Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I was lying in bed this morning, listening to the radio, when the announcer started talking about a new relationship book. Apparently the author of this book said that women have too high expectations and need to learn to settle so they won't be alone and childless in their forties.

Now, I'm not even going to start with how many things I think are wrong with this statement. I mean, the implication is that if you don't have a man, a woman can't be happy and complete, and to be unmarried and childless in your forties is a horrible fate. What is this the 1850's?

Anyway, I hope that the announcers got the gist of the book wrong. BUT, what they did say was that these unrealistic relationship expectations come from movies and ROMANCE books.

Hello, do they not read romance books?

I don't know about you, but the heroes in most of the books I read, and write, are flawed, as are the heroines. The story is based on these characters growing and changing. If they were already perfect, there would be no story. Also, at the end of the book, you know that these are just people struggling to make their life work--just like the rest of us.

I don't think that romance books have ever been about perfection--not the bulk of them anyway. If they were, I would have gotten bored reading them years ago. That hasn't happened, and is not likely to happen anytime soon.

What do you think?


Kathy said...

I'm 32, unmarried, and childless. And, though it might shatter the author of the relationship book's fragile ideas of womanhood, I'm PERFECTLY content to be that way. I do NOT need, and will NEVER need a man to complete me and make me whole. Obviously, the book had to have been written by a man. It's only in their own delusional world that women can't be happy without a man.

And I read romances all the time. No way are the characters perfect. There is no such thing as perfect. Anyone who thinks otherwise is obviously smoking something that they shouldn't be.

Anny Cook said...

Hmmm. Forty years married to the same guy with four children. Definitely not perfect. Nope. Not. Romances gave me hope, escape, encouragement...

Brynn Paulin said...

I think that statement is out of the dark ages! And I think you're spot on with your assessment of things.

N.J.Walters said...

Actually, I think is was a woman author, and her point was more if you want to be in a relationship you need to settle, and not have such high expectations for a relationship.

Personally, I think you should know what you want in a relationship and not settle for anything less. That doesn't mean that what you want won't change over time, because it will. We all change over time.

A lot of women, and men, are perfectly happy being single. The days of having to marry to feel complete are long gone. In my opinion, you should only get married because it's something you really want, and believe in, not because it is what is expected.

And I agree, Kathy, I've never read a romance book where the characters were perfect.

N.J.Walters said...

Hey, Anny. I've been married for twenty years and it's been interesting. LOL Not perfect, but definitely not dull either. *g*

N.J.Walters said...

Thanks, Brynn.

The idea that if you want to be in a relationship you should lower your expectations doesn't sit right with me.

As long as your expectations are realistic--like I want trust, honesty, shared values...or whatever--then why would you settle for less just so you won't be alone.

Kathy said...

You know, it's the ones who settle rather than wait for that someone special who end up in divorce court.

N.J.Walters said...

You could be right, Kathy.

The divorce rate has grown in the past few decades. My husband read an article not to long ago that suggested that within a few years that married couples will actually be in the minority, and there will be more divorced and single folks. The world is always changing and evolving.

charleneteglia said...

Oh, geez, unbelievable. Let's help women be happier by telling them to LOWER their expectations?! You can be happy or unhappy at ANY age, with or without a mate, with or without children. And reading romance novels has not diminished my happiness quotient, thankyouverymuch.

N.J.Walters said...

Happiness is something you cultivate for yourself. It's not something someone else can give you.

Abar said...

Hi I am new

I just had to weigh in on this because before I met my Husband I was told all the time, that I would never find the right man because I wanted to much. Well people were wrong I waited and I did get all the things I was looking for and am truely happy. I had time before I met my husband to also get to know myself and I found that I truly like myself and I don't need anyone. My husband adds to my life he is not my life. I think we add to each other. I was glad I waited and in such I think I am now a better person. Don't get me wrong we are not perfect we have our share disagreements.

I love to read romance they give me a place to get away and daydream if only for a while it is often the break I need to feel refreshed and ready to go.

Sorry for rambling on I am new to blogging

N.J.Walters said...

Hi, Abar. Your story says it all. You didn't settle and you found someone who makes your life richer.

I think you found the key when you said that you learned to know yourself and like yourself. That's a beautiful thing.