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Realistic Romance (Part 1)


July 29, 2015 by Dayo Benson

pouting-man-with-bouquet--cd0a2So, one of my best friends is getting married this year, and I’m so happy for her. It’s got me thinking about love and romance, and about how mine and my husband’s journey into ‘love’ and all that started.

I am totally a romantic, but I try to be realistic about love and marriage in my books, because although most of my books have romance as a sub-theme or a main them, I feel that painting a roses and rainbows view of romantic relationships is just phony.

There are lots of people who want to read totally unrealistic romance where the guy is there solely for the purposes of adoring the heroine, but I don’t think my readers are like that. I think my readers want realism. A lot of my readers are young people so a part of me feels like I owe it to them to be real about what relationships are like and not fill their heads with things that are totally just not real.

I get emails from readers all the time saying ‘do guys like Jace really exist?’ and ‘is love this cool?’ Now, the thing is that I had a very romantic ‘courtship.’ I wasn’t all that romantic until I met my husband, but he kept giving me roses and drawing pictures of me and sending me poems (he’d never admit to it now though 🙂 ), so I soon warmed up to it all.

So, yes, falling in love is fun, and I do emphasize that in my books. But I also try to be realistic about how there’s a lot of ‘give and take’ a lot of ‘compromise’ and you don’t just drift from roses, to rings, to sunsets, to fireworks against a night sky for the rest of your relationship. There’s hard work to be done, because it’s too imperfect people coming together. Married people know what I mean.

I try to be realistic and make sure that each of my hero’s has a flaw and isn’t just perfect:
– Jace (Beauty for Ashes series) was pretty scheming, indecisive and moody (it didn’t stop a lot of my readers from falling head over heels for him though)
– Harvey (Drew Ashley series) had two kids and lots of baggage
– Caleb (Purity) was a total jerk to Harper most of the time (But he could cook. Any man that can cook is just awesome!)
– Juda (Crystal series) is a wizard. Talk about a flaw, lol. Don’t even ask me how I got there.

That’s just to name a few.

Having said that…I read my fair share of unrealistic romance. My favourite author always changes, but at the moment it’s Denise Hunter. OMD she is amazing. Barefoot Summer is such a sweet romance, and I’m currently reading Married ’til Monday by her.

So, what do you think of romance in books? Should it be realistic, or doesn’t it matter since it’s just fiction?


  1. Alaynia Walls says:

    i think what we need is a purely honest outlook on romance and love in general. Even if the book is fiction, it will still give some readers a false hope of what love or romance is, which will continually disappoint all those looking for someone who may fit the book discription. Those who have never been In a relationship, or maybe those who have, need to know love isn’t a fantasy but it’s a real thing, and that it can be hard, like you were saying. I’m just waiting for the right man to come, but when the right one comes I don’t want it to be a big let down when he’s not what I hoped he’d be like, or when I can’t find a guy who’d be even a little like the book portrayed men or a romantic relationship. I would love a realistic view, so I know and other readers know what may or may not be expected from the outcome of a romantic relationship, and without carrying false hope for perfection, because we know it doesn’t exist, but we all kind of hope for it anyway lol. Thanks Dayo!

    • Dayo Benson says:

      Hey Alaynia, thanks for your comment. I totally agree with you. I prefer romance to be realistic. Especially for the benefit of those who have never experienced it and don’t know what relationships are like. Relationships are romantic but they can definitely be hard, too. Never mind, God will send you the right man, and whether he’s ‘romantic’ by romance book standards or not, you will be head over heels anyway 🙂 A real life man is much better than a man in a book who doesn’t exist. God bless.

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