Love is a pretty funny thing, isn’t it? It can sometimes be the worst thing in the world but it’s also the best thing in the world at the same time. I’ve had a fair few amount of book love affairs over the years, and especially as a teenager reading Young Adult novels, I learnt a lot about relationships. Of course, they were all fictional, but they still had a lot of values which are very much true to real life.
1. With Love Comes Sacrifice… To an Extent
Of course, sometimes in books the definition of ‘sacrifice’ literally means lay down your seventeen-year-old life for those who you love, which, duh, is not something I agree with. But what books have taught me is that sacrifice isn’t always as big as that. Sometimes sacrifice means giving someone you love the last cookie, or sacrificing your win in an argument just to save yourself a headache.
2. The new, mysterious guy is the love of your life… Or a vampire.
Okay, take this one with a pinch of salt. We’ve all read the cliché of the hot, new guy at school who looks like he’s really dangerous but underneath all that black clothing and leather there is actually a poetic romantic guy. I’ve never been in a situation where that’s happened, nor have I known anyone who has, but I believe there is a valuable lesson in this. Reading these types of books where there is an ‘outcast’ character has made me more accepting of different types of people. It’s taught me to not judge a book by its cover (so to speak) and has subsequently made me have a wide variety of friends, and boyfriends, over the years.
3. Relationships Have Ups and Downs. Especially When You’re Young. But it Will Turn Out Alright in the End.
The beauty of books is that they, usually, follow the same pattern of something going wrong towards the end, however big or small. But they always work themselves out in one way or another. I live by the saying that everything happens for a reason, and every situation is there to teach me something, you just have to trust it, and trust that it will get better. I think much of that lesson came from books.
4. Embrace the Unexpected.
A lot of love stories happen because of an unexpected meeting. Most of the time, the main character isn’t looking for love, but love finds them in unexpected ways. If you take the pressure off finding love, it will come to you naturally.
5. It’s not like it is in the books. Or the movies.
The thing with books and movies is that even if the book seems very real, the fact of the matter is, it isn’t. Life just doesn’t end with happily ever after, there’s a lot that comes after that and everything isn’t always going to be perfect. It may be a hard one to accept, but it’s the truth.
Love stories in particular have taught me so much about love that the list would go on forever. Most of my teenage years were spent in-between the pages of a book, so it would be silly of me to say that I didn’t take anything about love from them! So thank you, love stories, for teaching me what to look for in love and what to avoid.