5 Best Reasons to Read Romances

By Poison Ivy,

We all like lists, so here are the five best reasons to read romances. These will come in handy when someone who is proud of only reading nonfiction or literary fiction or just anything else tries to put you down for your “frivolous” romance habit. Talk back with these top truths:

1. Romance heroines (and heroes) model bravery. In these times when we have become aware of so much bullying in our society, romance heroines demonstrate the brave behavior we all should emulate. They go out of their way to help the downtrodden, to speak up for the voiceless, and to do the right thing. Sometimes they befriend the unfashionable person despite the sneers of their social crowd, sometimes they actively fight against criminals or injustice, but always, they show courage, a personality trait and a behavior that many people today seem to be sadly lacking.

2. The happy endings in romances create optimism. In an optimistic mood, we can accomplish anything, but first we need to find that mood. Because romances show that good people can create good outcomes, we are encouraged to try in our real lives to strive for the same. These optimistic stories also give us a baseline assurance that life can turn out well. Scientific studies have proven that people who believe good things will happen to them have better medical outcomes, not to mention better jobs and happier lives.

3. Romances demonstrate how to have a happy family. Although heroines may be in a dysfunctional family situation when a story opens, the action of the tale pushes the heroine either to solve her family’s toxic problems or to find a new family that will accept her lovingly. Heroines may start off stuck, but (often thanks to that wonderful hero) they get past it and develop a family-like community that will support them in future. We all need our own communities, and seeing a heroine how find hers shows us the way to create our own.

4. Romance heroes make us believe that men are wonderful. We need some of this belief today. Times are tough (when are they not?), and men can sometimes seem like the perpetual bad guys in a woman’s world. Romances show us that wonderful men exist, and in all flavors, and that they all have human vulnerabilities and need love. Romances teach us how to see men for who they are, and also for who they can become. That helps us treat the men in our lives right, and it also helps us inspire them to be all they can be.

5. Romances demonstrate ideal lives. We all need an ideal to strive for, and money alone doesn’t cut it. Romances show how people can be happy in small cabins on mountaintops, or in apartments in big cities, or anywhere in between. These stories demonstrate possibilities, something we all need to believe in so we don’t feel trapped or stuck in a rut, and so we are encouraged to consider just what kind of living circumstances will make us happy.

Isn’t it interesting that romances–fiction seemingly at its most fictional–can teach us truths we can apply to the real world?