The dating affect that romance novels have on readers

Samiyah Howard, Staff Writer

     Romance, something a vast majority of young women dream of. Something many people are constantly searching for. Something that can be found in romance books.

     Many new readers start off with romance as their first genre, but proceed to fall in love with it more than they expected. It can be easy to start reading a book about a man who treats his girlfriend like a queen, causing readers to suddenly fall in love with the guy. People start to look for a partner who could possibly do the same for them, but then realize that their standards in men have become unrealistic. 

     “I read them because I don’t have love in my own life, so I have to live vicariously through the characters,” senior Becca Jeffcoat said.

      Most young girls who begin reading began because of one specific thing. “My dad used to read a lot, and then I just got into Wattpad,” Jeffcoat said.

     The escape from reality that a book can give readers and the romantic feelings they can develop when a character does something so beautiful for their partner in the book can be the reason why people read romance novels in the first place.

     “I think it’s just nice to have something that you can think about that’s not as realistic as real life because, obviously, real life is not as romantic as romance books, and so it’s nice to just put yourself in that little dream world for a while,” freshman Caelen Taylor said. 

      When looking for the right partner, it can be hard finding every quality you desire. However, these men in most romance books can be easy to love. They show the emotional and compassionate side most women search for in a partner.

     “My standards are raised because men in books are just so..especially when they show the point of view of the man and you see what they’re thinking and they’re like I’ll do anything for her; it’s the one where they’ll fight for you,” Jeffcoat said. 

     Romance books can give a different perspective on dating. Finding the right partner can be hard in real life, but romance books can make it seem as though a soulmate is just right around the corner. 

     “I used to think that relationships were always going to get you hurt and like all this stuff. I sometimes think that now, especially if I get really deep into thought about it. But after reading romance books, I think that it can work out and that relationships aren’t always heartbreak and bad for you,” Taylor said. 

     Romance books are written by male and female authors and the term “written by a woman” has become a popular phrase when it comes to romance books. 82% of romance authors are women and 18% are men. 

     “So a lot of the times when men are written by women authors, the women know what they’re talking about when it comes to what women want in a partner,” Taylor said, “A lot of times men only focus on the sexual like physical attractiveness when women go more towards emotional compassion in parts of the relationship, and I feel like a lot of times male authors don’t understand that.” 

     This can be a similar feeling in romance book readers. They can tend to sway more towards a book written by a woman author rather than a man author. 

     English teacher Katherine Latta echoes Taylor’s thoughts. “HAHA- I frequently think ‘My husband would never say this cheesiness!!!’  I have read romance books written by men, and I actually hate them because women aren’t the way the men write.”

     Many relationships can be negatively affected by women reading romance books. They may cause them to question their partners or grow unhappy with the things their partners are not doing. But should you let fictional characters dictate the outcome of your relationship?

     “You need to know what’s important to you in a relationship. If having a partner who does romantic gestures is important, then you need to be sure to find someone who does that. Maybe romance books will help you know what is a priority in your relationship,” Latta said.