Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What I Learned About Love From Reading Romance Novels

There is much to be gained from reading romance novels—more than just a good story to curl up with on a rainy night. For those of us who love the sweeping historical sagas, there can be lessons in love as well as history.

Some authors even give us definitions, as Virginia Henley in DREAM LOVER:

     “Love is a journey from the first blush of physical attraction to a marriage of souls”

If I ever write a book about this, the list below may well be my chapter titles. For now, here’s the skinny version of what I have learned about love from reading romance novels:

1.     Love is worth fighting for.

2.     Love is worth waiting for.

3.     Love isn’t for cowards; it means being vulnerable; sometimes it means pain.

4.     The most difficult person may be the most perfect for you.

5.     Men of great character are secure enough to choose a strong, successful woman.

6.     In great strength is gentleness when accompanied by unselfish love.

7.     When a man is jealous and protective, it may mean he cares.

8.     Absence really does make the heart that loves grow fonder.

9.     Making up often requires asking forgiveness.

10.  To know all is to forgive much.

11.  We are all a product of our beginnings so it is important to tell our story.

12.  A single conversation can reveal the heart.

13.  Life’s challenges require us to change and to grow if we are to love deeply and unselfishly.

14.  It is important to say “I love you” with words as well as actions.

15.  Making love with the person you love can be more than physically satisfying; it can be a beautiful expression of love.

And finally a quote from another of Virginia Henley’s novels, this one from THE DRAGON AND THE JEWEL where William Marshall reflects on his young wife, Eleanor Plantagenet:

                        “He pulled up a stool and watched her for the sheer pleasure of it.
She gave him so much, he could never give enough back. So this was love
then—wanting to give only pleasure to the beloved; constantly searching
your mind for love tokens that would bring a smile to her lips or a sparkle
to her eyes. He deeply regretted it had come so late in life, but since his heart’s
desire was Eleanor who was so much younger than he, it could have been no
other way. He was grateful it had come at all.”


  1. Blast it! I went to hit publish and hit sign out instead.... Been a long day.

    This was a really good post and I love your thoughts on love. I also want to go pull out all of Virginia's books and re-read them for the umpteenth time. :)

    1. Thanks, Leah. And I, too, would like to re-read my Virginia Henley books. They are great. Perhaps one year I'll do nothing be re-reads!