began to experience actual romance and intimacy and I discovered that reality did not compare to fantasy, and while I do in part blame my own imaginative and idealistic tendencies, I still resent media for reinforcing and encouraging them.

I'm not sure if I believe in soul mates - I won't lie, in my heart of hearts I am absolutely a hopeless romantic, despite my professed cynicism - but I think that expecting something of that magnitude is unwise and unhealthy. I think it leads many people to not be happy with what they have and to feel that there is always someone 'better out there'. Any type of serious relationship in *my* experience has involved settling, compromise, work & effort, and while better relationships involve LESS of these, I can not realistically imagine a relationship free of those aspects.

One last note - the depiction of men as more libidinous than women in most media absolutely infuriates me, especially as I have not found this to be the case in my own or my friends' experiences. Libido is not a sex/gender trait; it is a personality trait.


message 3: by Pamela, Moderatrix (new)

Pamela (foxglovewitch) | 614 comments Mod
Interesting topic! It's funny, we just had a discussion about this very thing in my adolescent lit class a couple of weeks ago. One person said she had to stop reading romances entirely (back in the 80s) because it completely ruined her perception of her (now failed) marriage.

I'm... torn. On one hand, I love romances. Pride & Prejudice is one of my favorite books, and I love the romance there. On the other hand, I do think that pretty much all forms of media, from romance novels to movies to television give people a very skewed and inaccurate vision of what relationships are supposed to be. My first marriage went down the tubes because I had unrealistic expectations that were probably based on all of the soul mate romance stuff I'd read.

I think the most important thing for people today is to realize that what they're reading/seeing is just a fantasy. It's fun to read and daydream about, but at the end of the day, your significant other is still going to fart and be a jerk sometimes. Just because he's not Mr. Darcy doesn't mean that you can't have a good relationship. And that doesn't mean that I think people shouldn't try to find the right person for them and just settle for whoever comes along. They should be picky, but we've got to realize that no one is going to be that perfect romance hero. Like Julia said, relationships involve things like compromise, arguments, and hard work. Expecting that just because you've found your soul mate, your relationship is going to be fight-free and full of puppies and rainbows just means that you're setting yourself up for a big heartbreak.

I don't think this means that people shouldn't enjoy the romantic ideal that's so often promoted by the media. But I do think that people should recognize it as an unrealistic ideal.


message 4: by Theresa (last edited May 05, 2009 10:36AM) (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Julia: One last note - the depiction of men as more libidinous than women in most media absolutely infuriates me, especially as I have not found this to be the case in my own or my friends' experiences. Libido is not a sex/gender trait; it is a personality trait.

THANK YOU, Julia! This drives me crazy!

---

In the past, my husband has accused my romance novels of causing problems in our relationship. I get a little sappy and romantic and Greg thinks that I am getting all worked up because of the book I'm reading. It is possible that the books put me in a more romantic mood, but I don't expect Greg to start waxing poetic about my hair, lips, etc just because the hero in the novel I'm reading is doing that to the heroine.


message 5: by Jessa (new)

Jessa Slade (jessaslade) | 114 comments Interesting. I read a lot of sci fi/fantasy as a kid, but I never dreamed of being an astronaut or an alien. Later, I devoured romance, but I never believed in One True Love.

For some reason, however, souped-up CG fight scenes leave me utterly convinced that I can parkour jump and roundhouse kick, and my sweetie has to leave the movie theater a half dozen steps ahead of me to avoid a concussion.

I think maybe we all internalize fantasy differently.


message 6: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) | 160 comments It's not 'What do they make you feel you can do/should have' but more of a 'What do you think is possible/should be.'

And for the record, I read a lot of fantasy novels and believed I was a unicorn for 5 years. Age 22 to 27.

(I'm 24 now, but I've decided to indulge myself for 3 more years)


message 7: by Julia (new)

Julia (rhodium_maiden) | 53 comments Discriminating - "I don't think this means that people shouldn't enjoy the romantic ideal that's so often promoted by the media. But I do think that people should recognize it as an unrealistic ideal. " - Agreed completely, and on your whole reply. I just think an increase of/focus on more realistic romance in media would help this a bit. :)

Theresa - I have had several boyfriends (and a husband!) with a lower libido! And the number of times *I've* had to make the first move? I've lost track. I think about sex at least as much as the average man. :D

Jessa - Excellent point!

