Free-thinking Friday

As amazing as wine and coffee are, some days you just want to talk about something else. Gasp! Crazy, I know. Beautiful Friday, the end of the week day, is the perfect day to just let thoughts wander to… wherever they happen to go. Below is a topic that my thoughts have landed on more than once and, with all of the 50 Shades of Grey movie talk circling, now seems a good time to voice those thoughts. So, here it goes, the first (of possibly many) Free-thinking Friday posts.

Romance Novel Men vs. Real Men (And why 50 Shades of Grey would never have worked in the real world)

Let me start first by saying that I am a fan of romance novels, but I am one of the few women that did not heave a lusty sigh and fall headfirst into the 50 Shades of Grey craze. I am, by no means, knocking those who did – get those lusty sighs where you can, ladies. I’m just far too analytical to find the story sexy. I have a hard time believing a real man in the real world would be able to get away with the things Christian Grey did in the book – even if he attempted those things with a fan of the story.

For the very few who do not know, 50 Shades of Grey is about a rich, emotionally damaged man entering into a dominant/submissive relationship with a quiet, shy type girl who, though hesitant at first, falls for his charms and yields. After some back and forth, he falls for her as well in true romance novel style.

First, no independent woman of the 21st century is going to freely braid her hair to kneel on the floor and call a man master at his command without a longterm commitment and a clearly stated acknowledgment that it is a one-time fantasy-fulfilling favor – probably for his birthday. Anastasia, though written to be a timid, independent woman, seems a little resistant initially, but still ends up kneeling on the floor, among other things.

Anastasia also displays surprise at Christian’s playroom, but she still allows the blindfold and “plays” with him. How many real women would stay if their boyfriend took them to a playroom/torture chamber he created inside his home? That is a huge, red flag to run far away. That is something you see on Investigation Discovery, but because we are reading it and not living it, it is suppose to be sexy.

The punishment spankings are meant to be sexy in the novel as well; however, how many women would actually enjoy if their men thought it were his place to discipline and correct her, like a child, with spankings? Think about how well an attempt like that would really go over.

It’s not just 50 Shades of Grey that has an improbable romantic hero. Most romance novel men are nothing like the real life men we know and love, nor would we want them to be. Many romance novel men are crazy gorgeous, rough around the edges, have a sweet side, fall hard and fast with one look at his “true love,” enjoy the chase his lady gives him, and know how to talk to his woman no matter her mood.

Let’s break it down, different women are attracted to different things. What one woman sees as crazy gorgeous, another woman may see as just okay. For this reason, the first romance novel quality is unmeasurable. I will say that once you meet a good man that gives you that tingle and treats you the way you deserve to be treated, he will instantly become the most gorgeous man in the world despite any flaws or faults he may possess.

Next, is the rough around the edges with a sweet side combination most romance novel men have. This combination is popular in novels because it is that combination all women wish for in their early 20s when they end up dating a rough edges guy that is, usually, just a jerk without a hidden sweet. It’s just not a likely combination, and if it does exist, it is very rare.

As for a man that falls instantly for the woman he believes is the one, while romantic in novels, it is less so in the real world. Love is getting to know someone as a partner and being able to trust them wholeheartedly, which you cannot do with just one glance at their pretty face. Pair that trait with a man that enjoys a chase, and the combination rings stalker-like.

Romance novel men seem to instinctively know what to say and what to do for their women, no matter the circumstance or her mood. How boring would that be? What would we complain to our girlfriends about? All women are different and require different approaches. Women do not even know how to treat and talk to other women, and secretly, we like that. The novels are written to make women sigh and say, “I wish…,” but if we really had a man so perfect, where would the challenge and excitement be?

Though romance novels are fun to read and sigh over, at the end of the day, close the book and remember to enjoy the real man that tries hard, despite his flaws, to make you feel like his beautiful, leading lady. After all, it’s his flaws that give him character enough to be your not-too-perfect real life romantic hero.

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I’m Jaimi-Lynn. My amazing husband, Andy, and I live in Austin with our beautiful daughter, Keira, and our nine-pound Shih-Tzu, Gigi. So far during our time together, we have traveled across country in a RV, lived a year aboard a houseboat on Lake Travis, flipped a house, started two business, and now we are excited to embark on the greatest adventure of all – parenthood! It is better to be busy than bored, right?

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