On writing love stories

there's a difference between a romance and a love story (image via theambershow.net)

 

So it’s Valentine’s Day, according to calendars and chocolate companies. Unlike some people, who would choose to dub this day as “Singles’ Awareness Day”, I prefer to celebrate this day as “Waiting For Day”. I claim that today is a day to remind me of what I am waiting for—the chance to start writing the love story I deserve.

It’s quite funny to note this, considering that I am a person who can’t help but incorporate romances into the long serials I am perpetually working on.  If there is something I have learned, it is that there is a serious difference between a romance and a love story. Romance is what we tend to celebrate come February 14: the wooing,  the hearts, the lace and flowers, and the entire “sweeping someone off his/her feet” aspect of a relationship. It’s heady, intoxicating, expensive, cheesy, and admittedly, quite a lot of fun for those who are lucky in this game.

On the other hand, a love story is often painful, full of dramatic blow-ups and reconciliations, moments when nothing seems to be happening, days when things grow hopeless, and yet full of what makes life worth living. Love stories don’t always end well; there are many couples who have been separated by tragedies, distances, or whatever reasons of their own such that they cannot continue living the lives they have so carefully planned out together. Unlike romance, which can be repeated any old day of the year, love stories are few and far in between within the life of an individual. I sometimes think this is a reason that many couples who have been together for  so long, such that romance seems to have cooled down for them, still try desperately to save their relationships. It’s not a matter of the time and effort spent, or even what they have built together; it’s all in the knowledge that they may never have another bond that is just as profound or significant.

I have yet to find my ‘co-writer’ in my personal love story, but this doesn’t mean I have to be allergic to February 14.  There will be one day, I am sure, that I will be the recipient of a ‘cheesy’ or ‘cute’ display of romance. I may actually enjoy it. However I have learned that February 14 is just a day; inasmuch as this occasion makes so many people feel warm, jealous, lonely, or cynical depending on personal experiences, what is more important is how the other days of the year play out–the rest of the story, from start to finish.

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