H - <3 unicorns!!! <3


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Maybe because I prefer my romance with a bit of kink, I'd say that, if anything, reading romance improves my relationship. I get a lot of fun ideas for mixing things up.
And, Jessa, I have the same issue with fight scenes. I literally beleive that I could take on a whole group of tough guys. And now that I'm reading Lover Avenged, I'm thinking that if I had some throwing stars I could probably do some serious a** kicking.


message 9: by Lori (last edited May 07, 2009 07:50AM) (new)

Lori  (moderatrixlori) Lori wrote: "Maybe because I prefer my romance with a bit of kink, I'd say that, if anything, reading romance improves my relationship. I get a lot of fun ideas for mixing things up.
And, Jessa, I have the sa..."


Oh Lori...you're so funny. I'd like to try my hand at throwing stars too. Your husband must be loving the new things you're bringing to the bedroom :). Even the M/M books we love so much can be educational right?

I'm not currently in a relationship so I can't really speak to how the books I read would influence me except to say that my man would be one happy camper in the bedroom! I do think that I'm mature enough and smart enough to realize that the relationships in the books I read are a fantasy and not usually applicable to "real" life. Still though, I sometimes find myself thinking "Gee, that was a good way to handle that" or "If he were my mate, I'd so kick his ass for that".


message 10: by pianogal (new)

pianogal | 31 comments Jessa wrote: "Interesting. I read a lot of sci fi/fantasy as a kid, but I never dreamed of being an astronaut or an alien. Later, I devoured romance, but I never believed in One True Love.

For some reason, ho..."


LOL Jessa...seriously, L.O.L.




message 11: by new_user (last edited May 07, 2009 08:36AM) (new)

new_user | 1389 comments What's this about throwing stars in the bedroom? LOL, JK.

Lori wrote: "I do think that I'm mature enough and smart enough to realize that the relationships in the books I read are a fantasy and not usually applicable to 'real' life."

Same. I've never taken any fantasy I read that seriously.


message 12: by Yz the Whyz (last edited May 07, 2009 09:12AM) (new)

Yz the Whyz (whyz) | 1020 comments Mod
I would say I have my feet planted firmly on solid ground.

As I was saying to my hubby last night, I prefer any "drama" to be confined to my books and movies. I read to escape the drudgery of real life..LOL..not that its really that bad...LOL..but I see the books as my escape...but I'm pretty aware that that is the purpose of my reading.

He would usually teased me that he should grow "fangs" or something to keep my attention, and he would always get an eyeroll from me. "Get real", I would say, "I love my vamps, but not for real. I wouldn't know what to do with one, if these guys are real."

So for me, there is an unseen but real line between what I see and feel in real life and what I enjoy and imagine in the books I read.


message 13: by Missy (new)

Missy (missy_v) | 6 comments My husband is jealous of my imaginary boyfriend, Edward Cullen ;)

I think its hard to read about uber romantic stories and not expect similar gestures from your significant other. But is that so wrong? I mean as long as you have realistic expectations. I guess I'm just lucky to have a husband who can be romantic if he wants to, or maybe sometimes he just feels threatened by Edward :)


message 14: by Theresa (last edited May 07, 2009 11:28AM) (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) Julia wrote: "I have had several boyfriends (and a husband!) with a lower libido! And the number of times *I've* had to make the first move? I've lost track. I think about sex at least as much as the average man...."

Same here. Used to be a bone of contention in our relationship - still is a bit on my end, but I've mostly accepted it. Husband periodically tells me that he feels like a piece of meat and I look him in the eye, frown, and say something along the lines of: And this is a problem, why? Sign me up to be a piece of meat!!


message 15: by Wendalyn (new)

Wendalyn Peterson | 22 comments LOL What a great subject. I often think about this subject. Hubby does the same thing and teases me about things like Edward Cullin and Vampires and how sick I am to drool over someone like that. But it isn't the person in the movie more the Character in the book. Tho movie Edward is pretty hot too.

I am same as Julia and have a high libido and hubby is more like the frigid female. LOL... Alot of people think movies and books look better than real life. For those of us who don't have the perfect marriage it makes that grass look all the more greenier but it's not so I will stick with all my characters in my books and just keep dreaming :-)I love paranormal romance and we all know those arn't real anyways.


message 16: by Nifferness (new)

Nifferness | 33 comments I came in here expecting everyone to have the same answer as me: that they make me horny, hence it could never be a bad thing....

