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Why women love “Twilight”

December 13, 2010

Unless you were born yesterday, you know what Twilight is. The series of Vampire novels written by Stephenie Meyer that have taken this entire country by storm. Teenage girls swoon at the thought of kissing a vampire and grown women {myself included} stand outside of theatres at midnight to watch the new film release; all while leaving the men in their lives baffled. What is it about this story that has women everywhere so transfixed?

For the teenage girls, it may be nothing more than the wide array of attractive guys that play the lead roles [Robert Pattinson as Vampire  Edward Cullen and Taylor Lautner as Werewolf Jacob Black].  But for a story to effect grown women the way that this one has, there must be something else that gets to them. Something that tugs at our heartstrings and sucks us into Meyer’s world. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it and I’ve drawn two conclusions. What keeps us coming back for more and transfixed with this story is the desire for someone to fight for us the way that Edward and Jacob fight for Bella and the desire to be desired.

These two things seem simple. But for anyone who has been in a relationship for an extended amount of time-especially those of us who are married and have added children to the mix-you know that it is easy for romance to dwindle and passion to fade. And I think that these books, these story’s fill that void we feel within our own relationships. First and foremost let me say this: I strongly believe that these voids or whatever you may call them should be identified and discussed with your husband/fiancé/boyfriend. Maintaining the “spark” in a relationship is hard work…but it’s something that each couple should work on within the walls of their own relationship. But I do believe that there are things that all women desire that are found in these books. And, as with any good and well written book, we are able to see our passions and desire played out in other characters in these stories. That being said…ahem.

First, I feel that it’s the desire to be fought for that reels us in. Twilight is not the first book that has used this plot. William Shakespeare beat Stephenie Meyer to the bunch ages ago when he wrote Romeo & Juliet. It’s the same concept. A forbidden love, star crossed lovers who seem heck-bent on fighting fate to be with one another…and that speaks to women as much now as Shakespeare did back then. Women aren’t complicated. Okay…let me rephrase that. Women aren’t as complicated as men make us out to be. We long for someone to love us. Period. We want to be cherished. To be appreciated for all that we are and all that we do. We want someone to be on our side…to pull for us when no one else will, to fight for us when no one else will. And that’s the method Meyer used to capture her older generation. This ordinary girl, Bella, has found this passionate sexy vampire who spends every ounce of his time fighting for her in some way. Fighting against himself not to kill her, fighting against others who are trying to harm her, fighting against his own desires to be with her in order to give her a chance at a normal existence, fighting to get her to marry him. It’s a never ending thing for Edward Cullen. And to many of us, it is beyond grasp. Beyond recognition.

While our husbands spend countless hours pursuing us and fighting for us when they are dating us, trying to reel us in and persuade us to marry them, more often than not once the vows are said and the rings are on, the fighting stops. The passion dies. The desire we feel from our husbands fade. We feel as though we’ve lost the interest of the man that we love. I don’t know about all of you, but I am a hopeless romantic. I always have been. I watched Dirty Dancing at least ten thousand times growing up just so I could hear Patrick Swazey [RIP] say “No one puts Baby in the corner…” Most of us can’t help it. It’s the way God created us. We have an uncontrollable desire to feel and experience passion in our lives. And the storyline of Twilight resonates that within us.

Bella gets not only one man but TWO  who spend days and weeks fighting for the chance to be with her. And for most of us in the “real world” we would just like to see one put in half of the effort that these guys do. And generally that “one” is the guy who’s last name we share…our husbands. Let’s just face it ladies…men can be pretty dense and for most of them, romance just isn’t in their genes. We drop hints about how much we love fresh flowers, we leave magazines open with pictures of jewelry, and unless it’s an anniversary or a birthday, we rarely-if ever-receive a note or a card with anything as simple as I love you written on it. And the undeniable passion shared between Bella and Edward [both physically and emotionally] is enough to send me, and probably most of you, swirling. Many of us haven’t seen that kind of passion in years. That uncontrollable desire to just be with someone. To be near them, to talk to them, to kiss them…that kind of passion dies quickly once marriage commences and our guys feel that they’ve got us hooked.

It’s through stories like Twilight that we are able to experience those things again. I think that is why so many grown and married women enjoy the series. I know that I tend to over-analyze and while it is quite possible that some just enjoy the book [I myself enjoy it as much from a literary perspective as I do anything else], I think most of us, whether we admit it or not, find ourselves enthralled by the storyline and by our own desire to be desired the way that Bella is. Two gorgeous men fighting over her love, each of them battling for her soul…it’s intoxicating. And in a society where four out of five marriages end in divorce and of those four, two of them end due to infidelity; it’s hard to find something exemplifying true and meaningful love to hold onto.

Most of us grew up without marital role models. Many, like my husband, grew up in split families. The sanctity of marriage isn’t there any more and we fear that we will become another statistic. And even if only for just a few minutes a day or a few hours at a time, getting lost in a world where one girl is experiencing a love so deep and so passionate that most of us can’t identify with it, is just the break that we need. The chance to realize that we deserve marriages/relationships like that, and that if we choose to fight for one, it can be within our grasp.

So…there ya’ have it. The reason why women love Twilight. Passion, desire, romance. Simple stuff. Take notes gentlemen. Go to the RedBox and pick up a copy of these films. Your wife…..errr, you will be glad you did. 
Don’t forget to add your link if you are joining me for No Mom Talk Monday today!! There will not be a No Mom Talk meme next week!

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