Sunday, July 17, 2011

Love...what is it?

I love a good love story. I adore getting my heart racing wondering if two people will finally realize the universe has conspired to bring them together. I need to have my heart melted every now and again, and nothing does that like reading about a good, sweet first kiss.

But let's be frank for a moment.

My genre of choice is YA. I read a lot of paranormal, and that usually means paranormal romance.

Is love - passionate, all consuming, ache in your chest love - reserved for only the young? And when the hero is more handsome that a Greek god, and the Heroine embodies beauty herself, and the two cannot keep their eyes (or their hands) off each other...is that love?

To me it sounds like a heavy case of lust. Or hormones.

If a teenager tells her boyfriend that he is her entire world, her only reason for existing, that when they are apart she feels physical ache, and that she would cease to exist if he ever left or died...is that love?

To me, that sounds like she has separation anxiety.

Do I think the young have no concept of love? Absolutely not. I think they are as much capable of loving as the rest of us. We just have more experience and know that there is life after a break-up, even if he is more handsome than Edward Cullen.

And why is it that when I read "love" stories in adult books, or romance, as they're called, the books are mostly about sex? There is usually a deeper thread of understanding and appreciation and real, genuine love between the characters. But there is also sex, and a bunch of other things I'm not comfortable blogging about.

A relationship that focuses around physical contact...is that love?

I don't know. To each their own. I think we all have a different way of viewing love, expressing love, and desiring to be loved.

To me, love is having my husband in the kitchen baking banana bread because he knows I'm not allowed to be on my feet for long. Or having my husband get his work clothes ready the night before so he doesn't wake me up in the morning. Or sleeping in on a Sunday and waking up to the smell of French toast.

To an impressionable and passionate teen, my sense of love might make her think of one word: boring. And that's totally fine. I just worry sometimes the message we send when we write love stories are love is all good looks and heroic acts. Maybe that's why we write them. Real life isn't as fun to read about.

To me, love is not sex or lust. Love is not good looks and social standing. Love is not...well, you get the picture. To me, love is reliable. Honest. Enduring. It starts as a seed of friendship and attraction, and it grows over time.

I think I could probably go on forever talking about my favorite topic. So, while I enjoy good love stories, I get a little tired of reading about teenagers who border on unhealthy obsession and call it love.

I guess the point is, if you have teens (or you are a teen), make sure they have a healthy sense of reality. Pin It

3 comments:

Ems said...

I completely agree. If I could favorite this, I totally would. So many teens are getting a very unhealthy and skewed version of romantic 'reality' via YA lit now, and it's unfortunate. I'm sorry, but I surely don't look like a goddess, and while I think my BF is the hottest thing ever, he's not Apollo incarnate. Give me a relateable romance (even if I'm twice as old as the target age group) and I'll follow.

Maggie said...

Nice post Deborah. Is this why when I watch a movie like The Notebook I feel like my love is so boring?

YES!

Hollywood and book versions of love aren't very realistic. I agree with your ideas on what love really is. That doesn't mean that excitement and passion can't exist because it can, but the day in and day out there-when-I-need-you is what love is really all about.

Carlee said...

Oh man, amen, again and again! I don't know much about the "boring" love yet, but I'll tell you what, I sure look forward to it.

(P.S. I think you had the perfect amount of romance in your book ;)