Perhaps, in addition to reading PNR I should look at some self help books???


message 17: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) | 160 comments Just stick to erotica and enjoy life.


message 18: by new_user (last edited Jun 03, 2009 10:14PM) (new)

new_user | 1389 comments LOL. Nifferness, lest we forget, they do have their perks. ;)


message 19: by Nifferness (new)

Nifferness | 33 comments Well I suppose now that I've thought about it and more than just my tingling loins are answering, I can honestly say that I don't think they have affected my relationships in a negative way . I have been reading romance novels since I was about 19 or so. I guess I was old enough (and jaded enough already) to know the romantic notions are just that: notions.

I also married a man whose idea of romance is to run to the other room if has to pass gas and believe me most nights he's not in a "romantic" mood. LOL. That being said, I like my real relationship just fine. If I had the amount of passion and ardeur that these characters have, I wouldn't ever get anything done or be able to recover from the constant roller coaster ride of emotions!!!


message 20: by Adrienne (last edited Jun 04, 2009 07:51AM) (new)

Adrienne i only think that romance novels affect you in a negative way ie distort your expectations of how a relationship *works* if you are very insecure in the first place::i worked with someone who had this rather warped idea:: she felt that ALL yes all men should be like mr darcy::really::i'm not joking::however i think she was the exception:: sadly every relationship she entered into failed and quite dramaticaly too::b/c no one lived up to her expectations::for me romance novels add spice to life they can brighten up the bedroom activity and i'm reliably told that fantasising about charaters is not a bad thing::rather that than fantasise about someone you know ie work colleague/friend/neighbour/guy on public transport who smiles at you every morning:which has the potential to be dangerous::and damage your existing relationship::so for me bring on the romance and the adventures i know what to expect from my grumpy moaning other half::and wouldn't change him for the world::


message 21: by new_user (new)

new_user | 1389 comments LOL. Darcy was a jerk at the beginning though... xD Yep, if our lives were like these romance heroines, we wouldn't have lives, we'd have nervous breakdowns, LOL.


message 22: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne i think becoming obssessed with a fictional lifestyle is all to easy if you're not happy in your own skin::


message 23: by Deidra (new)

Deidra Bowling (fr33toliv) | 1 comments I've just started to read the twilight saga. I'm not really a reader and I have a really hard time finishing a book. With the twilight books I can't put them down. since I've been reading them I've noticed how I wish so badly I was one of the characters to have a love like that and it's really been messing with my head so I'm glad I found this discussion.

I've always had a hard time knowing if the person I'm with is what I want if he has it all and I've grown up very interested in love stories and anything to do with a true relationship. I've had a few things happen to me in my life may have obscured my thought on love such as my dad has been married 3 times and gone through numerous girlfriends. I was also in a relationship where I was so in love with the person and I was sure they were the one for me, but he ended up in a car wreck and passed away. I've always kind of thought they should be like what I've seen in movies because what I've seen what my dad was doing wasn't working. I'm in a relationship now where I'm engaged! I'm only 21 but some days I think I try to convince myself that this is what I want that I'm not going to find that fairytale romance that it doesn't exists so this relationship is whats real but I wonder if I still can do better than I have now!?!?!?! I feel psycho

So in conclusion I do think it can mess with your head if you have had the right things messing with you. I've been dying to get that out of my system for days now and I hope you guys don't think I'm crazy for believing all this true love mumbo jumbo...


message 24: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) | 160 comments I don't think its crazy at all, and wondering if you can do better is natrual.

The important thing to remember, I think, is that a marrige is a partnership so half of it's sucsess is on you. Your questions shouldn't be "Can I find someone better than him?" but "Can I be someone better with someone else?"


message 25: by Schnaucl (new)

Schnaucl | 21 comments One of the most interesting classes I took in college was called Narratives of Masculinity. There were about 20ish of us, slightly more men than women (apparently a first).

One of the things that really stuck with me is that none of the women believed in the idea of there being one perfect person for them whereas the vast majority of the guys did.


message 26: by new_user (new)

new_user | 1389 comments Yeah, but men idealize a lot. LOL. That sounds like an interesting class though.


message 27: by Schnaucl (new)

Schnaucl | 21 comments new_user wrote: "Yeah, but men idealize a lot. LOL. That sounds like an interesting class though."

