It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the strongest women I know are romance readers.
First, a quick personal confession: I’ve never ridden a rollercoaster. The thrill that make other people scream and ride an adrenaline rush, just freezes my feet. Absolutely glues them to the lovely, safe, secure, unmoving ground.
Romance novels are the literary equivalent of an emotional rollercoaster — and some people can’t handle that!
Laughter, tears, dread, anticipation, happiness, grief, anger, despair, hope, fear, love, every feeling, all tangled up, all written to rev your emotions to the max. Yeah, I can see how some people would fear romance novels.
But romance readers are resilient. We get in there and share the characters’ emotional journeys, seeing and knowing, experiencing the different paths to happiness. In fact, I suspect that by sharing these journeys, we build our emotional resilience because romance novels share one all-important element: the happy ending is guaranteed. And hope, a belief that things will come right, is a defining feature of emotionally resilient people.
So if someone scorns your romance reading enjoyment, just quietly consider whether they’re scared. Emotional resilience takes courage and effort to build and sustain. It’s not an easy thing, even if you take it for granted.
Maybe we need to lend the scorners some of our favourite novels 🙂