I write women’s contemporary fiction. My stories take place in the “real” world and on a time line that doesn’t go further back than a decade. My characters are human (so far, I happen to have a supernatural story series on the back burner but it’ll still be mostly contemporary fiction when it’s all said and done) and there is romance involved in that my female leads end up in some sort of romantic relationship. So far, it’s been hetero, but you never know, I may branch out when I feel more confident in my ability to do other types of romantic love justice.
Anyway, I happen to be single and if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile then you’d know that romantic relationships aren’t my strong suit. I get my heart broken or my feelings hurt rather easily I think. Too many misunderstandings on my part I guess; times when I chose to believe he was doing what he did because he actually had feelings for me versus just hanging around while he satisfied some itch or other. It’s a subject my friends and I have whined about quite a bit. I even wrote a piece several years ago about the differences between the way men and women think when it came to relationships. I opined that women tended to strategize where men tended to think more in the moment. It was an attempt at understanding why I kept falling into the same situation thinking that if I understood it, I’d stop doing it. Didn’t work as here recently, I found myself in a conversation (whine) with one of my besties. We’ve both been involved (at least as far as we were concerned) with guys who apparently don’t share that same concept of what was going on. We each have male friends who have mentioned that the guys we’re dealing with are probably just “hanging out” with us while we’re thinking what we’re doing is “dating.” HUH? She and I got to talking about two terms, “hanging out” versus “dating.” We wanted to know what the difference was. She did some field research (conversation with some of the men in her life) and looked for printed definitions of the terms. What she discovered is that men use the term “Hanging out” when they discuss time spent with a female watching movies, eating food, listening to music, etc. That time together may or may not involve sexual intercourse. If he says he’s “dating” someone, he means he’s hanging out with someone for whom he has some type of romantic feelings for.
Typically, I get told that the man knows the difference but he apparently is under no obligation to mention to the woman in question whether he feels they’re “just hanging out” or if, as far as he’s concerned, they’re “dating.” And it’s the woman’s fault if she misinterprets (strategizes) their time together. My personal experience is that I expect him to tell me what he’s thinking / feeling / intending and when he doesn’t, I drive myself crazy trying to figure out why he’s doing what he’s doing, then go to even more extremes trying to figure out how to react – what my next move should be. When nothing seemed to make sense, I’d get frustrated when I ended up hurt (again) and feeling as if everything was my fault for misunderstanding the signals he was sending, that is if he was sending any at all. I do have an over active imagination.
I’m deep in the midst of all of this when a character, as yet written, whispers to me of a situation where she is having nightmares and she asks her male friend to come over and just spend the night with her so she can feel more secure. I got to thinking about her male friend – how is he going to interpret that? Is he going to mess things up by assuming she wants sex and then making a move on her? I was told by a male that if any man is invited into a woman’s bedroom, he’s automatically going to go for sex. It’s just what happens. That bothered me to no end, much the same as in a man’s mind, “hanging out” can include sex even when he’s not interested in a romantic relationship with a woman. I’m not naive enough to believe that sex only happens when people are in love, but I am romantic enough to believe that unless two people have had “THE TALK” (the one where everyone’s intentions and feelings are CLEARLY stated and agreed to) neither one should assume sex is the end result of sharing a bed.
Sigh. This is what happens during story / plot development for me. I live life, characters whisper to me, I go back to my life for a real life plot situation. Once that’s done,I let my
characters and Muse add the fiction to the plot and taa-daaa! Book draft is done and ready to work into a novel for sale. I’m thinking this story is going to be the biggest “romance” type story I’ve written to date, but until she tells me more, or some other characters chime in, this gets put in the story files for later development.
And that, dear readers, is how my stories happen. Now, back to your regularly scheduled erotic fantasy shorts by Ana Michaels. Thanks for stopping by.