We love to finish our errands, put our feet up and escape sometimes. For many, books provide that mode of escape. Do you find yourself hating to finish this latest book because it’s so good you hate for it to end? Have you ever daydreamed about living in the plot of a favorite book? Why keep to fantasy? Why not make it a reality?
BUT IT’S NOT REAL LIFE
Even though many of the books we love are full of fantasy situations, vampires or billionaires, for example, there are some basic concepts of your typical romance novel that can be incorporated into your daily life. We can’t be whisked off by the richest guy in town and have all our troubles vanish, but we can take a different approach to situations and emulate what we love about our favorite romance characters.
AM I CUT OUT TO BE THAT AMAZING?
Of course you are! You undoubtedly have the tools to help you create a life worthy of being right up there with the novels you love. Put aside the vampire details or the specifics about that billionaire and dig deeper. Here are seven concepts to think about next time you wish you could escape!
1. DON’T AVOID THE CROSSROADS IN LIFE
We love the spunk that a heroine can bring to a story, especially when she gets to the end of her rope and calls off for the day and takes herself shopping or escapes town entirely for a day at the shore. Sometimes, the hero will quit his job entirely and move back home to start over. Whatever it is, when our favorite romance characters come to a crossroads, they change the direction of things and reach for what they truly want.
If you’ve been avoiding a crossroads in life, now is the time to live like you’re that heroine. Don’t go crazy and do a complete 180 (unless that’s what’s best for you!) but taking a day to delve into the crossroads situation and really address it can help change everything for the better. If you’re at that point, don’t deny yourself time to really have a heart-to-heart with yourself about it. IS it time to change jobs? IS your heart telling you that it is time to propose to her?
I think we all suffer from guilt at some point in our lives, but for the most part I never really regret, and I try to always remain positive. Yes, I think that those issues are very interesting to play in a character, and they're prominent issues in life, and I think people can relate to them.
2. FEELING SHY? DO THE OPPOSITE
I enjoy romance stories that introduce me to shy characters who go through a metamorphosis. They meet that new person and, instead of shying away, they dare to be bold. I love envisioning myself as that type of person. If my favorite character can do it, maybe I could do it as well!
If there is a person in your life that stirs you, today is the day to say hello. Maybe you’ve been a wallflower for a long time. We’re not talking about jumping into their lap and proposing within five minutes. A genuine hello and a smile might be all you can muster, but it’s worth a shot. Be that shy hero who never thought he’d find love again and dare to open the door today and give her a smile. Give him a genuine compliment without making any attempt to turn it into anything. It might be a terrifying moment, but it could brighten their day and yours!
I'm certainly not shy, but I like playing it because I love those characters that are incredibly confident but really still a mess.
3. DO YOU RESONATE WITH THEM? DON’T TALK YOURSELF OUT OF IT
He’s been a part of your circle of friends for a while, and you find that, whenever he’s part of the conversation, you find yourself really clicking with what he has to say. Or maybe she always has something to offer that helps you when you two hang out. When we resonate with someone, it doesn’t necessarily mean we agree with everything they say. We feel a connection with them in how they say things and in how they act towards us. It goes beyond flirting. As beings that emit electricity and use that type of energy throughout our bodies, it only makes sense that those who give off the same frequency would resonate with us.
Yet, oftentimes, we convince ourselves that what we are experiencing is just folly. We insist that he could never be interested in us like that or that she would never consider us on that type of level. That negative self talk can really hold us back. And it never gets us closer to finding out if the other person would enjoy our company on another level! So live today like your favorite romance novel. Make it clear that what the other person says really hits home with you. Don’t listen to yourself and those negative thoughts. Replace that inner dialogue with loving support and connect. Reach out. Resonate!
It's the only way I really know how to tell the story is to be able to kind of live through the characters. So when I find something that resonates with me, it's usually because it cuts to something very real inside of me; something that I've gone through or experienced.
