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The Importance of the First Time
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natalie wrote:
As for young love, it's overrated. It only seems more romantic in hindsight, much like childhood appears to be much happier than it really was when you were a kid. Yes, feelings are more fresh, but you have to deal with inexperience and unrealistic expectations. That's why you don't see many heroes (and heroines, in contemporaries) who are in their teens or even early twenties.


In that case, what kinds of cues would a Romance writer use to show how the second (or third, etc) love is also romantic? I mean, many books have those same heroes in their thirties falling in love for the first time, too. It seems much more of a challenge for a writer to inject romance into a love story when both hero and heroine have "been there" and "done that."

Allyson wrote:
Virginity is really unimportant to me--I know some people think this is weird but it's just not a big deal. maybe it's because for me my 'first time' didn't really make me feel *different* at all. And the obsession with female virginity from both men and women seems a bit odd to me.


Well, what about first times in general? The first kiss, the first romantic gesture, the first anniversary, the first fight, etc? Aren't they somehow more special than all the subsequent kisses, gestures, et al?
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willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 1554

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schola wrote:

Well, what about first times in general? The first kiss, the first romantic gesture, the first anniversary, the first fight, etc? Aren't they somehow more special than all the subsequent kisses, gestures, et al?


I dunno, I seem to be a more of a "but what have you done for me lately" kind of person. Wink To be serious, I think things just get better in a good long-term relationship, and putting a lot of emphasis on firsts reminds me of Miss Manners on the ridiculousness of the concept of the wedding as "the happiest day of your life" -- i.e., by definition, it's all downhill from there.

Not that I particularly object when authors do this in romance, except like others I get tired of the cliches of the evil/unfaithful/bad-in-bed former spouse and enraged by the truelove=pregnancy in the infertile scenario.
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Kerstin



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1124
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schola wrote:

In that case, what kinds of cues would a Romance writer use to show how the second (or third, etc) love is also romantic? I mean, many books have those same heroes in their thirties falling in love for the first time, too. It seems much more of a challenge for a writer to inject romance into a love story when both hero and heroine have "been there" and "done that."



I think that's really a very tricky thing. The book that Allyson named by Loretta Chase "Lord Perfect" did it rather well. Bathsheba had love and a good sex life with her first spouse but absolutely no reliability, stability or feeling of security. So while her first marriage had not really been bad it was far from being perfect either. But I feel if a first marriage in a romance went really splendidly well it diminishes the romanticism of the second romance that is shown in the book. I really liked "Mrs. Drew played her hand" which had that scenario and it was certainly a very well written book but it was not a keeper for me and I gave it away. Technically there was nothing wrong with the book at all but I find it way more romantic if the second romance is superior to the first romance, that the second partner complements the hero/heroine better than the first one and that he or she fills an emotional void that the first husband/wife could not totally satisfy.

But I feel that way too because I'm now in the age where everything comes second hand so to speak. I recently talked with a friend about this and we both stated that we would like to meet someone who comes without baggage, means without children and ex-wives from previous marriages. The partner of my friend with whom she lived together for five years used to spend Christmas with his ex-wife and their children for the sake of the children. While that is understandable and even laudable it forced my friend to spend Christmas all alone despite having a partner. Every second weekend and every holiday revolved around his kids from his previous marriage and though she was very fond of the children they simply were not hers and she was not their mother. Romantic weekends or vacations were therefore not for her for she always had to spend them with his still very young children. Reality with a divorced man with kids proved to be quite sober and mundane, a very far cry from the passion and romance that we (usually) see in our most beloved romance books. Fact was, his children from a previous marriage were the most important thing in his life which I think is absolutely natural but not necessarily very romance-compliant.

Kerstin
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