Some might consider it a crazy question – how could a harmless romance novel jeopardize anyone’s relationship? But much like the pornography debate, it’s definitely something that some people fear, even if that fear is mostly unwarranted.
Of course, one could argue that the relationships portrayed in romance novels depict unrealistic standards that no one can conform to in the real world – not all of us are billionaires, or successful and confident women who can have any man we want, so how can we expect to keep up with the kinds of people and relationships we read about in these stories? The answer to that is simple: you don’t have to. Romance novels aren’t meant to portray real life, they’re an escape from it, and no one should be expected to live up to the kinds of stories being told.
If your relationship is happy, romance novels aren’t going to be a threat
Do you feel the kinds of feelings that the characters in romance novels do when you look at your partner or spouse? Do you feel that rush of emotion, and have the knowledge that you’d do anything for them without being asked? Then it’s pretty likely your relationship isn’t in danger of being influenced by a book. Anyone who feels secure in their relationship with their partner isn’t going to be swayed by any questions that might be raised by the scenarios written about in a romance novel – in fact, they might even be encouraged by them because they can relate to the way the characters feel about each other.
If your relationship ISN’T happy, it’s not going to end because of a romance novel
There is not a breakup in the world that has happened solely because of someone reading too many romance novels. There are definitely going to have been other, more tangible, factors in play that have led to the end of the relationship. That’s not to say that romance novels can’t be a catalyst, of course, but if you’re blaming them on your breakup there’s definitely some denial going on.
There is definitely room for romance novels to provide insight into why a relationship doesn’t work, though. Just as people in happy relationships can project their own contentment onto that which the characters feel, people who are unhappy can project their misery onto characters too, and eventually wonder why their relationship doesn’t feel the way the relationship they’re reading about does.
Remember – romance novels aren’t just for single people!
If there is any doubt as to what kind of influence romance novels are having on you or your partner, there is a solution: read them together. It might feel a little strange at first, but sharing the stories you read with your partner and vice versa could potentially open up a whole new part of your relationship. It could even rekindle something in a longer relationship that perhaps you had lost, as there’s always the option of being able to recreate some of those steamy love scenes!
When it comes down to it, if you’re feeling threatened in your relationship by a harmless romance novel, there are probably some things you need to address in terms of communication with your partner, and your relationship is only doomed if you take the threat seriously.