A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

Warning: Mushy Stuff Ahead

on December 12, 2015


I just finished reading Home for the Holidays by Sarah Mayberry.  (I’m on a Harlequin SuperRomance kick, having just recently realized how many good ones there are, so I declared December to be #SuperMonth.) Nice, warm story — nothing especially memorable, but I was struck by one aspect.

It’s one of those romance when the hero and heroine start out pissed off at each other and stay that way for awhile. After they finally kiss, Hannah thinks this:

Even with Lucas she’d never gotten so hot and heavy so quickly. With him sex had always been more fun and playful than hot and fiery. Lucas had never rubbed her the wrong way as Joe did, either. But maybe that was part of it. Maybe the rub was part of the tension, part of the heat.

Shortly after this, she has a conversation with Lucas, her former fiance, who dumped her for her sister.

“Did you ever love me?” She wasn’t going to go home and cry over the answer, but she’d always wanted to know.

“Yes. I still do. But it’s different with Kelly. I can’t explain it. It’s just… right. With you, it was like we were best friends and you happened to be a woman. It was comfortable. I’m never comfortable with Kelly.”

I find this so… odd, that he finds it “just right” to never be comfortable with his lover. I understand wanting to write some tension between the characters into a romance; you can get away with none if you’re Carla Kelly writing a Christmas story, but generally it’s necessary.

But in real life, I knew my husband was right for me because I was so comfortable with him. I could be with him constantly without getting worn out. I could sleep with him without feeling suffocated. (And we’re talking two big people on one single dorm bed here. 😉 ) I asked him about his memories and it was the same for him.

We’re both the kind of people who feel attraction based less on obvious physical characteristics and more on sense of humor, personality, and so on. So maybe it works differently for us than most people. But I happen to love being married to my best friend.

9 responses to “Warning: Mushy Stuff Ahead

  1. lawless says:

    I agree more with you, actually. What they’re talking about may be passion, but it’s not usually a good basis for long-term love.

    One of my many quarrels with romance is privileging being swept away rather than calmly supported.

    On the other hand, sometimes the person who makes you a better you is the one who keeps you on your toes. Could that be what is meant?

    • willaful says:

      Well, there’s isn’t much more to it than this scene, so it’s hard to say, but I wouldn’t think so. Oddly enough, Hannah’s new relationship, once they’re past the initial sparks, is extremely supportive and loving. So I honestly don’t know wtf the point is.

  2. azteclady says:

    I envy you your relationship with your husband, willa–and, lawless, that’s why a lot of those romances that happen in ten days or less, almost always leave me thinking that there can’t be true HEA for the protagonists. All those unknown aspects of each character’s personality that are just waiting to clash with the other’s.

  3. That’s how it is for me and my husband too. We were friends first, until I realized I was having way more fun and was so comfortable with him.

  4. Sounds very familiar, Willaful, your comfort with your husband. Mine, too, is one of the few people I can stand to spend extended periods of time with, misanthrope that I am…

    Given scientific studies that say that the falling in love stage typically lasts only a few months to a few years, I’m always left wondering after I read a romance where the relationship is based primarily on the tension/excitement of falling in love, what the couple is going to be like after four or five years. I’m still haunted by Count Vronsky’s dumping of Anna Karenina, no doubt…

  5. Kaetrin says:

    That’s how it is with my hubs and me. We both gain peace from one another (among many other things) and we enjoy one another’s company. I know couples whose relationships are volatile and just thinking about it makes me exhausted. I’m not the type of person who needs a lot of that in her life.

  6. SuperWendy says:

    Ditto. The worst relationship I was ever in left me feeling like I had to always be “on.” I was so in lurve – I had this fear he would find out that I was an impostor. Not good enough for him. When in reality he was a coward who wasn’t good enough for me (and it took me a while to get over being unceremoniously dumped – but got over it I did).

    You shouldn’t be uncomfortable with your partner and you shouldn’t have to be “on.” Of course you also shouldn’t take each other for granted either 🙂 But yes, there’s a lot to be said for being in a relationship with your “best friend.”

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