Want love and Is It Love or Are You Wanting to Be in Love?

Dr. Susan Edelman
4 min readJul 14, 2017

It’s easy to fall in love with the idea of being in love. Movies and TV make falling in love seem so appealing. Did you know that romance novels are the most popular literary genre, comprising half of all paperback books sold? The thought that love will solve all your problems can be a pleasing fantasy. What’s the difference between that and really being in love anyway?

Terry has a difficult boss at work who constantly criticizes her. Even more, she feels very lonely and listless. As an escape from the stress, she has started reading five romance novels a month. It’s made her begin to think that she needs some romance in her life and that she should try to meet someone. Although she thinks dating someone would really help her level of stress, she complains that she can’t meet anyone suitable to date at her usual hangouts. To her surprise, she soon meets Jeremy while exploring a new local coffee shop. She’s ecstatic- he’s tall and good-looking. They really hit it off. Terry and Jeremy quickly get involved in an intense relationship. Exciting at first, the relationship soon takes a turn for the worse when she discovers that he has some serious anger issues. When he gets mad at her, he calls her mean names. Terry is afraid she made a big mistake and wants to end it with Jeremy, but is afraid of going back to being alone.

In her rush to find a romantic partner, Terry didn’t get to know the real Jeremy before getting involved. In reality, she didn’t really want to get to know him- she wanted a romance novel cut-out that could comfort her. To maintain this powerful fantasy, she failed to see Jeremy for who he really was and to evaluate their compatibility.

I call this type of relationship a microwave romance. It’s a romance that progresses at lightning speed — and typically explodes in your face. Why? You can’t tell if you can trust a man or if the relationship has true potential after only a few dates. Getting physical early on can make you feel vulnerable. These relationships often crash and burn because they are more about in-the-moment emotions instead of long-term love.

Carla and Jay have just begun dating and they have both decided to consciously take things slowly in their new relationship. After a few dates, Jay tells her about some difficult

Dr. Susan Edelman

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