From our earliest pre-teen days, chatting about boys and wondering over the mystery that is romance, we’ve tried to define love. We’ve asked our girlfriends (who didn’t know any better than we did), and our parents (who may also not have known). We watched movies and read books which presented us with spectacular dreams of “soulmates” and “true love” and “happily ever after.”
My personal favorite:
“And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva…” (The Princess Bride)
I won’t pretend like I know what love is better than the rest of you, but I’ve spent the past few years of my life writing a romantic series with one idea in mind: Love is a verb. I know – it’s not a definition, it’s a part of speech – but that’s the best I’ve got!
I’m an incurable romantic, really. I’ve read countless hundreds of romance novels – from historical to contemporary, normal to paranormal – and I love many of them. Yet when it came time to breathe life into my own romance novels, I couldn’t help but notice how so much of the romance world treats love as a noun. It’s a thing, a power that conquers all, a force, a feeling. When it’s true, it’s all you need and it lasts forever; if it fails, then it couldn’t have been love.
I’ve been married for nearly a dozen years to a man who is also my best friend. He drives me crazy and drives me wild. He’s not perfect and neither am I. There are days when I can’t remember why I married him and days I can’t imagine how I’d live without him. And through all of that, love has never been a noun. Or at least, not just a noun.
Love is something you do. It’s an action – the act of loving – and it’s a little different for everyone because we’re all a little different. We want and need different things.
Love is a choice you make, every day. It’s thinking of someone else’s needs before your own, and considering their feelings as at least as important as yours. It’s making a big sacrifice because what he needs is more important than what you want. It’s about making little sacrifices just because, well, you may not like kale but he does so every once in a while you make it for dinner.
Chemistry is great. Aside from feeling good, it makes the choice to love someone a little bit easier. But at the end of the day if you want to sell me a fabulous tale of love, then it needs more than feelings. It needs actions.
In Madison’s Song, Madison and Scott are attracted to one another from the start. But self-doubts, fears, and insecurities keep them from choosing love until they begin to see what each is willing to sacrifice for the people they love.