Updated: Jan 13
Do you have enough love languages in your romance novel?
Studies have shown that people express and receive love in different ways. Do you show your characters expressing love in many ways, or just saying "I love you" once?
Having characters with differing love languages is a simple and realistic way to work romantic tension into the story. Negotiation these unspoken expectations can be hard. It's refreshing to see a healthy compromise that lets each partner get what they need is a big part of building a real relationship.
1. Quality Time is always needed to build a new relationship. One character may want more time and energy than the other has to give. They may both have crazy life stuff going on. For example, in many romantic suspense bodyguard stories, the characters are busy running from a killer. But the couple has intense, deep moments when time is available.
2. Words traditionally come easier to women. Little girls talk more than boys in nearly every culture. There are good reasons a woman might shy away from the "L-word" and if that is part of your character I'd like to know the backstory.
3. Touch is not the same as sex. Physical intimacy is important to a romance story, regardless of your heat level. Again, women tend to be more comfortable with hand-holding, cuddling and PDA. Some characters have a higher need for touch, or a strong avoidance.
4. Acts of Service can be as simple as holding a door and as arduous as building a home. Wesley from "The Princess Bride" demonstrated his love with acts of service instead of words. At it was utterly romantic.
5. Gifts can show just as much thoughtfulness as an act of service, if done correctly. It can also go wrong and expose different expectations and places for the relationship to grow.
I hope this inspires you to create a brand new romantic conflict in your next book. Then come back and tell me about it so I can read it!
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