After learning of the immense popularity of romance novels, I thought trying to read a few of them would tell me some things about the psychology of the fairer sex.
The books tend to be a quick read of 200 or so small pages. The first one I picked up was Marrying the Lone Star Maverick. Holly Lombard works for Noah Brand at his family corporation. Noah tries to get his twin brother Jeff to come back and work at the company for a year before their father retires. Jeff agrees to only if he can do so from his ranch in Texas. He needs an assistant, of course, so Noah sends Holly to the ranch. She’s a city girl, he’s country, they clash but eventually fall for one another. Finally Jeff tells Holly that his dad is only going to give him the family ranch if he marries this year. He wants to enter into a marriage of convenience with her and will pay. So they get married and continue to live together, knowing that it can’t last because she loves Dallas and he loves ranching. A bunch of things happen and they decide they want to stay together after all and will find a way to make it work.
My second romance novel was Seduction and the CEO. Jared Ryder is a reclusive tycoon who builds in Chicago but lives on his Montana ranch. Melissa Warner is a Chicago journalist who wants to impress her boss by reporting on Ryder. She gets a job at the ranch as a stable hand to get close to him. At first Ryder finds his strange, but pretty and flirty, employee annoying, though they end up developing feelings for one another. Ryder eventually finds out that Melissa was writing a piece on him and demands she get out of his life. Melissa feels awful and tries to get the story on Ryder pulled. Her boss refuses, but it turns out our hero has bought the company she works for. He forgives Melissa for her foolishness, and they get married.
In the epilogue to Maverick we find that Holly is pregnant. Seduction ends with the two main characters getting married. This is what women want, obviously, but not with anybody.
I should probably read more of these stories to see which of the following observations are true trends, but in both books the heroes are wealthy and have shown the ability to succeed in the corporate world while being repulsed by it. They dislike city life and love their ranches. The women, whom the reader identifies with, are determined career women who have gone far in life but melt before men of higher status. Males below them in the social hierarchy don’t exist. Melissa and another female coworker are disgusted by the guy who works in the same office as them and once tried to hit on the girls.
Jared scolds Melissa for screwing up as a farm hand at the beginning of Seduction and she is in constant fear that he’ll find out her secret. There is tension as the young woman is bumbling, mocked and wrecked with guilt. The reader is supposed to enjoy every second of it.
In both these stories there’s the theme of the love that is perfect but not meant to be. The man shows that he can beat the careerist metrosexuals at their own game but has no desire to. He has the qualities to succeed in business-intelligence, work ethic, charm, competence-but hates anonymous city living. Is it that women are attracted to the kind of man who hates modernity or do they themselves simply desire to be taken away from it by a desirable man?
All status is relative, and it’s well established that women are generally only attracted to men above themselves. That means the more successful a woman is by male standards the less likely she is to find a desirable partner. Not only is this dysgenic, but leads to millions of frustrated and empty lives.
On the other hand, it seems that Amish women read about falling for an outsider.
Is there any logic to this? Says a wise man,
Can she ever truly be happy? It doesn't matter. In the grand scheme of things, her emotions don't have to keep her happy. All they have to do is keep her alive. (And get her pair bonded and pregnant with the right man.)