I self-identify as polyamorous, but lately I’ve come to realize that my current lifestyle is barbed heartmore along the lines of “recluse.” I got divorced back in 2010, and after that my life was consumed by writing and graduate school for two years. 2013 has been about re-starting my writing career and getting my health back after some disastrous turns in 2012.

So yeah, I’ve been busy.

But I know plenty of people who are really busy and also date, so that’s not really as mutually exclusive as I was thinking. It occurred to me as I was reading SoloPoly lately that I’m not just that interested in dating. I have an OkCupid profile that annoys me more than anything, and I’m not going out of my way in RL to find any “special someones” to have good times with (sexual or otherwise).

I’ve got a few good friends, and I’d like to keep it that way. 😉

I know that sometimes romance novels are blamed for people not dating, or having unrealistic expectations about romance. Possibly the latter, but I’m not sure about the former. The reason I enjoy reading romantic stories is that they are “no-risk romance” for me: no awkward first dates, no extended and uncomfortable sexual negotiations, no even-more-awkward explorations of expectations. I get to feel the excitement of dating and possibly falling in love risk free, and also feel the drama of first arguments and almost-breakups without actually crying myself to sleep at night.

No, I don’t think this is a permanent lifestyle choice for me. Eventually I’ll level up and go on a date. In the meantime, while I’m still in the act of getting my life ironed out post-divorce and post-graduate school, romance novels are a safe zone for me. Yes, it’s escapism, but that’s kind of the point: an opportunity to enjoy romance without the risks that accompany it in RL.

 

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