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I’m happy to admit I’m a sucker for romance, and in the same way that chocolate should be a part of every meal (it is one of the important food groups after all) I’d love to see romance having a place in every story.

Because whether I’m deep into reading sci fi, fantasy or a zombie apocalypse, I still want a hint of a sniff of a love story. Star Wars – where would it be without Han and Leia, not to mention Buttercup and Westley, John Carter and Dejah Thoris, Katniss and Peeta, hell, even Ron and Hermione. I love the fantastical elements of speculative fiction worlds, but unless there’s a romance in there, the story isn’t enough for me. I adore the attraction, the pursuit (no matter how clumsy or unlikely to succeed) the tender awkward moments, then there’s the surety and confidence that characters experience when they know their love is returned.

PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIMEhan&LeiaJohn-Carter_01Avatar-Blue-Kisses-0012791-the-hunger-games-katniss-and-peeta1Stardust

But why is romance such an important element for so many women? Not to mention the men who have a soft spot for love stories and who don’t mind a bit of schmaltz mixed in with their blood and guts. Terminator is full of hide-behind-the-hands violence, but when Kyle Reese says to Sarah Connor “I came across time for you, Sarah. I love you. I always have,” I just melt.

BTW, if you’re a sucker for the Kyle/Sarah love story, here’s a tissue-worthy recap:

So why do we love a good love story?

The easy answer would be that we’re love starved, but statistically that doesn’t hold up. In fact, romance writers as a group have one of the highest levels of happy relationships, which may have something to do with writing love scenes on a regular basis. Many’s the time I’ve heard of a romance writer phoning their partner for a little “romance” after having written a scene that’s gotten them all hot and bothered. And surely that makes for happier marriages. But does the same thing happen for readers? Do women call their husbands after devouring a bit of Fifty Shades and tell them to come home for lunch?

Sex aside (I know, you got a visual there, but I was saying aside not astride) what is it about romance that makes a story feel complete? Do we have any philosophers out there? I’d love to hear your thoughts…