Now THAT is an interesting question!
I'm going to give you two short answers and then we'll discuss. So do romance novels destroy relationships?
1. Yes--but this is only if you expect your man to act like any man in a romance novel. Are you going to act like the women in the romance novels? Didn't think so. Problems arise when you start having expectations about your reality. This just isn't happening peeps.
2. No--this is if you understand that romances are FICTION and the characters live in fantasy-land. The men you read about, the things they do, and the acts they perform are all in someone else's imagination. They are feel-good reads and you understand the man standing before will never say/do such things and act such ways (unless of course you married someone straight from a romance novel and if you have, I applaud you!)
Now, on the seriousness.
There was an interesting post I found on Goodreads about this same topic. A reader asked the following questions:
1. Are there really such relationships that exist that are all fire and passion?
2. Or is this simply a fantasy?
3. Is it wrong to compare your partner to the characters in these fictional romances?
4. Should the reader strive to be more like the characters?
Let's face if, we all love those alpha-males. They are sexy, comfortable with their man-self. They are bossy, super sexy, sometimes rich, they know what they want and how to get it. They are sexy. But like a poster said on the Goodreads forum: "Picture what living with a man like this would be like 24/7. I would want to punch him in the face."
Yup, that about sums it up.
The same can be said for other heroes. I mean, could you live with Christian Grey? Or some mushy character?
Sure, there are relationship that exist that have fire and passion. But if you've been with a man for any length of time (either married or what-not) you know that it takes work. Nothing is as easy as romance novels. Sure, they have up and downs, but the purpose of them is to have a good ending. We KNOW that our lives aren't like that. Well, at least I hope you know.
Romance is fantasy. There are not real life playboys-turned-to-good boys, cowboys who know how to waltz and fine-dine you, business men who would rather spend a passionate day on the boat instead of working.
Now wait before you get all up in my face about there really being people out their like this. Because somewhere, I'm sure there are. However, the chances of any romance reader finding him and reeling him in is SLIM to NONE.
It is also wrong to compare your partner to anyone in a romance novel. Every person on the face of this planet is different. No two people act alike, think alike, respond alike, dream alike, etc. If you think you can get your hubs to act like one of the dudes in the Black Dagger Brother series or any other book, good luck with that. You'll have a better chance of getting run over by a train while chasing down the ice cream truck.
Here's the thing though. We, as women, wish we could have what's in these books. Those of us grounded to reality know the books aren't real. The situations aren't real. The men, for SURE, aren't real. And we as women have to remember that to get what we want (or need) we have to ask.
Men can't read our minds. Men don't understand why we do what we do. Hell, we are the most confusing thing in the world to men. Our relationships will be what we make them. So if we lash out at our partner, they will lash back. If we cuddle and caress and love like we should, the partner will do the same. It's human nature.
So, if your head is down here on earth with the rest of us, romance novels shouldn't have a negative effect on your relationship. If anything, it should help you understand some of the tinkerings of the opposite sex. And if you read a good romance, it might liven up the bedroom action.
And if your head is in space, deflate it ASAP and come back down to join the rest of us.
Romance makes us feel good. We can take that feeling and put it into our lives. But we can't take the stories (and people) and make them part of our lives.
Happy Monday all!