I read once that all human conflict is motivated by the quest for love, sex, power or money. These are the universal human themes, and everything else falls under one of these four headings.
One could argue that money is power, since money gives power. But some people seek money for its own sake. To buy fancy things. To feel secure.
Sex can be a tool for power, but it sure seems like a primal need. A prime directive to perpetuate the species.
Some people love power. They enjoy competition. I like to think of this as a testosterone condition, but women can be power-hungry.
As romance writers, we focus on love. A hero or heroine’s quest to find their true love and live happily ever after.
Love isn’t power. It isn’t sex. And it isn’t money.
It is feeling like you and your true love complete each other. You fit together, complement each other. Together, you feel whole.
It is feeling recognized, understood and valued. You see things in your love that few others see, and they in you. You feel safe, and can reveal sides of yourself you’ve held in check. You can let yourself go all the way.
It is feeling you would do anything, could sacrifice everything for this one person. They are that special to you.
Love can come in a first-minute flash. It can dawn slowly.
It can happen when you are sixteen and when you are 90. It can happen more than once.
But we romance writers usually stick to one at a time.