I write romance. I read romance. I believe in happy ever after – not blindly hoping for the best, but a relationship built with compromise, respect, and love. Part of being a writer is dissecting relationships, figuring out why they work and why they don’t. While writing, I tend to be more emotional and yesterday it occurred to me how terribly vulnerable being in love can make you. There is no guarantee your partner will remain faithful, or that they won’t get hit by a speeding bus, or that you will see the silver years of retirement together, surrounded by doting grandchildren and other tangible fruits of your labor.
So, what is the point? As a romance writer and a Pollyanna type to boot, I had a moment of crisis. It took a while, but I realized that fear – stop in your tracks, drop to your knees, holy shit kind of fear – is what keeps so many people from reaching out for the love that is right in front of them. Love is a risk – there’s a chance that we could lose that person we care about so much. And that really hurts. Why do it? Why open your heart?
How can I write believable characters, willing to gamble it all, when there is NO guarantee? This is especially challenging writing contemporary romance, because there are so many other options today than in an historical setting where you got married and had babies.
After some late night soul searching, my solution is pretty simple: Daring to love is a crazy, brave thing. Go for it. Love, with your whole heart, and be in the moment. Live fully in the relationship you’re in. Make plans for the future, and don’t let fear of what may happen – speeding bus, secret life as a porn star etc. – hold you back from giving your true self. Do not let fear keep you from finding joy. Love is best when shared 🙂