Join the Adventure Giveaway

Winner of the American Christian Fiction Writer's Carol Award for Dauntless!!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Psychology of Romance

(As seen on Seekerville)

My husband and I have been in marital counseling recently. We have a cross-cultural relationship, which is why my latest book features an Islamic heroine with Lebanese roots. It's great for fiction fodder, not so great for smooth-sailing romance.

Our latest counselor recommended we read a book called Getting the Love You Want. And boy was it an eye-opener. Talk about demystifying the romance process. The author breaks down those wonderful tingles, shivers, and ecstatic emotions in a very scientific, and not very flattering, sort of way. To summarize: romance is the process of picking someone who will trigger your worst emotional issues and wound you more deeply than anyone else could. And the more earth-shattering the romance, the more doomed it is for failure.

Ouch! I resemble that remark.

When I first read this book I joked that romance authors should stay far away from it. But as I have begun to see the fruits of this book in my own marriage, I'm starting to think the opposite is true. Every romance author—certainly every responsible Christian romance author—should probably read this book.

Let me give you a quick summary of how this all works to pique your interest. You know that “man of your dreams,” that person who you meet and feel like, “I've known him all my life.” That guy who “completes you.” In other words, the one who stirs up those feelings of “falling in love.” In reality that person just happens to fit a construct in your subconscious called your “imago” or image. And that image is created early in life through an odd combination of familiarity, emotional wounds, and unfulfilled desires. (You have to read the book to thoroughly understand this part and why it happens.)

But let me give you an example. A woman's mother is cold and distant. (This isn't me by the way.) All of her life she longs for her mother to be more loving with her. Enter appropriately handsome man who is cold and distant. He feels familiar to the woman. And in a sort of serendipitous moment, she strikes some familiar chord with him as well. The physical attraction is mutual and romance buds. In the early stage of the relationship the woman feels fulfilled because she has found a cold, distant person and magically created a warm, loving relationship with him. In that way, a sort of healing takes place inside of her, and she feels complete. Now without dragging this out too long, assume some similar but different phenomena is happening with the man.

Sadly, a few years down the road, the initial chemical spark wears off and the woman is left with a cold, distant husband who triggers all of her worst childhood wounds and fears. We've all heard a thousand times that the trait that initially attracts you to your spouse later drives you crazy. And the man is probably experiencing something similar as well. If this couple doesn't have a deep belief in vows and commitments, they will probably split within the first five years of marriage. If they do have those strong core values, they might tough it out ten, twenty, even twenty-five years until the kids grow up. But at some point if they don't get serious help, they won't be able to survive the relationship any longer. At best (or worst depending on your perspective), they might stay married but live separate lives.

However...this same potential for intense pain can be turned around and become an avenue for intense healing. If the couple learns to communicate properly, and even counsel one another, they can begin to heal together. If they can learn to meet one another's hidden needs and soothe one another's wounds, they will develop a deep and abiding love that lasts for the rest of their lives. A God kind of love.

In this way, marriage becomes a symbol for the ultimate romance between us and our savior. It is a conduit for unconditional love, reconciliation, healing, and fulfillment.

Perhaps this is why I so often find myself writing stories of couples who wounded each other terribly during adolescence. With the help of the Holy Spirit, they come back together as adults and help each other heal, ultimately falling back in love. A love that is destined to last because it has endured adversity. The truest kind of love of all.

I know romance is fun. I know hot, sexy hunks who sweep women off their feet are exciting. Everyone loves tingles and shivers and passionate kisses. But in real life when a feisty heroine and domineering hero overcome their mutual stubbornness because of their intense sexual chemistry, they probably aren't headed toward happily-ever-after. Without some serious intervention, they are more likely doomed for disaster. It is the friendship relationship that gently blossoms into romance and results in a logical decision to join two lives that has the much higher success rate in marriage. Even arranged marriages fare much better.

I hate to be a kill joy. I'm not trying to rob you of your fun. And I'm not trying to make romance ugly by putting it under the scientific microscope. I just think as we start this new year, it's important to know the ins and outs of this subject we're writing about. Then we can write in a way that will draw people deeper into the great love story that drives the whole world.


