Why People in Comitted Relationships Read Romance

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Fifty Shades of Grey via Universal Pictures

Just because we're in relationships doesn't mean we have to give up our beloved romance novels!

Being in a relationship doesn't mean you have to stop reading romance.

I have something to admit: I'm engaged, getting married in just a few months, and yet I absolutely love reading romance novels. My fiancée knew pretty soon into our relationship about my penchant for romance books and, throughout our relationship has never thought it weird or insulting.

Reading romance in committed relationships is actually pretty common. Many of my romance-reading-friends and people I've talked to online are in relationships too. In fact, according to Maya Rodale, romance novelist and author of Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained, 59 percent of romance readers live with their spouse or significant other, meaning more that half of all romance readers are in committed relationships.

Why people in committed relationships read romance:

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1. Because it's escapist.

Work, school, children, obligations, and relationship or no relationship, we live very busy lives. When we have a little downtime, many people like to relax and enjoy their favorite TV show or play a video game. Reading romance during your free time is no different! It's your chance to check out from the world for a little while and immerse yourself into a new one, a world in which all the problems belong to someone else.

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2. Because we love love.

We root for our friends when they score a date with the hottie from their gym they've pined over forever and don't feel bad about it despite being in our own relationships. No one finds it very strange to cheer on a couple in Grey's Anatomy or any other TV show, so why is it so weird to root for people to fall in love in romance books? Love is natural. People love being surrounded by love. I'll be the first to admit that I do. Whether it's real or fictional, it just makes me happier and puts me in a better mood.

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3. Because of the awesome characters.

Most romance writers are really good at what they do and write incredible characters we can't help but like, or at least end up liking by the end of the book. Unlike some genres that are known for writing manic pixie dream girls, one dimensional women, and Gary Stus (the male equivalent of a Mary Sue), romance novels tend to have really well-written characters and feature trans, non-binary, and genderqueer than almost any other genre. Now that is awesome!

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4. Because it makes you a better partner.

There's been actual research done that reading makes you a more empathetic person. Studies published in 2006 and 2009 by the University of Toronto found that fiction readers tend to have the ability to understand other people better and imagine their viewpoint even if you disagree. This is particularly useful when you're in a relationship and need these skills to keep your relationship functional and happy.

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5. Because you may learn a new trick or two to try in the bedroom.

We'll come right out and say it: many romance books are hot. The sex scenes, if well-written, are fun and exciting to read and may even get you a little flustered. If you've been in a committed relationship for a longtime, you and your partner or partners may have fallen into a routine when it comes to sex. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if it means you've reached the point where you know each other's bodies really well, but it can also be gratifying to switch things up too. Jot down a few mental notes about what interests you in the romances you read and find out if it interests your partner too!

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