Watching the credits roll for The Lucky One, a few thoughts floated around in my head. I pondered Zac Efron’s age and if it was appropriate for a woman my age to be so absolutely smitten and the fact that despite the panning from critics, it was a perfectly satisfying movie for its intended audience – hopeless romantics. But the thought that brought me to my laptop relates to romance and our experience of time. I don’t think I’ve ever really noticed how intricately they connect.
Time is a funny thing. When you’re doing something you love it can seem to fly by, or exactly the opposite, it can saunter and meander with the best of them. For me, watching my favorite love stories always slows time down. There’s something about settling into a film, liking the characters and trusting love will triumph no matter how bleak the picture so you mind as well enjoy the ride, that actually allows me to enjoy the ride.
In a way, real life love leads us into the same kind of experience. There’s something about falling in love that lets you savor the moments. Days seem longer and hours last forever when you’re with the person you love. Not only that, the time that you spend away from that person seems to take on a different quality as well. People you couldn’t stand get a smile and the two minutes you couldn’t be bothered for seems easier to give.
While I’ve experienced both of the above examples, I’ll admit it was something I haven’t that left the little tug in my heart at the end of the movie. It’s probably the intertwining of time and romance that is least likely to be real, the most mythical part of the romance novel or film. It may be the reason I sit through sappy flicks, read romance novels, or even choose to write.
In The Lucky One, Logan ends up with a job at Beth’s home. They are in contact every day. She watches him reluctantly at first but as TIME goes by she ever so slightly opens herself up to possibility. The circumstances of their existence give you the confidence that they have all the time in the world to get to where they are going – true love.
How many of us ever really get that? In my everyday life, even if I were to meet a man who I could be interested in (and I am finally ready to really date again), it would have to happen in the small openings of free time here or there. He would have a job. I would have a job. There are family obligations and too many things crowding our lives for what happens in the movies to ever really happen in the light of day.
Sitting in that movie, I could believe for a second that there are places that exist where people have time to fall in love. When I read a romance novel I enjoy all the time the leads have to spend together without reading about what happened in the 16 hours they weren’t together. When I write, I can spend as much time as I want with any of my characters. Is it too much to hope that a love can be organic instead of scheduled? Does love only happen that way when you are independently wealthy or a lottery winner? Or is it in the choices we make? Is it that when we are faced with finding the person we are attracted to, we must choose to see time differently? Do we make our own reality? Does romance come from time or does time come from romance?