Sometimes the best advice comes from fictional characters.
At the end of the day, relationships within novels may seem to have everything figured out. Despite the perfection of a happily ever after, the journey to this fairytale ending may not always be a fun ride. The issues we go through also happen to these not-so-perfect relationships in books, no matter what the setting or story is.
Similar to some fictional stories, relationships can get tough, whether there’s fighting or an outside source causing issues. We can use books as an outlet for information on how to handle tough situations within our own relationships. Here are four examples.
The Deal by Elle Kennedy (book one in the Off-Campus series)
Throughout The Deal, the main characters are faced with a few different obstacles. For example, one of them is in love with someone else. This, however, is not even close to the biggest hardship the couple in this book faces. Hannah and Garrett, the protagonists, face a manipulative parent, to say the least about the situation. The parent tries to interfere in their relationship multiple times, which takes a toll on their love story.
How did they manage to overcome this? Although Hannah and Garrett had a rocky time getting to their happily ever after, they had to get there somehow. It was not easy for them, but after actually taking time to have a conversation, they realized this parent’s intrusion of their relationship was nothing compared to the love they had for each other.
So what can we take away from this? Stressful situations in relationships might seem like the end of the world, but they aren’t. With the right amount of communication from both ends, problems can get easier. Though, maybe don’t have the conversation in the middle of showers in the boy’s locker room like Hannah and Garrett did. Find a comfortable space for you and your partner and address the things that are causing you issues. Sometimes a conversation is the gamechanger and can open the door to a healthier relationship.
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
In this grumpy-meets-sunshine book, Piper and Brendan cross paths but come from two completely different worlds. That is exactly their problem. Piper is a socialite from LA while Brendan is a fisherman from a small town. They don’t know how to make their situation work due to their opposite personalities. What can they do?
To start, they make little changes to their lifestyles and introduce each other to new things. If you’re in a similar situation where you and your partner come from different lifestyles, you can always try and learn about them. Brendan makes an Instagram account so he can see Piper’s lifestyle, and Piper takes time to learn about how Brendan’s boat runs, which she ends up really enjoying. Doing little things for each other to show that you’re interested in your partner’s life can be a good place to start getting acclimated to each other’s differences.
The Risk by Elle Kennedy (book two in the Briar U series)
This book is a true enemies-to-lovers romance, as Brenna Jensen is the daughter of Briar University’s hockey coach and Jake Connelly is the captain of the Harvard hockey team. Only so much could go wrong for them. One thing that comes between them is stress. Sometimes everything gets to be too much and people can get inside your head, and, at least for Jake Connelly, this is true. He doesn’t seem to handle his stress well in the book, but we can still learn from his mistakes. (Go read the book, I’m not going to spoil it for you).
Everyone has those kinds of days or weeks where you’re constantly stressed and every little thing gets to you. Is that a reason to neglect a relationship with your significant other? No, absolutely not. Communicate your stresses to your partner and let them know that you’re going through it. A quick conversation to let them know you need a little bit of space can save you from a huge mess… *cough cough* Jake Connelly.
Confess by Colleen Hoover
The title of this book gives away its themes, but it definitely does not give away the plot. The book surrounds Auburn Mason Reed and Owen Mason Gentry. Yes, they have the same middle name. Maybe it’s fate. This book covers a lot of important topics that I do not want to give away, but I will explain the title for the sake of the toll it takes on the relationship in the book.
It can be hard to talk about one’s past especially when the story isn’t yours to tell. However, we can all tell our own stories. When the main characters discover some shocking truths about each other, they are both taken aback. These truths, more like confessions, caused difficult situations for both Auburn and Owen, but even when the confessions are spoken, they are not the whole truth. You know what they say, the truth will set you free… or maybe just make life a little easier in this case.
Relationships are built on trust. If there are still truths not being said out of fear of judgement, or retaliation, then is there really trust in the relationship? For Auburn and Owen, their lack of openness with each other made them drift apart. However, when the truth was finally revealed, they realized they needed one another. The lesson to learn from this is that trust can make a relationship stronger and connect you more to the person you’re with.
Books are a great source of knowledge because there’s always a lesson to learn from a character’s journey in life and how they navigate their relationships. There are always characters in books going through the same relationship problems we might be going through — even if the problem includes a forbidden relationship between a princess and her bodyguard. Reading their stories may even help us better understand our own relationships.