All that being said, structurally my newest novel is more women's fiction than romance. But let me assure you that it in fact contains three romances: tingles, shivers, and all. So think of it as a three-in-one romance collection with a sisterhood frame story. How's that sound? If you give it a try, I think you will enjoy seeing how I use romance to develop deep healing and a true Godly kind of love. 

31 comments:

  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand 립카페. It seems too complicated and very broad for me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!출장안마

    ReplyDelete
  3. I’m curious to find out what blog system you have been working with?타이마사지

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article. Thank you so much.

    바카라사이트

    ReplyDelete
  5. Excellent post! Your post is very useful and I felt quite interesting reading it. Expecting more post like this. Thanks for posting such a good post. 룰렛

    ReplyDelete
  6. You were great and everyone received so much from your experience and knowledge. Absolutely amazing, thank you for sharing your knowledge with me. 텍사스홀덤

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have read your article; it is very informative 엔트리파워볼

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello. Neat post. There is an issue withe post will be good and I am surprised that you wrote it man! 메이저공원

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am usually to blogging i genuinely appreciate 메이저사설토토

    ReplyDelete
  10. Amazing knowledge and I like to share this kind of information with my friends and hope they like it they why I do . Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work! 안전놀이터

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wohh just what I was looking for, thanks for posting. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. Surprising article. Hypnotizing to analyze. I genuinely love to analyze such a good article. Much regarded! keep shaking. I was truly thankful for the useful info on this fantastic subject along with similarly prepare for much more terrific messages. Many thanks a lot for valuing this refinement write-up with me. I am valuing it significantly! Preparing for an additional excellent article 먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete
  12. information. Your point of view is the best among many without fail.For certain, It is one of the best blogs in my opinion. 파워볼놀이터

    ReplyDelete
  13. Detain busy, awesome career! You bear through a awesome vacancy. I sanity definitely quarry it moreover personally suggest to my buddys. I am self-possessed they determination be benefited from this scene. 우리카지노

    ReplyDelete
  14. At the point when I initially remarke바카라사이트추천

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have. I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike other blogs I have read which are really not that good.Thanks alot! Your work is very good and I appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts . Really impressive post. I read it whole and going to share it with my social circules. I enjoyed your article and planning to rewrite it on my own blog. 메이저놀이터

    ReplyDelete
  16. 댓글에 숨겨진 보물을 발견했습니다. 해외스포츠중계

    ReplyDelete
  17. 비슷한 문제에 대해 썼고 내 사이트에 대한 링크를 제공합니다. 슬롯사이트

    ReplyDelete
  18. شركة كلينر للخدمات المنزلية بالرياض بأفضل و ارخص الاسعار
    تنظيف فلل بالرياض

    ReplyDelete
  19. شركة سبيد واي الرائدة في مجال نقل العفش باحترافية وعمالة ماهرة بأفضل سعر بالمملكة
    شركة نقل عفش داخل وخارج الرياض

    ReplyDelete
  20. افضل شركة لتنضيف وصيانة المكيفات بالدمام ، انوار الجنة لجميع الخدمات
    شركة تنظيف مكيفات بالدمام

    ReplyDelete
  21. مؤسسة اركان الشامل للتنظيف الشامل، للمحافظة على نظافة منزلك ومسبحك على اعلى مستوى.
    افضل شركة تنظيف مسابح بالقطيف

    ReplyDelete
  22. شركة حور كلين توفر افضل خدمة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض ، تعقيم وتنظيف الخزانات على اعلى مستوى للحفاظ على نقاء المياه.
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض

    ReplyDelete
  23. شركة صقور الجزيرة لخدمات الصرف الصحي وتسليك المجاري.
    تسليك مجاري

    ReplyDelete
  24. افضل مؤسسة لتسليك و شفط المجاري بأسعار مناسبة
    وايت شفط مجاري بالشرقية

    ReplyDelete
  25. ماستر كلين للخدمات المنزلية وتسليك المجاري بتبوك شركة تسليك مجاري بتبوك

    ReplyDelete
  26. هل تبحث عن شركة لتنظيف و ترتيب منزلك؟ شركة كلين الرياض لتقديم خدمات تنظيف متنوعة بأعلى جودة.
    شركة تنظيف كنب بالرياض

    ReplyDelete