Everyday Romance: Romance, Mood, and Expectations

I read an article a few months ago (can’t remember where) about how men whose wives read romance novels get more sex. As you may have guessed, those men had no objection to their wives reading a lot and some even went so far as to finance the library. No shock there.

I also read an article more recently (again, I can’t remember where – apologies for not citing my sources), about how some people think that romance novels lead people (specifically women) to have too high of expectations as far as romance goes. I interpreted this (right or wrong) to mean that men are feeling the pressure to actually be romantic, and I couldn’t really muster up any sympathy.

Personally, I’m “in the mood” more often when I’m actively reading romance novels. When I’m writing a scorcher scene, I tend to be a bit more inclined to seduce my husband as well. I haven’t heard any complaints, so I assume my husband approves.

As far as expecting more romance though – I wonder what the real issue is. Because honestly, the men in romance novels (or the ones I read, anyways) don’t make any more grand gestures that men in real life do, because let’s face it, we’d all recognize that as fiction right away.

So from what I can tell, fictional romance heroes only really ever do two things that real men still tend to resist. They learn how to communicate their feelings, and commit to the relationship they want. This involves facing fears, deciding what’s important in life, and transitioning from “playboy” to “man”.

If this is what women expect from men after reading romance novels – I really can’t see any problem with that. A lot of men should take note, in my opinion.

What do you think? Do you feel sexier and/or more romantic after reading a romance novel? Are romance novels affecting the way we look at men, and what we expect from them? Is that good, bad, or neither, in your opinion?

7 comments on “Everyday Romance: Romance, Mood, and Expectations

  1. Mechelle Fogelsong

    My husband calls romance novels “chick porn”. I think he’s onto something there. Psychologists understand that men are turned on by visual images whereas women must be wooed. A romance novel woos. So yeah, chick porn.

  2. Jamie DeBree

    LOL – That works for me, though I know a lot of romance novelists who would be offended by the term.

    “A romance novel woos.” I like that…perfect. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping in!

  3. Brooklyn Ann

    There was a classic novel (written by a man) that portrayed the theme of “romance novels giving women an unrealistic view about love” It’s called MADAME BOUVIER.
    My husband had that concern at first, until I told him that many male leads in the novels are overbearing a**holes and poor communicators. He’s also learned a lot from my rants on my characters’ relationship development. Now he’s fine with my reading and writing romance novels…especially when I use him for “research.” 😉

  4. Brooklyn Ann

    There was a classic novel (written by a man) that portrayed the theme of “romance novels giving women an unrealistic view about love” It’s called MADAME BOUVIER.
    My husband had that concern at first, until I told him that many male leads in the novels are overbearing a**holes and poor communicators. He’s also learned a lot from my rants on my characters’ relationship development. Now he’s fine with my reading and writing romance novels…especially when I use him for “research.” 😉

  5. Cynthia Schuerr

    I love this, Jamie! I think Mechelle Fogelsong hit it on the head. A romance novel woos…..Maybe, we need our men to read romance novels and we can call them “A Guide To Wooing Your Woman” instead of chick porn. :-)A new genre, perhaps!

  6. Medeia Sharif

    I think women who read romance novels are doing so not just because of the quality of the writing, but as an escape–reading about men who are more sensitive and loving–yet they are grounded in reality when they’re not reading.

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