Finding Love Isn’t All about Your Looks, Age, Etc.

This is a rare kind of post for me, but I had a feeling someone might need to hear it.

And even with the title of this post, can I admit “finding love” is an iffy expression for me? Sure, I use it to be understood, and I get what it means, but many people give and receive love. Facilitate and nurture love. Cherish and protect love. They acknowledge and recognize love…but they don’t necessarily just “find” it, as if love is something they can hunt for in the woods or locate in the city with the assistance of signs and arrows. “Hey, look—there’s some love for me over here! I just found it.”

But anyhow.

I get the impression sometimes that people think one’s looks, age, and certain other basic or obvious factors are either automatic guarantees or automatic hindrances to romantic companionship.

I figure there’s a lot in society, from many romantic movies and romance novels to the various cultures of different social and religious circles, that makes folks believe or assume that everybody who desires romance is supposed to find the right companion by their early-to-mid twenties or so…

…and that if it doesn’t happen for you by then, something must be wrong. Or something must be wrong with you. Likewise, the further you get away from your early-to-mid twenties, the greater the wrongness must be if you still haven’t met that wonderful someone.

(Granted, I’m sure biology and the window of prime childbearing years has plenty to do with people’s thoughts about love’s appropriate/optimal timeline.)

Nevertheless, as far as physical attractiveness goes, I do want to point out that getting hit on and such isn’t the same thing as having serious companionship, of course, and receiving attention and propositions and offers because of one’s looks doesn’t necessarily make finding the right companion any easier. It can even make it harder, as more incoming attention can mean there’s more incoming pretense and all other kinds of stuff a person has to sort through, question, sidestep, or even run away from on the romance road.

Just saying.

Really, there are people some folks consider to be strange or plain who end up with the love of their lives straight out of high school or college, and there are people who have plenty of positives going for them but are in their forties or fifties, still single and looking. Some folks know who they’re going to marry from the time they’re children, and other folks go through series of prospects that don’t work out before they meet the right person. Some people are grumpy, sloppy, and happily coupled, and other folks are sweet, neat, and still alone.

Now, I’m not dismissing the fact that sometimes there are issues hindering romance besides “it just hasn’t happened yet.” A person may have some learning, growing, healing, or other preparation that needs to take place before they’ll be ready for what it takes to have a healthy romantic relationship.

Still, meeting someone for suitable companionship simply doesn’t happen for everyone at the same time of life or after a “magic number” of tries or dates—no matter who they are, what they look like, what their personalities are like, whether they first meet people online or in person, or whatever the case may be. Just because you haven’t met someone who’s right for you doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong. Life unfolds differently for everybody, on different timelines.

And that’s okay.

For me as an author, while romance isn’t my primary genre, I write romances to reflect that real love isn’t all about one’s looks or age, and that being or finding the “ideal” package isn’t necessarily an easy ticket to a Happily Ever After.

Even so, I believe romantic love is beautiful, and I do aim to write stories of hope, even when a couple’s journey won’t be easy.

 

Take a Look: Clean Romance Books

What I like about movie ratings–R, PG-13, PG, and G? They give me an idea of what I’m getting into before I get into it, content wise.

Unfortunately, books aren’t released with those ratings, but I still like to know what intensity of content I’m in for, whenever possible. As far as romance books go, there’s certainly a market for clean reads, and as a big fan of romance, I was pleased to recently learn about the Clean Romance Books (CRB) site.

CRB Page 1

CRB features novels and novellas of various subgenres that are big on love and free of swear words, gratuitous violence, and sex scenes. Readers can sign up for the newsletter to get new book suggestions by email.

CRB Page 2

So, if you’re a fellow clean romance enthusiast, do head on over to the CRB site to find your next romantic read.

 

Walk to Beautiful by Jimmy Wayne

Memoir Books 3

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

Four Silver Stars

Walk to BeautifulWalk to Beautiful: The Power of Love and a Homeless Kid Who Found the Way by Jimmy Wayne with Ken Abraham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

When, Jimmy?… When will you do anything to help someone other than yourself?

If it takes nothing else, it takes courage to write something like Walk to Beautiful, country music star Jimmy Wayne’s personal account of childhood hunger and homelessness, abuse and neglect, his experiences in foster care, and his (oftentimes humbling) rise in the music industry.

I couldn’t read Wayne’s story without reacting physically at times, whether that was gasping, cringing, laughing, or blinking back a few tears. “The Crazy Years” of Wayne’s childhood are just that, with enough tumult to make the reader’s noggin spin, and conversely, the compassion Wayne runs into in “Saved by Love” is a relief to come across. I take it I’m not familiar enough with country music, its artists and songs, for most of the names and titles peppered through Wayne’s career accounts to have made much difference to me, but the highlighted events kept me reading.

What I find most compelling is how the author comes to himself, that he evidently doesn’t want to be famous just for the sake of being famous, but he uses his platform to further a cause his life has made him genuinely passionate about. Here’s an engaging memoir, a call to action, and an inspiring read.

 

Surprised by Love by Julie Lessman

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Revell provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

Surprised by LoveSurprised by Love by Julie Lessman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

A historical romance set in early 20th Century San Francisco (complete with cable car rides!), Surprised by Love is firstly heroine Megan McClare’s tale. It’s an “ugly duckling” story of sorts–although that expression doesn’t wholly fit to me, as the discarding of eyeglasses, the use of hair color, and the covering of freckles with makeup doesn’t physically change a person, and chubbiness doesn’t make a person ugly. But I think the true transformation is this former wallflower’s decision to leave the wall, and Meg’s compassion for marginalized women and children in her city is what I find most admirable about her.

This novel is full of convincing, comradely, occasionally awkward relationships and fun banter, and it also includes powerful themes of forgiveness, hope, and what it means to move from selfish love to unconditional love.

There’s a fine line between creating tension and going back and forth in a novel, between clarifying reinforcement and unneeded repetition, and the lines are blurred at times in this story. Also, on the most minor note, blushing is overused; heat creeping into someone’s cheeks or stealing up another’s neck seem to be the characters’ go-to reactions to many of their experiences and conversations.

Yet, love is what gives this novel its strength: romantic and familial love, love for humanity, and God’s love. Overall, an enjoyable read.

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Surprised by Love is third in The Heart of San Francisco series.

Love at Any Cost (The Heart of San Francisco, #1) Dare to Love Again (The Heart of San Francisco, #2)