Friday, February 7, 2014

Is Your Romance One for the Books?

When I met my husband in the summer of 1998, it was an internet affair. My husband was a guy I met online and chatted with through email and messenger late into the night, while I was in college. 

At first, when I’d tell folks about how I met the love of my life, they’d give me this odd quizzical look. Today, internet dating has become so common that it’s no longer odd, but fascinating. Unfortunately, not all internet relationships end up one for the books. 


And after all this time, I still get that tingle right down to my toes when he comes into the kitchen after a long day at work and looks at me like I’m the best thing that’s happened to him all day. 

Have you ever had that feeling? You know the one I just described? It’s hard sometimes to put into words what we feel. Yet, when it’s there, it can pull every heart string and cause a few tears. Now, that is one for the books. 

They say that every great romance has a formula… Boy meets girl, they fall in love, something happens that they can’t be together, and then Boy puts on his shining armor and slays the dreadful dragon keeping them apart. They live happily ever after.
But that’s only in fairytales, right? 

Have you read a great romance lately? Not one of them is ever the same. Okay, well they all may be Boy meets girl, fall in love, jump a hurdle and get hitched at the end, but the characters and the settings can warm your heart and introduce you to people you would never meet otherwise. 

Like my husband on the internet, opening a book is like adding a new friend online and learning about their life. Only, except in short tweets or post, the life of a character is an open book. 

I suppose for me, the formula for romance is more of a recipe. As a writer, I have this bad habit of allowing my characters to take me on an adventure. I laugh with them, cry with them, and I’m right there alongside them as they fall in love. 
It’s a scary thing, this love formula business. Beyond the chocolates and flowers, none have been able to bottle and sell a true love potion. Yes, cupid is safe for another round of heart point arrows. 

There is a scene in every love story where the girl realizes she’s in love with the guy. Of course, she denies it at first, make excuses that it could be anything but love. Then her heart betrays her true feelings. 

In Jodi Hedlund’s book The Preacher’s Bride there is a great example of this:

“Methinks Sister Whitbread speaks rightly.” John’s voice startled them. 
Mary stood up and smiled in the direction of her father. 
Elizabeth’s insides fluttered as she raised herself off the floor and turned to face John. She didn’t see him oft these days, but when she did, her heart did strange things.

If I were to write a book about my own romance, the moment of realization would have gone something like this: 

Chad took Susan’s hand as they walked along in the darkness on this Halloween night. Younger siblings and friends ran ahead to the next house with barren bags for the filling. 
Warmth spread up her palm and Susan leaned into Chad. In her heart, it was like they’d known each other forever rather than a few months. How could this be anything but love? 

Is your romance one for the books? If so, how would your moment of realizing you were in love be recorded? Feel free to share it below. 


Romantic at heart, this crafty mom has written over a hundred articles for venues such as Helium, Triod, ezines, newspapers, and most recently The Mother's Heart Magazine. She is the treasurer of the Saint Davids Christian Writers Association and director of the West Branch Christian Writer's one day conference.  When Susan isn't writing, she enjoys crafting, visiting friends, and a good cup of tea. You can visit her at

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