My husband is not the romantic hero of a swoon worthy love story.
He is not a roses-just-because, romantic love letter kind of man. He’s not a “let’s go to a suit and tie kind of restaurant” or a “let’s go dancing” husband—which is probably good because his only tie has Scooby Doo on it. He’s not a prim and proper, pull out my chair for me, set the table with fine china kind of person. He’s not the suave man with silky words and perfect romantic surprises. In fact, many of his co-workers joke with him about the fact I write romance. They ask him where the heck I get my inspiration from because it certainly can’t be him.
But my husband is, in fact, the romantic hero of our love story.
Love is in the Details
I’ve learned over the years that romance, the real kind, isn’t about huge gestures or movie-type moments. Real life love is about the small things, the things that happen when no one is really paying attention.
Love is when my husband cleaned the entire house when I was away on a three-day business trip just so I wouldn’t have to when I got home. Love is when he picks up orange tic tacs at the store because they’re my favorite. Love is when he slaps huge car magnets on his truck to advertise for my book. Love is when he makes me laugh when I want to cry. Love is when he tells me he believes in me or that I can keep going or that it’ll be okay. Love is when he takes my cat to the vet because he knows I’m worried about it or when he gets the food ready on New Year’s Eve because I’m busy editing a book. Love is when he picks baked beans as one of our KFC sides even though he hates them just because I like them. Love is when he helps me take new headshots at eleven o’clock at night because I need a new picture. Love is when he sends me an ifunny picture because he knows I’m having a rough day.
Are toilet brushes and laundry detergents and vet trips and baked beans sexy or romance-novel worthy? Probably not.
But I’ve come to learn that a man in ripped up jeans a Game of Thrones T-shirt who is willing to go out on a limb for you, who is willing to see you at your worst and try to bring you back to your best, that’s what love is. Love doesn’t always come in a suit and tie with fancy dinners and candles. Love isn’t always sleek and smooth and suave.
Real love sometimes happens when no one is watching. Real love isn’t always movie worthy. But in those small moments, those tiny moments of putting someone’s needs above yours, those are the ones that count. Those are the ones to build a life, a love around.
A New Kind of Romance
My goal in my writing has always been to showcase this type of love. I want women readers to realize love doesn’t have to be romanticized or dramatized to be engaging. I think the beauty in a love story is the realism in it. Love isn’t always about sexiness or huge moments. Sure, those moments are nice. But sometimes the real depth in a love story comes from those tiny moments a real woman experiences in the modern world. That’s what I want to showcase in my work.
So yes, I have some of those big, beautiful moments we all crave. But in my writing, I also seek out the smaller moments, the moments that are truly worthy and awe-inspiring.
My husband might not be your typical romantic hero, but he’s a hero to me. So yes, he does inspire my writing, whether he wants to admit that or not.