It really, really was. In some ways I think it let the men learn more about the women than vice versa. They still assumed they were going to be the primary breadwinner (this was around 2000-2001, I think). They had no idea how aware most women are of the possibility of rape and clearly didn't get it. I'd really love to take another class like that on an ongoing basis. It was fascinating.



message 28: by Julia (new)

Julia (rhodium_maiden) | 53 comments What school was this at, may I ask? Fascinating stuff.

And they say women are romantic.


message 29: by Schnaucl (new)

Schnaucl | 21 comments Julia wrote: "What school was this at, may I ask? Fascinating stuff.

And they say women are romantic."


Whitman College. I really enjoyed my time there. It's a small liberal arts college (1300 students when I attended probably closer to 1500 now)located in Walla Walla, Washington.



message 30: by new_user (new)

new_user | 1389 comments LOL, Julia, that's what I was thinking. I think awareness of the possibility of rape goes hand in hand with self-awareness. Stopping to analyze the information received rather than just responding emotionally to stimuli.


message 31: by Julia (new)

Julia (rhodium_maiden) | 53 comments It looks like a great place, Schnaucl. I wish I'd gone to a much smaller college - I attended a large university and I hated it after my small boarding school (the size of Whitman, about).

new_user - I don't think it's that men are less analytical. I think it's that women are more fundamentally practical - and we have to be, evolutionarily.


message 32: by new_user (new)

new_user | 1389 comments Oh, I don't mean to limit the problem of self-awareness to men. There are plenty of women who are very unfortunately not self-aware too.

Gotta love those small LAS colleges. :)


message 33: by Ann aka Iftcan (last edited Aug 18, 2009 07:51PM) (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 2659 comments Mod
I was reading an article a couple of years ago where a reporter had gone into a bunch of different high schools and talked to male and female students. The male students all expected to go into a Leave it to Beaver type family, even when they didn't have that kind of family themselves and a lot of the girls were all into being independent, working and I THINK (trying to remember the statistics here) that half of the girls said they didn't see any reason to get married to have kids. That they'd either just HAVE a child or two and raise it alone or they'd live with their boyfriend/S.O. without bothering to get married. And they almost all expected to work outside the home AND they expected the males in their life to do their share of the housework. Makes you wonder what the HECK those boys were watching/listening to to give them ideas that were so totally opposite to what the girls were saying.



message 34: by Schnaucl (new)

Schnaucl | 21 comments Ann wrote: "I was reading an article a couple of years ago where a reporter had gone into a bunch of different high schools and talked to male and female students. The male students all expected to go into a ..."

I think I remember hearing about that study.

Speaking of where people get ideas, I can't remember if this article was already mentioned in this group or not. I think it was, I know it was mentioned in one of the groups I follow.


message 35: by new_user (new)

new_user | 1389 comments Ann wrote: "I was reading an article a couple of years ago where a reporter had gone into a bunch of different high schools and talked to male and female students. The male students all expected to go into a ..."

I have to wonder about the validity of that study if it produced two such extremes. Leading questions, selective sampling?

LOL. Schnaucl, that article was pretty funny.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Is the guy you can be happy with a tall, dark, handsome gazillionaire from a foreign country (like in HQN Presents)? Probably not. But if you're asking whether or not the world is filled with men who will treat you well and give you the romance that you crave--the answer is yes. If romantic gestures are necessary to your happiness and your betrothed isn't giving them to you, it's time to have a talk.

My own fairy tale prince came in a guise I didn't expect, but now we've been happily married for more than twelve years, and he treats me like a princess. I am glad I didn't settle for anyone who loved me less.


message 37: by Caleb (new)

Caleb (ccp981) Cosmopolitian Magazine was more damaging to my sense of self and realtionship ideals than any romance novel that I've ever read.

Yeah, Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Handsome can be alluring and you may think "why doesn't my husband/boyfriend say or do things like that", but at the end of the day, it is fantasy and for the most part, known for that.

Cosmo, is seemingly presented as factual, and maybe it is. Maybe people are really that big of a mess. Have you read some of the "What it means when he does "x", what he means when he says "_____", or hottest bedroom confessions. Let's not even begin to get started on all of the body image projections in the media. It's a wonder anyone in the world can have a stable relationship with the media's influence. I stopped reading Cosmo several years ago because it nearly gave me anxiety attacks just thinking about all of the possibilities presented in the articles about love and realtionships.

