My favorite quality in a romance novel

I went to an extremely small high school. There were only 46 students in my graduating class (36 girls and 13 boys – yep, pretty crappy odds for a chubby girl with a feathered mullet).

I babysat for my vice principal and our English teacher acted as a chaperone at one of my friend’s sleepovers.

I tell you this so it won’t seem strange that I remember my class getting into a personal conversation with one of my teachers in which we asked him about the women he’d dated before meeting his wife. And I remember how flabbergasted we all were when he shrugged and admitted, “I probably could’ve been happily married to any one of them.”

Shock horror!

We were incensed that he could believe such a thing. Surely marriage was about finding that one person you couldn’t live without, the one who made your life immeasurably better.

Fifteen years later, I still believe wholeheartedly that romantic love is about finding that one person who fulfills you, understands you, and (to borrow a cliche) completes you like no one else.

No. One. Else.

Strangely, it’s taken me twenty years of reading romance to realize that that’s my favorite quality in a romance novel. I want characters who are incomplete without each other.

And even more strangely, I’ve read a lot of romance novels where I just don’t feel this between the characters. These are the books that leave me feeling ‘meh’. But when an author creates characters who fit together like no one else…

that is a book that I’ll read over and over.

What’s your favorite quality in a romance novel? Do you believe it’s possible in real life to find the one person who fulfills you better than anyone else, or is there more than one possible “love of your life” out there?

7 thoughts on “My favorite quality in a romance novel

  1. While not just “any one of them” would do (what a guy thing to say!), I do believe that there is more than one “love of your life” out there for everyone.

    1. Personally, Suz, I can’t imagine anyone other than Smarty Pants being patient enough to live with me. 🙂 Of course, I tell him he’s the lucky one.

    1. Thanks, Roni!

      And I’ve often wondered if that teacher said such a thing to his wife. If Smarty Pants admitted such a thing about me, I’d be pretty annoyed.

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