There's something about Nicholas Sparks movies that draw people in — and hey, I get it. All 11 films seem to have southern settings filled with southern drawls right out of the gothic era that focus on star-crossed lovers who probably will not get the happy ending we hope for them. In fact, they'll undoubtedly deal with great tragedy that will have you reaching for the tissues, but also fill you with unexpected hope. Sparks' movies have become a genre all their own that we can't seem to get enough of — something that people have begun to count on, and something that's even led some to wish their own lives were more like Nicholas Sparks movies and novels.
But, how do you know if you're really living your life as a Nicholas Sparks novel? I mean, if you are, that's totally OK — you do you, no judgment here — but it's important to know whether you are or not for, like, life planning purposes. After all, if your life is a Nicholas Sparks novel/movie, you'll probably need to plan ahead when it comes to the romantic department: Ensure your lover does not go on drives during bad storms that could result in mudslides, for instance.
Luckily for you, I've put together a list of signs that your life is a Nicholas Sparks movie — if you find the majority of this list applies to you, then, well... you have your answer.
1. You're Holding Someone's Face In Your Hands
Perhaps, you're about to kiss, perhaps, you're not. But, like nearly every poster for a Nicholas Sparks movie — seriously, five out of the 11 — you just can't help yourself from grabbing someone's face and holding it like some precious Magic 8 Ball that holds the answers to all your questions about love.
2. Water Is Your Aphrodisiac
Whether it's a rain storm (Best Of Me), a torrential downpour (The Notebook), or an outdoor shower (The Lucky One), something about water just does it for you.
3. You're Currently Dating James Marsden
You may have noticed that Marsden is in more than one Sparks movie, making it more likely than not that if you're dating him, you may be in one too. But, spoiler alert, this probably isn't going to end well for Marsden: You may have reunited with a very hot and sweaty Marsden after 21 years, just like Best Of Me, but you won't get much more time together. And, if this is The Notebook, you will play this very nice guy for a fool. Cut Marsden a break and just break up with him now. It's best for us all.
5. You Are Suddenly Very Good At Slow Dancing
You've never taken a lesson in your life, but somehow, you're suddenly really good at it — just like Michelle Monaghan in Best Of Me, Rachel McAdams in The Notebook, and Mandy Moore in A Walk To Remember. You also can't help but spontaneously launch into a ballroom dance, no matter where you are — this includes the middle of the street. (My advice? Always look both ways before dancing.)
6. You Just Can't Forget That One That Got Away
Lucky for you, you don't have to forget them, because they're probably going to mysteriously re-enter your life and cause a lot of drama. But hey, they're worth it, right? Maybe? Hopefully? Since you really been focused on this person for a very long time, they better be.
7. You've Received A Letter Recently
Sparks is a fan of written correspondence, but an email just won't do. So, if you've received a handwritten letter, perhaps signed with calligraphy or closed with just a tiny bit of wax, you are probably in one of the author's many movies. These letters will likely become a very important relic in your life, whether you receive them years later (The Notebook, Best Of Me, Dear John) or they spark your search for a mysterious person (Message In A Bottle).
8. You Are In Love With A Manly Man, Who Has An Unexpected Sensitive Side
The man in every Sparks movie is complicated. He's flawed, while also being a bit too good to be true. He might have a tough guy exterior, but he's soft and cuddly on the inside. Your guy may be a cowboy (The Longest Ride), an ex-Marine (The Lucky One), a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army (Dear John), or he might work on an oil rig (The Best Of Me) — but he's really a sweet poet at heart. He just needs you to see that in him before it's too late.
9. You're Doing A Lot Of Making Out, But Not Much Else
This is a Nicholas Sparks movie,Fifty Shades of Grey, so you're full of passion, but all you can seem to muster is a few good make-out sessions. Even if you do get to The Notebook level of passion, it's still pretty PG-13. Sorry, but such is the life of a Sparks character.
10. You've Recently Met A Wise, Older Man Who Seems To Have All The Answers
Paul Newman in Message In A Bottle, Gerald McRaney in Best Of Me, James Garner in The Notebook, Alan Alda in The Longest Ride... all of these older men seemed to know it all and were more than happy to impart their wisdom on the characters in those films. You probably should listen before it's too late, because they may be wise, but they can't see the future. And these guys don't usually make it to the end credits.
11. Someone Just Taught You How To Drive Stick
If Say Anything taught us, well, anything, it's that teaching someone to drive stick is one of the quickest ways to the heart. Nicholas Sparks seems to agree, putting these obligatory driving lesson scenes into many of his movies. If someone is all about teaching you to drive, assume they have some ulterior motives.
12. You've Been Spending A Lot Of Time Flirting Down By The Beach
Is there a better setting for love? Sparks certainly doesn't think so. He set a whole movie down by the beach with The Last Song. Note: There's an even greater chance you're in one of his movies if you're jumping off a dock.
If you can answer a solid yes to even two of these examples, you may well just be living in your own Nicholas Sparks movie.
Image: New Line Cinema; Giphy (10)