On quiet romances and the reason I love them.

*Spoilers for Broken Trail, The New World, The Lord of the Rings, and the seventh season of Once Upon a Time will follow.*

I talk about certain fictional couples kind of a lot.  And I hype up certain types of couples kind of a lot.  They tend to be very understated, simple, gentle love stories.  Sometimes the two characters don't even have that much screen time together, and often they don't have much dialogue.  Usually their relationship is characterized by a lot of off-screen development, wordless glances, and quiet understanding.

Now, there are plenty of couples I dearly love who don't really fit this description: Han & Leia, Marian & Robin (to be fair they never really had the chance *sniffles*), Charlie & Sophie, etc.  I can love tempestuous relationships, too; it's just that settled romances tend to strike a deeper chord with me.  And so I wanted to try to concoct a brief and not terribly in-depth look at why that is.

Manish Dayal and Helen Mirren in The Hundred-Foot Journey.

I think it's something to do with the concept that Tolkien captured in his description of Frodo's reaction to meeting Goldberry:  "He had at times stood enchanted by fair elven-voices; but the spell that was now laid upon him was different: less keen and lofty was the delight, but deeper and nearer to the mortal heart; marvelous and yet not strange."  

Relaxed love stories tend to ring truer and more realistic to me.  (I'm not saying they are truer and more realistic, just that that's how they tend to react with me.)  They make me believe in the longevity of the relationship in question.  I can tell that these two people are going to be okay together, because they feel real, and patient, and I can see each person putting the other first. 

The gentle romances achieve something that some other romances don't: peace.  Real, true, deep peace.  And, as often as not, a sense of healing.  Of recovery after loss, of hope after trauma.  Usually these couples have Been Through Some Stuff.

And I love that.  I love a redemption angle.

VSCO - quotes-for-smiles

Allow me, if you will, to relate this to one of the lyrics in "Daylight," the closing number on Taylor Swift's newest album, Lover:

"I once believed love would be burning red, but it's golden."

We will ignore, for the moment, the vital growth as a person and as a song-writer that this lyric discloses, and focus instead on its applicability to the issue at hand.

I love a couple whose relationship is tinged with sunlight.  They can be passionate, sure; but prove to me that when the fireworks fade, they will still be standing there looking at each other with a quiet and steadfast adoration that is right more than it is anything else.  

Prove to me that the princess and the pirate have settled their angst and will now live happily ever after with sweaters and pancakes and a baby girl named Hope.

"I love you so much. You're my dream girl." —Jake Peralta

Prove to me that the English settler and the North American native will have a simple and beautiful life together despite the fact that her land, her people, and her first love were stolen from her.

Prove to me that the cowboy and the trafficking survivor will overcome that language barrier and forge a new legacy built on trust and resilience.

Prove to me that the shield-maiden and the steward's son will reclaim a land laid waste by war.


Prove it. 

Comments

  1. looove this so much and I agree, the quiet romances really do have something steadfast and sure in them

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    1. Thank you! Aw, I like that: "steadfast & sure".

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  2. Maybe quiet personalities prefer quiet romance whilst I prefer a crash and a spark and an explosion? All exaggeration aside, I tend to prefer some drama and angst, when well done . . . I'm quite sick of the petty spatting trope that pretends to achieve Benedick and Beatrice status.

    I can't think of famous/classic quiet romances of the top of my head although I'd call Faramir and Eowyn quiet, her dramantic romance was her pining after Aragorn.

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    1. Maybe so? I guess it depends on the situation.

      Right, that's what I'd say. :)

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  3. HOLY GUACAMOLE THIS IS BEAUTIFUL. ♥ No words. :')

    PS. "Prove to me that the princess and the pirate have settled their angst and will now live happily ever after with sweaters and pancakes and a baby girl named Hope." <<< feeeeelllls

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  4. *happy sigh*

    This is so beautiful, all of it. I agree with every word you said, Olivia.

    (The relationship between the protagonist in my WW2 story and her love interest is *just* like this. Theirs is a subtle journey of friendship that slowly grows into something much deeper over the period of a few years. So much between them is left unsaid, communicated only in tender glances, patiently waiting during long periods of separation, and silent understanding when the hurt is too deep for words. Katrien & Ernst both endure much hardship and loss together throughout the German Occupation; and they come through that time with a quiet, steadfast love that was born in adversity, tested in innumerable ways, and yet remains strong and true and beautiful. I love them. *sniffs*)

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    1. Thank you!

      (First of all, I really like their names. <3 Second of all, this romance sounds quite promising. ;))

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    2. Awww, your response makes me so happy!!! I'm glad you like their names, and I really hope that one day you will get to read their story! <3

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  5. The story that flashed instantly to mind for me is "Nostalgic Christmas (2019)": sweet, sincere and just so "aww" worthy. :)

    Another story in which this type of romance holds true is... also, like Caitlin, my current WIP: the challenge I'm hitting though is that I find dramatic stuff so much easier to record, but that is not Clarkson + Elise's way so WHAT'S AN AUTHOR TO DO?!?! :)

    All that to say: I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!!! *cue all the flickering fireflies because that seems appropriate*

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    1. I've never heard of Nostalgic Christmas; I'll have to go check it out!

      Ahhh, I feel. Action is easier to write than non-action. :-P You'll figure it out, though, and I'm sure it'll be beautiful.

      Awww, thanks! I love the addition of the fireflies. ;)

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  6. Aaaw! I've never seen this written before, but I love these types too! It seems so much more special and balanced in a story if it's not overloaded with 'romance'. :)
    ~IrishAG

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    1. Thanks! Yes, that too; it helps with balance.

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  7. Aww, this is really sweet, Olivia. <3
    I really don't know what I personally prefer - I think I just appreciate many different kinds of romances. But the quiet, gentle, steady kind are always the most tender, I think.
    I love a good sassy, sparkly romance, but as you said, sometimes the gentle ones seem a tiny bit more... real? And long-lasting? They both have a special place in my heart. <3

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, that's the thing: I love so many different styles of romance, but there's just something extra special and layered about quieter couples, to me. <3

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  8. Wow! So much detail! I really like it. I'm excited to read more!!!

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