It’s no secret that we’re TOTAL fans of the romance novel. They’re juicy, they’re intriguing … they have the perfect mix of escapism and romantic inspiration.
And believe it or not … they have great love lessons.
After finishing the latest title from Harlequin Presents, The Bride Fonseca Needs, the second title from her “Billionaire Brothers” duet, by USA TODAY bestselling author Abby Green, we started thinking … are we learning more and more about relationships from the authors who clearly know the ins and outs of romance?
Abby Green’s book is about a secretary who gets entangled with her ambitious billionaire boss, leading to a fake engagement that (of course) starts to get more complicated when their feelings become entangled.
We all agree that not everyone can have this level of drama in their lives, but all of these stories find root in reality. They’re rooted in love and trust and trying to resolve your head with your heart. In the end, no matter the drama that unfolds, romance novels base their plots on universal truths.
But even when something is a universal truth, we need to remind ourselves every once in a while. Which of these applies to your relationship the most?
1. EVERYONE changes … especially you.
Life happens. You live, learn and get through things as best you can and that is what changes you. You know you aren’t the same person you were five years ago … even one year ago! Romance novels teach us that people can change, your feelings can change and that’s more than OK.
2. Sometimes a marriage doesn’t begin perfectly, but that doesn’t mean it’s unfixable.
Believe it or not, romance novels speak highly of marriage and have shown us that even if they start for the wrong reasons, it’s something to fight for and respect.
3. If you come with baggage, letting it get heavier and heavier helps no one.
Everyone has their baggage to deal with. Yours isn’t more important than anyone else’s. In love and relationships, unload some of that baggage on your partner. If it’s true love, they’ll take you baggage and all.
4. Money can make and or break a relationship, so don’t take it lightly.
More often than not, the weight of money can fall on one partner all the other. Money is also the leading cause of divorce … that’s why openness and honesty is important from the beginning.
A lot of money gets thrown around in Harlequin novels (billionaires need love too!), so the way they discuss it openly in their marriage is something we can all learn from.
5. Pregnancy is a two-person responsibility.
Yeah, yeah, we know you might not even be thinking about it yet, but it’s something to consider. In romance novels, there’s often a situation where a couple has to navigate how to handle a pregnancy.
There’s always a lot of great messages that welcome responsibility for both parties while still empowering the women to make their own decisions. Way to go, romance novels!
6. Never let a guy tell you your marriage is more important than your career.
Speaking of portraying women as strong, awesome characters … our romance novel heroines are ALWAYS standing up for themselves, their choices and their careers. They don’t let a man dictate their future, and instead invite the men into their lives as an equal partner.
7. You never get over that love-at-first-sight high.
It’s a cliché for a reason: when our favorite couples meet in romance novels, sparks fly. That’s something that sticks with you. Chemistry can’t be faked and romance novels always remind us how that feeling is so intoxicating.
8. There’s a reason you fight harder for some relationships than you do for others.
But even more than chemistry, the relationships you fight for and feel passionately about are the ones that will open your eyes the most. Harlequin most of all teaches us introspection when it comes to our relationships.
How does this person make me feel … and why? Be like Darcy Lennox in The Bride Fonseca Needs and soul-search!
9. You can’t run away from your own fears.
No matter how hard and how far, you can’t escape your own issues. Your own self esteem is the foundation for your relationship. Our Harlequin heroines aren’t perfect, but they always learn to love themselves first and they might run away … and it always leads to a breakthrough.
10. People can have hard exteriors. That doesn’t mean you can’t maintain your own self-respect.
It’s always hard in these books when the guy just seems like a hard egg to crack. He’s broken and bitter, but something about the heroine always melts that away.
Sometimes people have baggage (obviously, we talked about this), but in these books, they never show the heroines putting up with someone who breaks them down.
11. Secrets within a relationship can bring you closer. Secrets outside of a relationship can tear you apart.
Between you and your partner, you shouldn’t have any secrets. In romance novels, the secrets always come out and their love is stronger for it.
But also remember that it’s okay to have a secret between the two of you, something only you know. That’s what makes a love really special.
12. Your soul mate is the person you can have the most heated argument with one day and a food fight the next.
Maybe you’re not as dramatic a couple as one out of a Harlequin novel, but you’ll fight. That’s totally fine.
The person to spend your life with is someone you can disagree with, find common ground and go back to having fun.
13. In the end, your choices are your own. OWN IT.
Our favorite lesson of all! Be your own romance novel heroine and choose your own adventure every day. Find your romance novel hero in the process! Your life is your own. And that rocks!