4. IF THEY KNOCK A BRICK OUT OF YOUR WALL, LET THEM IN A LITTLE
We love our bad boys when it comes to romance. We love that girl with a spark in her that shows the world that she won’t take anything from anyone. It helps us imagine ourselves as that strong of a person in our own lives. But what we love even more is seeing that strong person become vulnerable and meet their match. When those types of characters connect with their soulmate, walls start to come down and a whole new side of them is exposed.
Do you have that kind of person in your life? Maybe they are able to see past the wall and into your true self? It’s hard to know what to do. Many of us put up those walls to protect our fragile selves from events in our past. This person might not be related to that old hurt in any way. Why not allow a return smile just once today? See if they light up from seeing a bit of your own ‘light’ shine through! If our favorite heroine can try it, maybe we can venture into like territory.
If you're really being honest with yourself when you're acting, part of it is touching the real you. You can only separate yourself so much from the character. Those vulnerable moments do touch me.
John C. Reilly
5. CAST ASIDE EXPECTATIONS AND JUST TAKE IN THE MOMENT
That old inner dialogue can sometimes lead us to start expecting certain things from certain people. Most of us have had a situation arise where our expectations and the actual results created disappointment or hurt feelings. It drives us to our books where our favorite characters move through the situation and into the happily ever after we crave.
Sometimes, expectations are warranted. Sometimes they’re not. If you’re already moving through the crossroads and casting your shyness aside to let someone know you resonate with them, don’t sabotage things by then expecting your efforts to have a certain effect. You might be in the midst of a truly wonderful moment so don’t miss it!
All romances are unique and all stories are different. Take in the moment. (Tweet this!)
If they are letting their walls down and you find yourselves smiling at each other, don’t get mad if an expected kiss doesn’t happen. All romances are unique and all stories are different. Take in the moment. Connecting with someone on a new level, even platonically, can be simple and wonderful without getting complicated.
Dreaming is one thing, and working towards the dream is one thing, but working with expectations in mind is very self-defeating.
6. TELL SOMEONE 'I LOVE YOU'
Are you turning pages like mad and watching your favorite characters doing everything EXCEPT telling each other those three little words? Everything they do for each other screams love, but they haven’t taken that step to say it. And it’s killing you as a reader! What delicious torture! Why, when they finally say it, you’re sure sparks might ignite the very page you’re reading!
Could it be that there is an unsaid ‘I Love You’ in your own life? It might not be a romantic love, but could there be a family member or close friend that truly needs it? We sometimes limit ourselves to thinking ‘I love you’ is a phrase for those in romantic love, but there are as many types of love as stars. Why not ignite a good day into an amazing day by sharing a much needed ‘love you’ with someone?
The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they're alive.
Orlando Aloysius Battista
7. DON’T LIVE IN DREAD, BUT EMBRACE YOUR HAPPY ENDING
Many of our favorite characters struggle throughout the book with a dread that hangs over them like a cloud. They dread not being able to live up to expectations, they dread having their walls pulled down, they dread confronting a lifetime of shyness….everything above can elicit an atmosphere of dread for a character – and us too!
Whatever hangs in the back of your mind like a dreaded cloud, take today to start to chip away at that. There is a truly happy ending out there for you, and you have such power to make it a reality. You don’t have to live in the fantasy world of a romance novel – it can come to fruition in your day to day life.
That inner dialog of expectations can deter us from a happy ending we never imagined. Try taking that day of introspection to think about how a happy ending might be just around the corner for you. You’d hate to miss it, I’m sure! Look towards an attitude of embracing whatever form that happy ending might be. We like to have things set in our mind, but sometimes, it just doesn’t work out that way. It’s nothing against us. We just don’t know everything. And that’s the beauty of life!
When fear makes your choices for you, no security measures on earth will keep the things you dread from finding you. But if you can avoid avoidance - if you can choose to embrace experiences out of passion, enthusiasm, and a readiness to feel whatever arises - then nothing, nothing in all this dangerous world, can keep you from being safe.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
What is your favorite romance? Why does it resonate with you so much? What elements of that favorite story could be incorporated into how you live your day to day life? I’d love to hear from you and keep the conversation going.