I’ll try not to get all anecdotal and deep on you readers now or anything, but after reading All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher, it covered a topic that I worried about most of my secondary school and college years that got me thinking…
I actually remember Charli (from To Another World) writing a post about fictional romance vs reality (although I have searched up and down her blog and cannot find it!) and I did nothing but agree with what she wrote.
When I first started reading, I read a huge amount of YA romance novels. I devoured them. It’s most likely the reason why I’m a huge romantic. My life was hugely influenced by Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols, Lauren Oliver and many other American romance authors. Those American high school love stories? I was on it. Even now, I call those novels my guilty pleasures because they all have the same clichéd ideas and I still love reading them.
But there’s always a catch when you restrict yourself to one type of ‘thing’. For me, I was limiting myself to the fictional idea of love. There was that urge to want to go out and find what my favourite characters had found, reenact scenes to find ‘the one’ (true story, my fail and naivety in life). I lived my life almost always on the lookout for the bad boy who I could change or the jock who everyone loves etc, and in the end, I was disappointed that I was an awkward and quiet girl, never invited to parties, and therefore could never get a boyfriend. Because to younger Sabrina, that’s how I thought.
Romance in fiction is almost a heightened version of what happens in real life. It’s incredibly perfect. Feeding this ideology to Young Sabrina was never a good choice but I knew nothing. What I also liked about it though was that sense of comfort and being protected. And having no idea what the whole experience was like, it was the easiest thing to grab on to. I had yet to figure out or see friends go through the dating experience, I grabbed onto the next best alternative.
And now I feel like I’ve just had some revelation of some sorts. As if I’ve come to some sort of peace with myself. My ‘breaking free from romance’. I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve never had a boyfriend and it’s not a bother to me. I’m glad I am single. I’m happy and not on the lookout anymore. If I’m perfectly honest, I don’t even want a boyfriend. Okay, in the future, yes. But right now? No. Not even a little bit.
So why have I written this? Okay, I guess I have veered off a bit into my personal experience, but the thing I want reinforce from All I Know Now is that fact that you shouldn’t be swept into the idea that you need a boyfriend if everyone else has one. Everyone’s experiences come when they’re ready and everyones different.
For now, I’m perfectly happy with my romance with my selection of very fictional boyfriends.