I never set out to be a “romance writer.” Really. When I started my writing career, I was a single twenty-something who’d been a bridesmaid more times than I cared to count. But never a bride. Never someone lucky in love.
In fact, I wrote 10 fictional marriage proposals before I received my own. I was 37 and it was definitely worth the wait.
And now, with one of my novels, Love Finds You in Charm, premiering as an UPtv movie on June 7, I find myself and my own relationship to be something people are a bit curious about.
So here some thoughts on romance and marriage from a romance writer:
- Romance is different once you’re married. When dating, it’s more about fancy dinners and candles and flowers. Now that I’m married, it’s a little less glamorous—but not any less special. When Johnny helps me with a project or sends me a text just to tell me he loves me, it means a lot.
- Find the romance in the day to day. Let’s face it. Life is messy. We have a farm, and spend a lot of our time together working in the barn, feeding or watering animals. Barns are smelly, dirty places that don’t really scream “romance.” But there are wonderful moments after we’ve finished the farm chores where we sit and talk while watching the chickens and goats. Some of our best conversations happen right there in the barn. With the right person, even a barnyard can be romantic.
- Romance is all about the unexpected. Johnny travels for business, and it isn’t unusual for him to come home with a surprise for me. And it’s never something generic—it’s always something he’s handpicked for me. If he passes an antique store (my favorite!) and has time, he’ll stop in. Once he brought home an antique typewriter he thought I’d love. (I do!) Other times he’ll bring me a vintage Pyrex bowl to add to my collection. Those gifts tell me he was thinking of me!
- You have to be intentional about romance in marriage. Life gets crazy. We both have fulltime jobs, not to mention the demands of my writing career. We also run a farm that’s full of animals that need to be cared for. We both have large extended families, and I’m a stepmom to three wonderful kids ranging in age from 9-19. So Johnny and I have to schedule time just for us. Never underestimate the power of a planned date night!
- Each day, do something to make your spouse’s day better. Whether it’s surprising him with a favorite dessert or just making sure he has clean clothes for a work trip, I try to help make Johnny’s day better. I think those small things add up—because in return he does the same for me. It helps us remember that we are partners in life and makes us appreciate each other even more.
Annalisa Daughety is a published author of contemporary fictions, romances set in historic locations. Her book, Love Finds You in Charm, Ohio, will soon be a TV movie! For more of her works, visit her Amazon page.