Have you noticed that some people have a dating personality and an everyday personality and that the two often don’t gel – or aren’t even similar? Often you’ll see a woman chatting to a group of her friends and she’ll appear strong and confident and happy. However, fast forward to when she’s on a date with a man, and you may find a quiet, withdrawn person, who seems nervous and ill at ease; or alternatively someone who is overexcited and on edge.
The problem with dating is that it is a highly pressured activity. It’s far nicer to get to know someone slowly, within your group of friends, before the relationship blossoms into romance. But this usually only happens at university, or when you’re very young and have a large crowd of single friends. As people get older, romantic relationships often begin with a formal date, which can be difficult, as there’s romantic pressure right from the beginning on both parties as well as a weight of unspoken expectations.
Dating isn’t a natural way to get to know someone. It basically places two people, who might have completely different perspectives on how a romantic relationship should develop, together, and hoping for the best.
In most romance novels, the heroine isn’t usually looking for love. Often she is going about her everyday activities, and being her true authentic self, when she is thrown into the path of the hero, and so begins the relationship dance that eventually leads to love. A much-used premise for a romance novel is the hero and heroine who can’t stand each other when they meet, but they end up falling in love as the story progresses.
This all seems far more romantic than dating, which actually starts off backwards! When love creeps up on a romance heroine unexpectedly as she is going about her daily life, it’s far more satisfying somehow, than if she was expressly looking for love through going on dates. Of course I’m not saying that dating cannot lead to authentic love, but I do think that dating sets up a situation that can be…well… unromantic!