January 18, 2015

Be the One You're With: Writing Couples While Single

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How far will a man go to get the right gift for the woman he loves? Click to find out.

By Alexa Day

It’s been just under a week since my new short story, “1-800,” was released, and sharing my excitement about the story has naturally led me to think more about the characters and their situations. I’ve been spending an unusual amount of time watching home shopping channels, for example. I can see how people wind up spending hours watching the products parade by.

Yeah, I can see that because I’m one of those people now. Between the jewelry and the kitchen stuff, I’m definitely hooked.

I mentioned on Friday that I enjoyed this opportunity to write romance from the man’s perspective. I’m not sure what makes the male POV so much fun for me, although I’ll admit that I make my heroes’ lives as tough as I can. Maybe as they’re working to enjoy the story’s resolution, I’m enjoying the trouble I put them through.

But “1-800” presented another interesting challenge: writing the married couple. Okay, Jason and Kate aren’t married just yet. Still, starting the story off within their very committed relationship definitely meant starting in a different way, especially for a single writer.

I got to plug in some of my knowledge from relationships past. Jason’s uncertainty about Kate’s clothing size, for instance, echoed my favorite ex’s annual confusion about my date of birth. But the day-to-day experience of being in Jason’s sort of relationship is mostly foreign territory for me, and it took me a little while to learn that exotic land’s particular customs.

In the end, I learned something important. I learned that the unmarried life suits me. It suits me better than I ever imagined it would. I’m addicted to the freedom of it. I can have as much excitement or stability as I want. I get to act on spur of the moment decisions. And lately, I’m exploring the idea of settling down and finding a place to call my own, where I can build a future of my own.

A single woman has a grand opportunity to fully discover who she is in her own context, to know her truest self before becoming part of a larger unit … or deciding not to do so. I wonder how many of us are taking advantage of that opportunity in the face of society’s push to see us paired off for good. I definitely think living alone for a while makes for better relationships, and I think that’s how things have worked out for Jason, the hero at the center of “1-800.”

He knows who he is. He knows that Kate has made him a better man. And he’s committed to protecting and nurturing the future they might create together.

I had such a good time bringing Jason and Kate to the page. I love reading the two of them together, even as Jason faces the surprising challenges of finding the perfect gift for the perfect woman. And now that Liz Everly has suggested it, I wonder if these two might have a hot wedding story waiting for them in the future.

It’s too soon to say. Right now, I love that their coupled bliss has made my hot single life even better. What else could a writer ask for?

Maybe something from a sexy home shopping channel. Maybe.

Are you following Lady Smut yet? Now’s the time.

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  • Post authorCara Bristol

    When I was single, I lived my own life: built a career, bought a home at age 26, traveled alone, planned for retirement. Then I married at age 33. Having been single and married, I can say that neither state is preferable, both have advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages of being single is the freedom. One of the advantages of being married is having emotional support. Choosing single is a legitimate choice.

    Reply to Cara Bristol
    • Post authorAlexa Day

      You know, when I realized that I might be just fine if I stayed single, I felt that weight lifted from me. At the same time, that realization has placed the idea of marriage in a different perspective. Since it’s not something I feel like I have to do, I can relax and just see what happens.

      And Cara, isn’t traveling alone wonderful? 🙂

      Reply to Alexa Day

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