Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Emerson chapter.

As a child, I would daydream about my crushes or being whisked away by my prince charming. I loved hearing my parents’ love story and wanted nothing more than to emulate that. In the first grade, I even remember when we were asked to draw what we wanted to be when we grew up. I drew a princess. Years went by and I continued to fall in love with the genre, reading books ranging from Pride and Prejudice, The Selection series, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy, and The Fault in Our Stars–to name a few.

However, as much as I love the genre, I will admit that in recent years, if memory serves me right, I haven’t been reading a lot of romance books. Instead, I am more drawn to other genres such as mystery, fantasy, and science fiction. By immersing myself in other genres, I forgot what it was like to feel giddy over the blossoming romance of the protagonists, fawning over the cute male lead (sometimes the good boy, sometimes the bad boy), or disappearing into a cliché romantic trope for a couple of hours. Fortunately, my summer read It Ends With Us, which was my friend’s recommendation, reminded me why I love romance books. 

Romance is illusive. On its surface, it looks perfect, simple, and easy, ending with a happily ever after; a beautiful story that I wished for. Yet, that is far from the truth. It is complicated, messy, and imperfect. Nevertheless, for me, it remains the same, a beautiful story. There is something magical and intriguing about someone being right for you, staying by your side through all the strife, and wanting you in this ever complicated world we live in. It makes my heart race in my chest, squeal at how cute and wonderful they are for each other, stay up late just to read the next few pages, and sometimes spoil the ending. It pulls me in and I just sit and observe the words, taking it all in until I see it come to life. I am on the edge until the very end. Until I stopped and thought about it, I never understood why it was a beautiful story. 

Looking back at my childhood self, I probably enjoyed romance because it seemed like everything in life would suddenly fall into place once I found the “perfect man.” As much as I still appreciate and enjoy this kind of romance, as an adult, I do think differently. 

In a story, there are two flawed people who may or may not know they are in love with each other, an event occurs that brings them together, they get to know each other, fall in love,, and even with all the conflicts that occur they still end up together.

In any beautiful story, love is a process, whether it happens at first sight or not. Love is not something that appears out of nowhere. It requires time, patience, honesty, compromise, commitment, and hard work. Tomorrow may be different from today and yesterday, there is uncertainty in every day and every moment, but you continue to lean and rely on each other through it all. You live life with them because there is no one better to share it with. That’s why I love romance books. I love seeing how their relationship plays out and reading about how they will overcome all the difficulties in their life. I love seeing why they choose to be together. I love seeing why they want this to work for both of them. It shows the readers the depth of the characters’ love for one another.  It makes me feel light, happy, and thrilled for them–even if they are fictional. Then, it makes me think about myself and how I wish to experience the bliss of romance with someone one day. I daydream about what that relationship will entail, where it will occur, what it will be like, and how it will feel. Even then, I still have to remind myself to not get carried away because love is not a formula, not every relationship ends like this, it varies for everyone. I am a hopeless romantic after all. 

For now, my nonexistent love life lives within the pages of these romance books. When I read the last line and close the book, I no longer think about happily ever after. Rather, I ask, “What’s next?” 

Belle Tan

Emerson '23

Belle Tan is a senior at Emerson College majoring in Creative Writing with a minor in Publishing and Music History and Culture. During her free time, she enjoys playing the flute, singing, reading, writing, and spending time with family and friends.