How Love Is and Isn’t like a Romance Novel

1. Love can be unexpected.
Not to freak you out, but it can happen anytime, anywhere, whether you’re ready or not, whether you’re looking for it or not. People do actually meet at dog parks and coffee shops and all kinds of clichéd settings. People also meet in bars or traffic jams, but all I’m saying is the whole, I hope my dog’s leash wraps around a hunky, employed man’s legs is NOT so farfetched. Don’t put anything past serendipitous forces of the universe that very much want you to find your other half.

2. Love is not a giddy feeling all the time.
Emotions are a somewhat unreliable indicator of love, because let’s face it the first time he or she shows you a small facet of their flawed personality you’d hit the ground running. Love is not always a feeling, but it is always a choice. The thing about Edward and Bella — they may seem like they are just all about each other all the time, but if they were real Bella would have to CHOOSE to accept Edward’s overly protective, jealous, semi-stalker nature, and Edward would just have to choose to love Bella despite her neediness and insecurities. This is real life y’all.

3. Love is messy, literally.
I dated a man who liked to cook. And by cook I mean explode the kitchen. I came in one time to find spaghetti sauce on the wall and vent hood. Okay. Acceptable. But then I looked up and saw red splatters on the ceiling. Mr. Darcy did not get spaghetti sauce on the ceiling.

4. Love is sickeningly cute.
There’s a reason for Hallmark and warm fuzzy feelings. They aren’t just for fairytales. It will probably be something insignificant your partner does but you’ll get those mysterious butterflies. You’ll be mushy to each other, come up with pet names, steal kisses in public. You will say it won’t happen to you, but it WILL, so be warned.

5. Love is not always happy ever after, or tragedy, but something in between.
Most people accept the fact that they aren’t going to ride off into the sunset with their honey, so to speak. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a happy ending. Love is a series of ups and downs but most of all it is persistence, the constant choice to devote yourself to another human being and make the world a better place. Some days are tragedy, some days are sunsets, but the best part of love in real life is that it’s still a story — your own personal romance novel.
-Dani Nicole

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