Saturday, March 3, 2012

Love Stories, The Bachelor, & Romantic Suckers (like me!)


I'm one of those crazy persons who watches each season of The Bachelor. I know, I know. *hangs head in shame*

Why do I do it? Why do relatively normal people invest time and emotional energy into love stories that are doomed from the start?

Well, I sat myself down for a therapy session and this is what I learned:

In love with love

People like me are suckers for love stories. Even if I read a political thriller, there's nothing like it when a forbidden love story is thrown in the mix. YA stories? Yep, I love the love angle there, too (Katniss-Peeta-Gale triangle...oy!). Historical fiction? Don't get me started! (The brooding and misunderstood Mr. Darcy, anyone?)

In love with drama

I don't consider myself a drama mama in real life, but in romance stories, I love it. If the girl gets the guy without rumors, misunderstandings, and cat fights, where's the fun in that? Maybe romance stories give ordinary people the thrill of drama, without having to experience it first hand.

In love with possibility

Love stories involve lots of road blocks before the embattled couple finds happiness. But the possibility of love...ah, that's what keeps readers reading and movie viewers digging into buttered popcorn until they're sick (raise your hand if the sick-tummy-from-popcorn thing has happened to you, too).

In my opinion, romantics are hopeful. And hope is what keeps bringing me back to The Bachelor, even after many seasons of failed couples. I keep hoping that this is the season where the couple will find true love through unrealistic dates and strange group hot tub scenes.

For an in-depth post on romance, check out Jody Hedlund's post Why Romances Are a Valid & Important Form of Literature.

Are you a sucker for romance? Do you read it or write it? And do you watch The Bachelor, or am I the only crazy viewer out there?

(If you're watching this season, who do you think Ben will choose? IMHO, I think it should have been Kasie B., and I think Ben is on the fast track to heartbreak. *sigh*)


34 comments:

  1. There's a chemical released by the brain that induces the euphoric, in-love sensation - and obviously, you are addicted!
    And probably the best addiction you could have, so enjoy.

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  2. Ha. Don't hang your head in shame. It's more like looking at a train wreck.

    I'm actually not a romance fan but there is something about looking at these personalities of the women. They are definitely in love with love.

    Plus, you can't help but get TONS of writing ideas from it.

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  3. Julie, I love romance when it's woven into an already good story. But I don't do straight "romance" as far as reading it or watching it. I watched Puss & Boots last night, and there was a cute romance woven into the story. That's my kind of romance--subplot romance. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is another example of the kind of romance I enjoy. (And, of course, Katniss and Peeta!)

    Have a great weekend!

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  4. My favourite Julie is historical romance, usually regency. I'm moving towards this with my historical fiction for children... :0)

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  5. I think the reasons you list are exactly why people enjoy watching The Bachelor - as painful as it is. I watched it earlier on, but I've lost interest. So few are really finding true love there! I cling to the triumph of Trista and Ryan :D I don't watch anymore. The behavoir makes me nuts and the whole "I'm in love with two people right up until the last minute" or "I know whom I love but I'm supposed to string someone else along so there are two at the end" thing just turns me off now. I love romance and romantic stories, but The Bachelor doesn't really provide that, I'm afraid!

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  6. I don't watch this show. I LOVE love stories, but I don't think this show is a love story. It's more a silly drama "story" with a bunch of pretty roses, LoL! I have friends who love reality shows, though, including this one (I can't stand the drama so I don't watch them) so I sort of know there's one girl everyone hates but who he'll probably pick, right?

    I just read 11/22/63 by Stephen King and I was pleasantly surprised that there is a real, sweet love story in there! I guess technically the love story was a subplot, but I'm of the opinion that the novel really is a love story and stopping the Kennedy assassination is the subplot!

    I do love a good, romantic love story, just not the fake stuff!

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  7. Alex, I had no idea about the chemical release! Fun information, for sure.

    Karen, train wreck is a perfect analogy. Gah!

    Linda, Benjamin Button is one of my all-time favorites. LOVED that love story.

    Carole, I absolutely LOVE historical fiction romances. Phillipa Gregory is one of my favorite authors!

    Melissa and Laura, it really is a disaster waiting to happen, and although the show has lost so much of its appeal, I still can't stop. It's like a sick addition :/

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  8. I love fictional love stories, but in real life things like that bother me because I want to slap people. :D

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  9. Drama mama, hee hee. I used to watch the Bachelor with friends and it was a wonderful guilty pleasure--no judgment! I never realized what a romantic I was until I started writing. Hooray for romance!

