Romance novels are known for reflecting women’s struggles, attitudes and dreams. They also show the dating landscape of the time. It’s not surprising that many contemporary romances today include how people communicate with technology.
Author and historian Emily Brand argues that advances in technology have always had an impact on romantic relationships. For example, lonely heart ads had flourished when newspaper print had been developed in the 17th century. Improvements to the postal service in the late 1800s “made it much easier to conduct a courtship by correspondence.”
Now people are able to increase romantic opportunities because of dating apps. However, some app users find this form of communication to be less about love or connection and more about supply and demand. The Atlantic’s “When Market Logic Is Applied to the Pursuit of a Partner” points out that algorithms, search parameters and filters have made dating a game of probabilities when “actual romantic chemistry is volatile and hard to predict.”
The increase of possible partners and the gut instinct to swipe right or left has made first impressions even more important. It’s often lamented that it’s no longer love at first sight as much as it’s about lust at first swipe. Say the wrong thing in your dating profile and rejection is instantaneous. Honestly, how would Fitzwilliam Darcy or Edward Ferrars from Jane Austen’s world find a wife in these circumstances?
Overcoming a bad first impression is a common scenario in romance novels. Now with the speed of technology and a seemingly limitless dating pool filled with potential suitors, it’s almost impossible for a second chance. When a romance hero commits the unforgivable faux pas, how does he recover?
What if a man ghosted you? That is explored in Alisha Rai’s The Right Swipe. In this hot and modern romance, Rhiannon owns a dating app and is known as a cynical romance expert. It’s tough to give her trust to anyone, so when Samson ghosted her after one amazing night, she wasn’t going to give him another chance. But she didn’t know he was a colleague in the dating industry and now they have to work together.
Samson is reentering the world of dating and he’s as traditional as the matchmaking firm he represents. Readers are going to love this sexy and patient hero as Rhiannon teaches him the new rules of love, sex and online dating.
Would you date a man after he sent you an unsolicited dick pic? Kendall Ryan tackles this question in Junk Mail, a light-hearted romance filled with earthy humor. Peyton’s love life was non-existent while she built up her company. The most action she’s had was when a hot guy accidentally texted a dick pic. When she showed up to an important business meeting the next day, she discovered the hot guy was Josh, the man in charge of her business deal.
Was that truly a misdirected sext or was Josh using his sex appeal to close the deal? Peyton wanted to be professional but why must she choose between success and her sex drive?
And what if the man you’re interested in has received so many negative reviews that he has a warning label? Would you give him a chance? That’s what happens in Bad Bachelor by Stefanie London.
Reed is an image fixer but his reputation takes a hit when a dating app rates him as the womanizer to avoid. Darcy, a prickly and tattooed librarian, has to work on a project with him. Even if she hadn’t read the negative dating reviews about him, she knows better than to get involved with Reed. She needs to take baby steps to re-enter the dating scene and he’s master class level. But the sizzling attraction between them is undeniable.
Technology continues to change the way couples meet and communicate, but in a romance novel, the lovers will always find their way to a happily-ever-after.