Once upon a time, two people met, they fell in love, married and lived happily ever after. Or that is how the story of romance traditionally used to begin and end.
Today, the rules of relationships are very different. Finding the perfect partner, living with them and staying together is a more complex achievement than ever before. In this digital age, the definition of romance and what being romantic means is no longer clear, leaving men and women confused about how to demonstrate that they love someone.
Valentine’s Day may still be marked in every lover’s diary, with the £1.6bn that Britons spend on gifts and treats reflecting their generosity as lovers. But many are unsure whether to say it with cards and flowers. Or just a text. Our research, which asked 2,000 men and women their views on romance, revealed that nearly 6 in 10 people are confused by what is considered to be ‘romantic’ in the 21st century, though over three quarters would like more romance in their lives.
Which is why Mills & Boon, the leading romantic fiction publishers, have written this definitive guide to the art of romance. We have identified the gestures Britons consider to be most romantic in today’s world — from holding hands to sharing an umbrella, these expressions of adoration are celebrated by our authors, who explain why they matter so much.
Mills & Boon is confident this guide will make it easier for reluctant romantics to be successful in finding love and happiness. The byword for passionate entertainment, our best-selling books have always kept pace with changing social attitudes and values.
The plots always reflect the realities of life for women today, their changing values and lifestyles — and the obstacles they must first overcome before finding lasting love. We hope our guide makes it a little easier to navigate the rules of romance — from finding your ideal mate to adding some sparkle and adventure to a relationship that is long overdue a makeover.
Our findings demonstrate that passion is still very much alive in Britain. To read the Mills & Boon Rules of Romance guide click here.
Lisa Milton, Mills & Boon Executive Publisher