I’m dipping my toe into the world of online dating. Alas, Yahoo and the WWW have determined my newly admitted interest (before they showed me recipes and gardening tips). Advertisements of all things romantic fill my home browser screen.
A poll caught my eye the other day . . . Does true love really exist?
At the time I noted this survey, more than 8000 people had responded. A whopping 77% said ‘yes, for the lucky ones’, while 23% claimed ‘nope, it’s a fantasy’. What does this mean to those of us who write romance? Those who read it? Who hope to experience it once more? (And yes, I know, there are interesting linkages in those questions, but let’s not lay our souls bare).
Romance as a genre steadily expands. Even books outside the classic genre rely heavily upon chemistry and ‘romantic elements’. I certainly bond with characters (both my creations and those of other authors) who seek their passion . . . who, even reluctantly, acknowledge that true love must exist even if it has not found them.
I did a quick internet search on the question of true love and more than sixteen million hits came back in less than a tenth of a second. Clearly, I’m not the only person who’s pondered this. Scientists claim certainty of such love and offer evidence, chemical tests and brain scans, to support their assertion. Songs memorialize both fated and ill-fated love; all variants true and powerful. Teenagers swear theirs will last forever. Websites tempt the lonely with promises of matches and mates and perfectly suited companions. One’s almost tempted to nod wisely and say: ‘why yes, I’ve known true love . . .’ and then tilt a thoughtful brow and take a sip of coffee. Almost.
For me, I’d just like a little guidance. I’m pretty sure I’ve not found it. Yet. But, how would I know?
Is it the quiver in one’s stomach at the thought of a lover’s touch? Or is it the comfortable warmth of a long time couple? Can you see it? Do men feel it differently than women?
Does true love exist? And what exactly does it feel like? Really, I’m curious. Because if three quarters of the population believe in true love, I better dust off my romance manuscript. After all, someone has to convince the 23% who’ve given up.