While there are countless romance novels that encompass characters of all ages from all parts of the world across various eras, examine the best sellers and you’re likely to encounter a story that follows the same basic outline:
Chapter 1 introduces the female lead, an early to mid-20’s woman who’s pursuing her dreams amid many difficulties. She’s driven, independent and not going to let anything, a man or otherwise, stand in the way of her showing the world who she is and what she can do.
Enter the male lead, an early to mid-30’s tall, dark, handsome and incredibly ripped billionaire. Never mind how he became a billionaire. He owns some business or something, but he doesn’t really have to put that much effort into it. He’s a true player and womanizer. He has all the time he needs for working out, partying, and sleeping with beautiful women, with the author’s assurance that he’ll remain a billionaire without having to put in any of the time and effort of real entrepreneurs.
Then the Hallmark moment. Our heroine meets the handsome hero through some unrealistic but incredibly entertaining encounter. Despite her reservations, the pair ends up having passionate, mind-blowing intimacy within 72 hours.
The female lead might experience some confusion or reservation after the fact, but for the male lead this is the key moment in the story. Sure, everyone knows he’s a player with plenty of beautiful women at his fingertips, but our heroine is different. With this girl, the intimacy was so passionate. So utterly amazing and pleasurable that he knows he’ll never be happy again without her in his life. Almost overnight, the once wild and free bad boy transforms into a dedicated and faithful provider, committed to doing whatever is necessary to keep the female lead in his life.
Finally, after some brief drama, the pair marries and lives happily ever after.
So, what’s wrong with it? Nothing technically. There’s nothing wrong with reading a work of fiction and enjoying it as a work of fiction. However, have you ever encountered a woman who has a history of dating jerks, yet can’t stop complaining about how badly she wants to find a good man, settle down, and get married. A quick search of everything from women’s blogs to reddit threads confirms there is no shortage of these women available. They say they want good men as opposed to jerks, but when a man they acknowledge to be a good comes by, they inevitably leave him to go be with a jerk again. What’s going on?
The truth is, these women aren’t actually being honest about what they want. It’s not that they want a bad boy or a good man. They’re looking to make their life into a romance novel. What they want is an exciting, hot, bad boy, who they then transform into a committed and faithful husband through the power of great intimacy and their own feminine charms. Every woman wants to be the woman who can successfully tie down the womanizer because she herself is just that good.
Do women ever succeed in this endeavor? Maybe sometimes, but much like the lottery, for every winner you find, you’ll find millions of people who lost. Yet for some reason those people keep blowing their money on lottery tickets when it could be put towards worthwhile investments.
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with reading and writing fiction and enjoying it. However, when you’re planning out a lifelong romantic strategy based on a formula that exists almost exclusively in fiction, you shouldn’t be surprised that it tends not to work out. If you think you’re going to transform a womanizer into quality husband through your own sheer awesomeness and great intimacy, well there’s a reason we go to physics textbooks and not sci-fi novels if we want information about the physical universe.
And that is My 2 Cents. Take it for what it’s worth.
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