I think I have been in love once in my life. You know when your heart beats too fast in their company, every thought just comes back to that one person and nothing can stop you from writing a million love poems for no one to read. I have been in love but the two of us never dated. I was too shy to share my feelings and nothing never came out of it. Later on, I have been asked on dates for a few occasions but nothing has never come out of it.
Can you see my problem?
How can one write about love, romance and the difficulties of dating without any prior experience? Could someone maybe write authors’ guide to love and dating for those who suck at the feelings and the cliches? Just saying that guides like that would be really useful for us who have gotten all their proper dating knowledge from books, movies, and TV series.
It’s hard to write about love. And not only for the big elephant in this room aka me not having any experience. It’s difficult because I always return to the feelings I have had, romances that might have happened and stories that I wish were my own. At first, this may sound okay. If the feelings are my own, the stories will seem more authentic. There are two reasons why I struggle with this.
My stories are repeating again and again. Liking your friend, snarky comments between the two protagonists, hidden feelings, and either super sad or overly sappy ending. The characters I write and who fall in love follow always the same pattern. I write perfect fairytale love interests who are badass, look cool, have a heart bigger than most people and are ready to change their life for the protagonist. It sounds good but after you have drawers full of similar perfect boys it gets boring.
The second problem has more to do with the fact that I don’t have enough experience of a real-world dating. Do you know how hard it’s to write a movie theater date knowing you have never done it yourself? I can do the writing part – mostly because I’m a romantic soul who has read too many romance novels – but at the same time I feel like a fraud. You could compare it to being a lawyer without ever studying law. Or at least in my head, you can.
I’m struggling and still, the worst thing is that this all is just in my head. Yep. The first (or hundredth) rule of trying to be a full-time writer: It’s all in your head. My mind is stuck to the memories I have. If I just got over them, writing anything else would be possible. Being fraud is just one of the clever ways my mind tries to make me stop writing. After starting my studies towards a creative writing university degree I have met a lot of writers. One thing seems to be common with most of us. We all feel like frauds who just try to write.
Someday I’m going to write a real romance but before that happens… Could anyone share with me how it feels to kiss in rain? No? Okay, what about fighting about missing toothbrushes or disappearing chocolate bars? Even as single I don’t exactly grave for romance but having real knowledge of these things would be really helpful while writing!
“It’s still two human beings trying to get along, so it’s going to be complicated. And love is always complicated. But humans must try to love each other, darling. We must get our hearts broken sometimes. This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love