For most of my life, I thought there was something wrong with me. While people would talk about falling in love and feel gushy mushy feelings for those they crushed on, I never did. I’d be watching a sunset with my significant other and surely appreciate the view, both of the skyline and my partner, but it never drove me to want to romantically kiss in the setting sunlight. I never dreamed of having an epic kiss, or a passionate first sexual encounter… No, that’s just not me.
The truth of it is, I’d rather be standing in front of the setting sun and be bit on the neck. Nice, teethy, hard bites, maybe drawing blood. Or bent over a railing, fucked, and told to come my brains out. It’s not romantic, but it’s hot. It’s what I like. And this is vastly different from the romantic embrace, sunset kiss above.
These aren’t new understandings for me, but they are things I used to struggle with. I thought I had to be like everyone else in this way. So I tended to get caught up in agreeing to things I didn’t want or like simply because I thought I should want and like them. I’m so thankful that I’ve reached a point in my life where I know who I am, what I want and like, and I’m 100% happy with all of it. I don’t need those romantic embraces… They remind me of a Disney movie, but I’m my own savior.
That means I want powerful partners. People who know what they want and like as well. People that don’t need to ‘save’ me or need me to ‘save’ them. Because I surely don’t need saving. I’m independent as fuck, even when I’m submissively on my knees, begging to do some terribly dirty and kinky thing.
I’m content with who I am. I love that I’m not trying to fit into someone else’s mold of who I should be. Yet I still have a problem… I’m struggling writing fictional romance.
I didn’t use to struggle, but that’s because I wrote Disney princess style. I wrote what I was taught was romantic. But really, I’m fucking guessing. Sometimes I get it right, often times I’m wrong. And the funny thing is, as a society, we’re so used to the ‘save me’ and ‘you complete me’ tropes that people don’t tend to notice when I get it wrong. Which helps, because that means they still enjoy my writing, but I’d rather my writing reflect me. Not some trope.
This is an issue I’m having with a novel I’ve been working on for entirely too long. It’s supposed to be romance and I don’t buy into that tropey—falling in love—nonsense. I buy into practicing love. Deep and long lasting love. Love as an action, not a feeling. A love that means my husband overcomes his jealousy issues so I can have more love in my life. A love that means D witnesses my pain and gives me what I need, even when that need doesn’t align with my wants. A love that sees me, I mean really sees me, whether a sexual partner or dear friend. This is what love is to me, but this rarely aligns with the way people describe romance.
But maybe those people are wrong. Maybe I am too. Maybe romance can be about falling in love. Or maybe romance can be about a deep connection over the love of sushi. And if that’s possible, maybe romance can also be getting fucked over a railing. Or about running a damp rag over your partner’s head while they’re feverish and hurting.
This notion of romance needing to encompass ‘falling in love’ has bothered me for a long time. That’s not real to me. And I want to write about real love. So I decided to look up what romance means. Holy hell, it’s no wonder we all have such different ideas on what romance is…
When it comes down to it, I’ve realized I need to define my own meaning for romance. I tried a while ago. In fact, I was told to write a disclaimer on the romance novel I’m working on. But I don’t think I was ready to grasp what this all meant for me.
From this point forward, I’m throwing expectations out the window. My romances are what I tell them they are.
This is the disclaimer at the beginning of my WIP. Maybe now, I can get back to writing it.