Not knowing much about romance novels, I wondered if there might be a risk of unrealistic expectations by their readers if real life partners can’t live up to romance novel ideals. People who have studied this though seem to find the opposite, that readers of romance novels are actually happier overall. One reason might be that their stories are examples of positive psychology. By the end of the story, everything reliably works out. Stories like this can be reassuring, and train our mind to have positive expectations. And when we have positive expectations about the world, we tend to be happier. We have a compelling attraction for stories, psychologists have found, so maybe it’s a good thing if we are drawn to stories with happy endings, and keep on optimistically working toward happiness in our own lives.