Watching TV together, having a calming couple's spa day, doing partner yoga — there are plenty of ways to relax with your beau. But when binging Netflix gets old and your bubble bath gets cold, you can rely on one of the many reasons why you should read romance with your partner to convince you to try it instead resorting to the same-old-same activity. It's the sexy, de-stressing habit your relationship has been waiting for.
It's no secret that I'm a fan, if not an advocate, for reading books with your partner. I tried reading out loud to my boyfriend for a week, and found it to be a relaxing and intimate way to end our nights. When my partner and I were in a long-distance relationship, books served as our weekly date nights. I even dipped my toe in the erotica reading pool to see how it affected my sex life, but now I'm here to share one more experience with you: reading romance with your partner.
Before you roll your eyes and tell me there is no way your significant other would read romance with you, hear me out. It's engaging in something fun that you both like, reading, a positive experience that always has a happy ending, and a sexy couples activity that can do a lot more than just make you and your partner smile. It's sexy and silly and romantic all at once, everything a could couple's activity should be.
In case you aren't convinced, here are seven more reasons you should read romance novels with your partner.
1. Romance novels can help make you both more empathetic.
It's scientifically proven that book nerds make better partners for a lot of reasons, one of which is that reading helps improve people's ability to empathize. In a relationship, empathy is crucial to conflict resolution, joint decision making, and forgiveness, all things which are part of a couple's happiness. While reading any kind of book can increase empathy, reading romance can improve it terms of romantic relationships. By reading about other couples' feelings, you and your partner will be able to better understand your own and each others.
2. Reading about relationships help you better communicate in yours.
An obviously huge part of romance novels is romantic relationships and the conflicts that come with them. They are what drive the story, but they don't only have to entertain you and your own partner — they can teach you, too. Reading about other couple's fights and misunderstandings, crossed wires and confusion, you and your beau can begin to see how miscommunication with couples happens, and even come up with ways to avoid it in your own lives. Drama is just for reading fun, it can be a learning experience, too.
3. Romance novels can inspire fun fantasies to share.
There are a lot of different kinds of romance novels, but some of the most fun kind to share with your partner are the erotic ones. Filled with sexual tension, titillating foreplay, and steamy sex scenes, reading romance with your partner can inspire new things in your own sex life. Get ready to have some fun.
4. Reading romance novels is the perfect balance between relaxation and intimacy.
When you have a book club with your partner, you want to pick a book that interests and entertains both of you, something you can relax while doing, while at the same time providing you with an intimate activity that can bring you closer together. Romance novels are the perfect pick. They are fun, compulsively readable stories that you can both find enjoyment in, and their content will put both of you in a loving, sweet mood that will only make you want to snuggle in closer to the one you love. Fun, relaxation, intimacy, sexiness — romance books really do have it all.
5. Romance novels can boost both of your moods.
Unlike real life, and unlike a lot of fiction, romance novels can always guarantee one thing: a happy ending. Reading a story together where the soul mates find each other in the end, many of the conflicts are resolved, and everyone finds their one true love will, at the very least, put you and your partner in a much better mood than the Kafka you used to read together did.
6. Reading romance together can help you navigate relationship problems of your own.
The key conflict in romance novels is, obviously, romantic. Couples fight and betray each other, secrets are told and lies and uttered, hearts are broken and partners torn apart, but all of that drama aside, every pair finds a way back to each other. Reading about the breakdown of other relationships and the resolutions eventually find in the end can help you and your partner get to the bottom of your own relationship troubles. Nothing can teach you what to do — or what not to do — than other people's dysfunction.
7. Romance novels won't give you unrealistic expectations, but rather expectations to strive for.
Romance haters all say the same thing — romance novels give people unrealistic expectations about love — but they couldn't be more wrong. Reading about happy endings, sweeping romances, and epic love stories, especially with your partner, won't give you unrealistic expectations, but rather goals for which to strive. Who says that you and your partner can't find a happy ending of your own? You both deserve the very best, and reading about others finding it will encourage, not discourage, you from finding it for yourselves.
Beginning on August 1, Bustle will host Romance Novel Month, a month-long celebration and examination of the romance novel genre. But don't worry, romance readers: the coverage won't end in August. We're proud to support romance novels, and we will continue to do so all year long.
Images: Alyssa Foote/Bustle; Giphy (4)