Even before I became a romance author, I craved the feels that come with a good love story. In fact, from the early age of thirteen, after reading Judy Blume’s Forever, I vividly remember having a book hangover. Although, I didn’t know that’s what it called back then. For days afterward, I couldn’t stop thinking of Katherine and Michael, wishing there was another book, a pretty little bow tied around their story. Forever was my first romance as well as my first cliffhanger, and it most definitely set the bar for any of my future reads.
Loving reading as much as I did, for years to come I didn’t stick to one genre. I enjoyed the intrigue that came with mysteries, the empowerment that came with women’s literature. But nothing compared to the feels that came with devouring a romance novel from cover to cover in record time.
I guess I’ve been chasing that happy ending ever since. The need to know that the Hero and heroine are together, living a great life, their hearts filled with love, is still a strong prerequisite in my reads. With all the sadness that comes from reality, the need to escape through those heartfelt stories became addicting. In essence, Judy Blume created a monster in my need to constantly feel the love.
While it was happening, my addiction wasn’t obvious. As it goes, life got in the way with work taking up most of my time, and raising my family taking up the rest. It wasn’t until my boys were grown and I began penning my own love stories when it slowly became apparent I was truly an addict.
Every book read, everything watched on TV, every movie opening in the theater that I attended, revolved around romance. Even most of my social activities, from then and now, are most definitely romance based.
Again, I didn’t realize I had a problem. Even when my husband would merely shake his head when noticing I was lost in yet another dating-based reality show, deep down I accused him of having the problem. Watching two strangers falling in love days after meeting, or a man dating a few dozen girls at the same time looking for his wife, was completely normal.
Why would I want to stare at a news channel, and hear them drone on and on about every depressing thing that’s currently happening in this world, when I could giddily become entranced in a classic romcom… for the fiftieth time?
Unfortunately, with this addiction comes a price. It isn’t all rainbows and roses. It affected my desire to socialize. Rather than getting to bed and trying to get a full night’s sleep, I choose to watch one of my favorite romance movies until the wee hours of the morning, even if it made me a bit cranky the next day. I even gave up my designer coffee addition to fund my ebook habit.
To someone who isn’t a romance junkie, my behavior is bizarre. Why would anyone choose to watch a full-length movie that is riddled with commercials on the television when they could easily pop in the DVD of said movie? Well, because it’s on at that moment. How can one, who is supposedly of sound mind, claim a fictional character as theirs? Well, because reading their story automatically makes them your “book” boyfriend. To a romance junkie, this is all completely acceptable behavior.
I know I’m not alone in this addiction. There are hundreds of people I’ve met with the same exact predicament. But we’re a passionate loving, giving group. We support each other unconditionally. We cry tears of joy when hearing one of our favorite books is becoming a movie. We squeeze each other tightly when that glorious day comes when we finally meet face-to-face.
Sure, I may have been accused of selfishly hoarding all the good boyfriends, but I do feel bad when that happens and try to be better at sharing.
Overall, I accept my sickness… and I have no intention of quitting anytime soon.