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Romance Books Saved My Love Life


So many of us have felt it: the mascara running down your face, listening to your break up playlist 24/7, and hiding in your bed, never wanting to leave. I’ve been there a few times. And by the third time, I was tired of it. Crying my eyes out over a boy was not a vibe. At all.

When I was going through my most recent break up, I lost my hopeless romantic side. I had given up on love and thought I was destined for broken relationships. And if you knew me before that break up, you wouldn’t have believed it. I used to be so in love with love. I always put my entire heart into relationships and loved so deeply. I loved planning dates and writing love letters. Good morning texts were my favorite way to start the day, and I already knew the details of my future wedding – whenever that is.

And when I wasn’t in love with love anymore, it felt like a little part of me died.

Now, I’ve always enjoyed reading, so much so that I’m studying to be an English teacher, but I was burnt out from academia. Scholarly article after scholarly article, textbook after textbook, essay after essay. I’ve never been great at finding a balance between my interests and school, so college quickly began to rule my life, and my hobbies disappeared. So when I realized I was tired of being sad over said boy, I turned to my hobbies.

“When I wasn’t in love with love anymore, it felt like a little part of me died.”

When I began to get back into reading after my break up, I turned to a lot of abandoned books on my bookshelves: autobiographies and religious books. Both were great, but neither brought me into a different world where I could escape my problems – until I discovered Booktok. Since then, I’ve been having so much fun exploring the romance genre. Romance books have countless tropes (#team friends to lovers over here) and are full of moments that make you gitty.

The book that made me start believing in love again was Beach Read by Emily Henry. This was the first romance book I picked up after my break up. There’s just something about January and Gus that I can’t put my finger on… Maybe it was being able to relate to their apprehensiveness towards dating, or their ~character growth.~ Whatever it was, it was the start of seeing magic in love again. I remember re-reading scenes over and over again and dying when they finally confessed their feelings for each other. Romance is fun and exciting!

Sure, I’m still a little apprehensive about dating, and being in a relationship right now isn’t at the top of my to do list, but I’m getting some of that excitement back. I’m beginning to watch more romcoms, I don’t roll my eyes at every couple I see (still working on this one), and I’m getting more and more excited about dating again. Love is still scary to me, and it makes me feel a little anxious when I sit down and think about it, but part of being in a relationship is about the uncertainty of what the future brings for the two of you. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that no matter how much effort you put in the relationship, if it isn’t meant to be then it just isn’t meant to be.

We all deserve a happily-ever-after.

Makayla Holbrook is a Campus Correspondent here at HC Hawai'i and majoring in Secondary Education with a focus on English. Outside of writing, you can find her watching cooking competition shows, getting lost in romance novels, playing with her dogs, and trying new coffee shops.
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