Growing up I was a huge fan of romance novels. Scantily clad women graced the covers and the inside of each novel was full of sex between the heroine and the man of her dreams. At the end of the book when they finally end up together, the happily ever after ending everyone loves, was how the story really ended. You didn't know if they fought constantly, if he battled alcohol addiction, or if she was a nag that never wanted sex again.
Those books set me up for a very disappointing dating life. There were no roses on every new date. No fancy restaurants or flights to Paris for dinner. Most of the time there wasn't even enough chemistry to get us through a single cup of coffee! Even in my twenties I was convinced there was something more, something I was missing.
I would spend my nights curled up on the sofa reading yet another romance novel. At least in the books I would find what I was looking for. I could breathe easier knowing someone else had the same thoughts and ideas about romance that I did, even if it was another woman. Another woman.
When it hit me full-on what I'd just admitted, I was shocked. Then as suddenly as I realized the gimmick, the royal snow job these books were doing on women everywhere, I realized that it was two sided. One person wrote the fantasies and another bought them; literally and figuratively.
Women the world over were just like me. Instead of dating the average guy next door, they were waiting on some Fabio look alike to come along and sweep them off their feet with roses and expensive gifts. Married women were donning their flannel nightgowns and going to bed with their romance Romeo's instead of slipping into a sexy negligee and finding their own passion with their spouse. That was the last romance novel I ever bought.
A few months later I finally fell in love. We met on-line and though it sounds crazy, there was a little bit of that romance novel feel to the whole thing. I got caught up in the sweetness of his emails and our phone calls continuously ran out the battery of my cell phone night after night. Though our first date included his oldest son and plenty of child friendly activities, I knew he was something special. Even if it wasn't fireworks every second we were together, I felt it in my soul.
In the passing time since that first face to face meeting, we have grown up and grown together as a couple. We have faced our own fears and insecurities and stared down the ghosts of our pasts. Though it's been more than difficult at times, we readily acknowledge how good things are between us. We know what we have together is not only better than anything we had apart or with anyone else, we know the true love and friendship we share is better and more real than anything you can find in a romance novel.