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  10. Julie,
    I have NEVER ever watched that show but one of the things I am attracted to is the ease that people allow themselves to be vulnerable~

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  11. Don't hang your head, Julie, cause you'll bump mine. I surf in and out of The Bachelor. It's never entered my head two people out of that circus would really get married and live happily ever after. But the spirit of the chase appeals and, like you said, the possibility of it all. It's fun.

    I buy whatever Philippa Gregory writes.

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  12. I'm a real sucker for romance. I have never watched the Bachelor...but have seen the commercials!

    I write historical romance, mainly Civil War era.

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  13. I love romance, too. I don't watch TV. Never seen that show. But I love romance movies. Don't care for romance novels, but I love romance thrown into other genres.

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  14. I guess I'm kind of weird. I do like romance, but I can't watch any of those TV dating shows. I cringe and get uncomfortable. And I like reading romances in a story, but I like to have another element...hence I write romantic suspense and horror. Yes, I love the romantic parts and love to write them, but I always like a little intriugue or a scare, too:) Although I do sometimes read romance only, but I always sort of wish something else had been thrown in there.

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  15. I used to watch it religiously with a friend, but she is too busy now :( and I never remember or can get the kids tv off for a minute to watch it. I obviously need to put my foot down, it is so entertaining!

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  16. Oh, Julie, I'm so sorry about your addiction. The first step is always to admit you have a problem. ;)

    I do love romance books and movies. Reality shows - not so much!!
    erica

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  17. My name is James Garcia Jr., and I'm in love with love, too.
    The other day a video was on the 'net about a women's college basketball player who was proposed to on the court. Watched it! If it's a good romantic comedy, I'm there. One might think that I would be holed up in my house watching The Exorcist or something. Instead, it's The Notebook.
    Is there any help for this condition? ;)

    -Jimmy

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  18. I'm a ridiculous romantic. In fact Princess Leia and Han Solo just finished kissing on my TV. I'm a sucker for love in any genre.

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  19. I haven't seen the Bachelor for years, but I am a romantic. However, since I write for MG readers I don't write romance into my stories. Thanks for another fun and informative post, Julie.

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  20. I'm in love with the idea of love. The essence of love. And the feelings of love. As one sappy romantic to another... keep loving. It's the best feeling in the world.

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  21. I read it, but whenever I try to write it, one of my characters usually ends up trying to kill the other!

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  22. I don't watch the Bachelor but I bet I would be sucked into for the same reasons as you. I am in love with love and I love seeing love eventually overcome roadblocks! This is why I also love the other kind of love story you very rarely see, the "what happens after happily ever after" kind. How couples in marriages have to fight to keep love going!

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  23. I totally get the addiction to love & romance, especially in books & movies, buut not so much in reality TV & never to The Bachelor. It depicts women in a very negative light, often showing their worst qualities. I know women like to watch that sort of thing in others. Not really sure why. But it embarrasses me to be of the same sex. I admit to watching that show when it was a novelty, but not any more. What's more, the men they choose seem anything but ideal. I understand the guy they have this season is wealthy, but ugh, what a dog! If I'm expected to tune in, the dude must at least be a 10. And he should absolutely be 100% ready to get married. But I completely understand why those matches rarely work: nearly every person involved is shallow & only there for self-promotion & to cash in on America's obsession with fame. To me, it's a disgrace & I simply cannot witness that.

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  24. I love romance. I read it and write it :) I agree that, for me, most stories are better if they've got that relationship in there. That connection between the characters makes me love the book!

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  25. I watch some pretty bad reality TV, so I can't judge. But I have to say that one guy tongue kissing a bunch of women until he whittles the group down to the "right" one isn't normally a recipe for love. I do agree with your assessment of the appeal.

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  26. hehehehe...this post is beaming with earnest thoughts. I like how you pretty much say that the guy himself doesn't matter. It kinda fascinates me how love can be so egotistical. How another person can be only the extension of that perfect vision of yourself. I don't know if this makes sense?

    You know, MY perfect life with MY perfect boyfriend, MY perfect job and MY perfect friends, etc.

    Kudos for telling it like it is!

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  27. I love love stories too, but I just don't like the bachelor. LOL. It's too orchestrated for me.

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  28. Oh! I'm totally a love sap too! I can't turn from the possibility of romance. *sighs...

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  29. I do love a good romance that's well told. The Bachelor isn't for me, I'm more of a Notebook, Titanic kind of romantic.

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  30. I consider myself a big romantic too, even if it's not always obvious. But I still don't like reality shows. ;)

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  31. I'm not a huge romantic, and yet, when I pick up a book I like it to have a little romance in it. I don't need a ton to hold my interest. I think you hit the nail on the head, though, with why shows like The Bachelor are so popular! :)

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