05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Monday, May 23, 2011

What is love?

LOVE is the most basic of human needs, right behind food, clothing, and shelter. It's the universal emotion of all humans.

Ever wondered why there are so many songs about love? So many movies with at least a subplot of love? So many books about love?

We crave love and acceptance the way desert craves the rain. For love, wars have been waged. Feuds fought. Lives endangered. Parents defied. Thrones abdicated. Risks taken.

Does true love promise there will never be problems? No! Love brings the grandest joy, the deepest sense of belonging, the most exquisite pain. Romance is loving all through the drudgery, the sorrow, the flat humdrum, and the disappointment, because ultimately, the relationship is worth saving.

Romance is a husband driving all the way across town to give his wife a hug when she's having a terrible day, or taking her to her favorite chick flick.
It's a wife cuddling up to her husband and trying to look interested in his favorite sports team on TV, or working side by side with him in the yard.

Love is when two people would rather be together than with anyone else. It's living in the moment. It's creating memories to cherish for years to come.

As a romance novelist, I challenge couples in love in my quest to create a believable romantic novel. In my books, I create fantasy worlds based on real historical settings. My Fantasy novel has a combination of Medieval, ancient Rome, and Victorian England. My Regency Romance novels, are, of course, set in Regency England. But that's just the setting. The stories have some adventure and some intrigue, but ultimately, are about people searching for love. The couples and their emotions are real to me because I've felt those same emotions.

I always strive to develop characters that are multi-dimensional, have a history, have flaws that make them human, and have strengths that set them apart from the crowd. The main characters aren't always the best looking, or the smartest or most powerful, but they have courage, honor and perseverance...and a deep need to give and receive love.

How do you most want to be shown love?


Alyssia said...

What a beautiful post, Donna. For me, it's the small things. I love it when my husband opens the door for me and, just as I pass by, I feel his hand at the small of my back. I love it when he sits on the love seat, I on the sofa, and I glance up, all to meet his eyes. And then he smiles, and my heart gets all fluttery.

Yeah. That's how I know it's really love. He's not only my husband, he's my best friend.

Judith Ashley said...

Great question, Donna. I think if I'd known the answer to that when I got married, I'd not have married - at least not that man. Now I have a list ... 1. He needs to be my best friend; 2. We need to laugh together more than cry;
3. We need to live a healthy inter-dependence life-style which means we each do things with others not just with each other. 4. He needs to be able to talk to me - tell me he loves me, disagrees with me, etc. without being disrespectful. (Yes, there are ways to saying "I love you" that are disrespectful).

Courtney L said...

I was really moved by your blog, Donna. It was the perfect time for me to read words that made me think hard. I'm still single, and the question you asked is an important one I should be able to answer. Here it goes.
I want a guy to show me his love (and even I'll admit, this is going to sound strange!) by way of his gumption... I want him to be straightforward, to push for the truth when I'm less than forthcoming about my emotions and moods. A man who has gumption is relentless, has persistence, doesn't quit at something despite having insecurities over an outcome. All in all, I want a man to show me his love by having the guts to directly communicate, to push and challenge me the way a best friend does.
So, to all those guys out there--if you want to show me your love--don't be chickens!

Kinley Baker said...

Beautiful post. I think the best way my husband shows me he loves me is wanting to spend time with me. There's something vital and basic about someone saying out of all the people in the world, I choose you. Then continuing to choose year after year. Then there's the small things. Like the fact he didn't say a word about my lack of cleaning participation when I was on deadline. Also his fabulous cooking and our shared sense of humor. I need to put a list on the fridge of all the positives. Stress makes love too easy to undervalue. But finding a person who makes you happier is absolutely worth treasuring.

Sarah Raplee said...

What a wonderful post and a wonderful question, Donna! Every answer has struck a chord with me in some way.

I agree that 'the little things' Alyssia mentioned are important. When my husband texts me 'I love you' from his hotel first thing in the morning, it makes my day.

Treating each other as best friends, as Judith and others said, with respect and honesty and acceptance and a sense of humor; that's essential.

I'd like to add something to Courtney's comment: While communication and the gumption to work through emotional issues is nourishes any relationship, persistence (aka commitment) demonstrates love in my book. Maybe that's why romance readers cave those Happily-Ever-Afters.

Donna Hatch said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone! I agree that the little things are a big deal, and for sure, being best friends with your spouse is key to a happy, loving relationship. (raising glass) Here's to love!

Paty Jager said...

Donna, great post! I agree the little things are what show your love not the grandiose gestures. My husband texting several times a day, not asking me to help with the irrigation pipes(but I do so we can spend time together), patting the couch beside him when we watch TV.

Vonnie Alto said...

Tender moments. Thoughtful gestures. That is how I prefer love to be shown.

Tam Linsey said...

Good post - no matter what genre we write, the goal is to develop believable characters.

Helen said...

What a great post! Love is the best thing to write about because it elevates our senses.
I have a wonderful husband who I will be celebrating my 35th wedding anniversary with next week. I know if I didn't have his hand to hold all these years I would have wondered if love is real.
Keep on loving what you do best...