Book Inspired Musings: Love

As I write this, I realize that I published a pensive post at the beginning of last year, too, based on James J. Cudney‘s Watching Glass Shatter. This year, Holly Renee‘s Good Girls Series prompted my thinking.

First, a moment to outline the book that lead to this post: Where Bad Girls Go to Fall. It’s a best friend’s brother romance that’s the second of three in the Good Girls Series by Holly Renee. Overall, it’s a cute read with some definite steam. I enjoyed the read and plan on reading the third book in the series soon.

What I’m stuck on is one small passage in the story about jealousy and possession. Our main man, Mason, realizes he’s crazy jealous of his love interests’ unprompted male attention and calls himself out on his feelings. His instinct is to go caveman style and lock her away from others, but knows this doesn’t drive a healthy relationship.

This is where I start thinking (I know, dangerous)…

How many guys, or girls for that matter, recognize this subtle difference between jealousy and possession? Or love and possession? How many romance novels focus on the alpha male trope and blur these lines even more? Am I being too serious about literary escapes by tying them to larger societal topics?

I get it; I just asked a bunch of questions and didn’t even attempt to answer any of them. Honestly? I’d say mostly because I have no idea what the answers are. I can certainly speak from personal experience, but I have no mind to say I represent society overall, let alone could speak for them. But, I started this discussion, so I guess the least I can do is contribute to it.

When I was younger, I most certainly didn’t know the difference between jealousy and possession or love and possession. It felt like love should be some all consuming thing that meant we’d only ever want to spend all of our time together, never even showing interest in anything else or other people. Obviously, this caused a few issues with relationships as I re-learned that misconception.

I’d say even now I struggle… my husband has an alcohol addiction. He struggles way less than he did in the past, but I still find myself spending time worrying when it might come back full force. What’s a normal amount of worry versus getting possessive again? It’s definitely not exactly the same line, but sometimes feels close when I want to hide away inside and not let either of us leave.

I think outside of us pondering the initial questions, we also must think about the final one: Am I being too serious about literary escapes by tying them to larger societal topics?

A professor in college used to say “Art is a reflection of society, not the generator of it.” I think that applies here to some extent. Women like to read it, so it’s written about. Do women like to read about it because we’re told to or because that’s what we have as reading options? It feels a little chicken and the egg-ish.

Sigh.

Maybe I’ve had too many days off from work for the holidays.

Maybe you can help drag me out of this swirl I’ve created. What do you think? Are we teaching people to equate jealousy and possession or love and possession? If we are, is it through literature? Or somewhere else? Should we all know better that to have a book drive our understanding of the world or does that seem completely plausible?

Pull me out of my misery, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

6 thoughts on “Book Inspired Musings: Love

  1. Love is trust, and with trust, there is no place for jealousy or possessiveness (humans aren’t slaves, we can’t own them like that – choice and freedom must be part of an honest relationship). Love is trust, but the more you share your life, the more you learn and grow, and the more love you have. It’s not a limited supply, which has to be doled out carefully.

    consider this: if you have one child, and love them to the exclusion of all else, how long will the marriage last? What will happen to the next child?
    The toxic relationships need to keep the possession away from all else, or they’ll (both the trapped and the friends) see the truth, won’t they?
    Love isn’t ownership, it’s freedom. We love our kids and teach them how to become part of the world, knowing they’ll be out there, doing it for themselves …

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, there’s a two-year period where the romantic love feeds the brain special stuff – that’s what makes the romance category. After two years, people make commitments based on other things, usually family, but also more. Romantic love, the mad rush of it, can’t be sustained forever. There’s too much to life to have only one thing to hang happiness on.
        Just my opinion

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a fun discussion, Michelle, and I don’t think there’s an easy answer. But I do love it when books raise questions and make us look at society and ourselves with a new perspective. My two cents? Like most things in life that have to do with feelings, there’s a spectrum, and I think most feelings fall somewhere between unconditional love and annihilating fear. Jealousy is rather common, but it is fear-based at heart. And possession is super-fear-based. Both can wear the guise of love, but I think they are off the mark. I believe true/honest love isn’t built around fear, but around acceptance of a person’s strengths and flaws, a desire to share, support, grow, forgive, and laugh, and ultimately to honor each other’s journey wherever that takes us, apart or together. As opposed to possession, love is the ultimate freedom. ❤ Did I answer your question? It was lovely to connect with you again. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think this is such a great way of looking at it. It certainly makes sense to view this on a scale rather than all or nothing. I also absolutely agree with those being fear-based emotions. Thanks for your insightful contribution, and Happy New Year to you as well!

      Liked by 1 person

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