Romance is what you make of it, love and life are not scripted, have no working outlines and never gets a second draft. I am pretty realistic when it comes to love and relationships; and I still firmly believe in this quote:

"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth." -- Mark Twain

To live any other way is to give up on your own happiness and to have no one to blame but yourself for that lack of happiness.




message 38: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 30 comments I've only been reading romance since the beginning of the year (and I'm totally hooked) and I've been recommending books to all my girlfriends because it has totally helped our sex life, and overall marriage!

After I had our daughter 2 years ago, I just wasn't in the mood like I used to and I'd let little things bug me in our marriage a lot. But - since I've been reading these books, I get so turned on I'm like initiating sex again and my hubby loves it! Like somebody else said, I'm trying new things too, one in particular is taking it slow. Most the books have a ton of foreplay and build up, and since we've been married it's like kiss for 2 minutes, then let's do the deed (sorry if that's TMI) - but now I'm like taking my time and the anticipation is great!

I think reading about love all the time has also helped me feel the lovey dovey feelings for my hubby again and if anything made me more devoted to our marriage. But like other people mentioned, if you were already unhappy in your relationship, that's probably something different from reading these books.


message 39: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne I've always thought that you (universal you that is)can look at a situation two ways .....if you loved someone once chances are you still love them, unless the relationship is abusive or damaging or making you very unhappy.. If your lovelife is not what you desire instead of thinking this is c**p think this is nice tell yourself this often enough and chances are it will be,once something becomes nice it becomes easier to improve, a positive thought is very empowering because your confidence is boosted, a negative thought tends to knock your confidence by making you angry,sad or dissatisfied. If reading romance helps you take back control of your love life, gives you new ideas to try or encourages a different approach to certain things then this is great....I know it has in my marriage...gone are nighties/pjs, I feel more sensuous, I kind of rediscovered my old self ...how I was a few years ago before I had my kids, when I liked to feel sexy and loved!


message 40: by new_user (new)

new_user | 1389 comments Way to go, Stephanie! :)


message 41: by Eclectic1 (new)

Eclectic1 Fais | 6 comments I think that reading romance novels (or any other media portraits of couples' relationships for that matter) might be quite damaging when you either are really young and/or naive or when you are an adult but fail to take what you read/hear/watch with the proverbial grain of salt and don't stop to consider that these are works of fiction created to entertain you and not to represent real people or relationships.

A couple of things I learned in one of my undergraduate psychology courses were: opposites generally do not attract, most people tend to choose partners and even friends that are similar to themselves (in social standing, education, values and even certain personality traits). In fact, the more different you are from your partner, the more difficult it is to make it work and last. However, the media is always glorifying this same stereotype.

Many books also propose the concept of each partner making the other "whole", well, yes, of course you can share a lot of intimate things with your partner, but if you don't have your own interests and personal space, things can get really messy...who wants a partner that is constantly clinging and does not have any interest in life but you? Not only it can get boring and overwhelming pretty fast, but it is very sad to be depending on another person in order to feel complete. If you are in that situation, I suspect that in most cases you will be headed for a sore disappointment. Not many sane individuals would volunteer to bear the burden of another person's completeness.
Another wrong concept is that you can change a person through your love and caring. The bad news is that people's personality is pretty stable through life and change is not that easy. When people change it is not really due to the influence of another person, but because their need to change comes from within. However, whenever I have tried to change some aspect of myself, I have found that is extremely more easily said than done.

Sometimes when I'm reading about a brooding alpha hero I smile...I might be having a lot of fun reading about him and his relationship with the heroine, but whenever I imagine my husband acting like that...well, I think I would have run for the hills a long time ago...who wants a psychologically disturbed, uncommunicative/possessive jerk trying to boss you around all the time? No thanks, I need some measure of peace in my real life.

So, for me, a good novel entertains me and it even might spice up things a bit with my husband on some occasions, but in the end, its just that, entertainment and fantasy.




message 42: by Jessa (new)

Jessa Slade (jessaslade) | 114 comments Yay, Stephanie, for taking good ideas wherever you find them! I think "reading about love all the time," as you put it, can only be a good thing. Yes, we all know there's more to life than love, but why should love be a huge part of our days?

