“For a moment Anne’s heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert’s gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face. It was as if a veil that had hung before her inner consciousness had been lifted, giving to her view a revelation of unsuspected feelings and realities. Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps. . . perhaps. . .love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea
This month has me reflecting quite a bit on romance. It is the month that I married my love. Three years ago, we said I do. I love a good romance story. Especially ours.
You see, my husband and I were acquaintances for a long time.
And then I moved away for university. But, thanks to Facebook, I stayed in touch and, when I needed more computer help to design a website, I knew just who to go to – that friend from high school who was super into all that IT stuff.
Eventually, I moved to the same city as him. We started spending time together. I didn’t know very many people in that city and so he offered to help me meet people.
Our friendship developed over time. And, that friendship developed into love.
Many novels forget that part. It’s love at first sight, immediate romance. But often, the friendship-based love is so much sweeter of a story. It’s more romantic, because it had to struggle and fight and battle its way up from the friendship box, and climb over into the romance box.
This is a romance in which your partner really knows the real you. They’ve seen you in your worst. They’ve seen you (at least for me) in the awkward teenage years of bad hairstyles and unfortunate fashion sense. They’ve seen you in Saturday morning sweatpants, no makeup and messy hair, watching cheesy cartoons. They’ve helped you build Ikea furniture without the pressure of romance. And, they are the person you feel 100% safe around, because they are your best friend who you’ve been completely honest with (because you weren’t trying to impress them or make them fall in love with you). Instead, they fell in love with the real you, not the persona that we so often create in romantic relationships.
L.M. Montgomery got this right. And in Anne of Avonlea she explains it perfectly:
“Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps. . . perhaps. . .love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.”
I found this quote while rereading the Anne of Green Gables books. I’d already been married and was deeply saddened that I hadn’t come across this passage while planning my wedding. This would have been a perfect reading for our ceremony. It would have gone beautifully, does go beautifully, with my own love story.
If you’re in the mood for a sweet romance that comes out of friendship, try out these books that gave me that best friends to love vibe:
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
- Emma by Jane Austen
- Dumplin‘ by Julie Murphy
- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
- The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
- Cress by Marissa Meyer (although you might want to start the series at the beginning)
To celebrate my anniversary, I’m doing a giveaway!
If you haven’t entered yet, what are you waiting for? Go to your Twitter account (or sign up for one) and put your name in the hat to win a Jane Austen prize pack (including a copy of Pride & Prejudice just like the copy my husband proposed with!). The giveaway ends on October 31!
What friendship-to-romance novels have you read?