An interesting article here about how romantic comedies affect our perceptions of our real, everyday relationships. As I read through the article, I was reminded of the wife of a friend of mine who complained that her husband, "didn't sweep her off her feet" anymore after ten years of marriage. When I tried to explain to her that marriage didn't work that way, that the "being swept off one's feet" emotion existed only in the early stages of a relationship, she got mad at me and yelled into the phone, "He just needs to read a good romance and he'll understand!"
That conversation has stayed with me for years. The woman ended up leaving her husband for someone new -- someone who ignited that longing to be "swept" along and I spent a great deal of time wondering if the books I wrote were somehow to blame for her poor understanding of the ups and downs of a long-term relationship.
But then I remembered that most romance books end at the altar. Those heady moments of first love, the joyous discovery of each other's foibles, each one overlooking the other's small imperfections and seeing only the greater good -- that's the part of the relationship we find exciting. That's what we want to read about. Over and over and over.
Are we, however, doing a disservice to couples everywhere? The article and study are being done in Britain (although anyone can participate in the study. I think I'm in -- I answered all 14 screens of questions only to have my Internet hang up when I tried to enter my email addy. Not sure it went through or not), but no matter where you are, the romance genre will find you. And once it does, the question remains -- when you pine after Mr. Darcy or Phillip Townsend, are you ruined for all the real men and the real work of real relationships?