Even in most of the hard-core alpha male possessive jerk stud stories, it's usually not until the male learns to trust, light up and communicate that he wins his woman. And most of the time, it's the characters completing their inner arcs that makes them "worthy" of love.


message 43: by new_user (new)

new_user | 1389 comments Agree 100%, Eclectic.


message 44: by Pamela, Moderatrix (new)

Pamela (foxglovewitch) | 614 comments Mod
You're so right, Eclectic1. I spent my adolescence and a good chunk of my early twenties starry-eyed and expecting love to be like it is in the movies: soul mates, perfect compatibility, all that stuff. My marriage was a nightmare for it and I made some pretty embarrassing mistakes back then. I've found a great guy now, and we're both very practical and pragmatic about our relationship. We don't expect choirs of angels to sing when we kiss or anything like that; we talk about things and have fun with each other.

The most important thing, I think, is to realize that fiction is for the most part complete and utter fantasy. Like you said, it's fun to daydream and read about the brooding hero, but in real life? Nope. Not a chance.

I think the most potentially damaging thing that seems to be ingrained in our culture is the idea that with love, a girl can change the bad boy. Again, like you said, that just ain't gonna happen like it does in the movies, and I've known women who've gotten themselves into very bad relationships because they believe that their love will make him see the light. It's kind of scary.

I've got to admit, the reaction I see to Twilight and particularly Edward's behavior creeps me out. I can get the brooding alpha male thing in fiction, but SO MANY GIRLS desperately want their own Edward who'll sneak into their rooms at night and watch them sleep without, y'know, asking their permission first. Yikes!


message 45: by Adrienne (last edited Aug 20, 2009 08:35AM) (new)

Adrienne I think there's a big diffrence between being in a stable relationship and using Romance Novels to perk things up in the bedroom, and the other side which( as others have already mentioned )is using those novels as a base for your relationship or in choosing who/what you expect your partner to be like.


message 46: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 30 comments The Discriminating Fangirl wrote: "You're so right, Eclectic1. I spent my adolescence and a good chunk of my early twenties starry-eyed and expecting love to be like it is in the movies: soul mates, perfect compatibility, all that ..."

You are definately right about girls thinking they can change the bad guy. I see that in books too - the tough guy on the outside, then the girl who breaks through to the amazingly sweet guy on the inside - but in real life, there are tons of just plain old jerks who don't have a sweet bone in them.


message 47: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Bair-Epps | 725 comments I love this discussion! You guys are brilliant and better than any marriage councilor!

My friends have always described me as a guys girl and on occasions Samantha from Sex in The City. I've always hated the romance stuff growing up and even now. I grew up where my parents, even though still married, never showed each other or their children any affection. In response to that I am not an affectionate person and sometimes called cold. The Twilight saga got me interested in PR and it's been my drug ever since. I've never been attracted to males for their looks but more there mind and after reading these books with deliciously perfect males I find myself lusting after good looking men.

My husband (who was and still is my best friend) has noticed the change in me. I've got caught a couple of times checking out some guys which he laughed off. But my problems is that I now fantasize and have hot "dreams" of these men.

I realize now that when I married, I married for comfort. These PR books even though fictional have made me examine my life a little more. It's easy to get caught up in fantasy but no matter how it can skew my vision reality will always be there to bite me in the butt.


message 48: by Eclectic1 (new)

Eclectic1 Fais | 6 comments My daughter is now 15 and, like most of her friends, she read the Twilight series. I have asked her about what she thought about the kind of people/relationships are portrayed in the series. She told me that they are fun to read but that a guy who would get into her room to watch her at night would seriously creep her out and besides, if vampires existed, they would be really scary to be around. She also told me that she can't understand how come so many teens are actually in love with a fictional character and was wondering if these girls would indeed miss the chance to get a real boyfriend. As you can imagine, the fact that she is able to rationalize the difference is a great relief (with teens, you really never know):) I guess I'm ok with her enjoying a little escapism through reading fiction as long as she is able to get back to reality. However, while she is not of age, I really want her to stay away from books with mature content (I don't think any mom would want her teen getting inspiration from those steamy sex scenes), so I discretely keep an eye on her reading materials.



message 49: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne Okay here a question. If you (universal)see a smart attractive man, do you look and appriciate?


message 50: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Bair-Epps | 725 comments Sorry I forgot to include in my little rant earlier was that romance in books and movies had always appeared fake to me because of how I grew up. Not seeing it as a child made me think that all romance was made up and fake.


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