by Susan C. Hall from the May 20, 2013 issue
Tagline: When Matt, with his friendly grin and smiling eyes, appeared in her life, Emma realized what she'd been missing...
In A Nutshell: Emma's friend points out that Emma's current relationship is one-sided. The boyfriend always gets his way. When she meets a man who seems more than willing to let her choose something, like the restaurant on their dinner date, Emma realizes what a fool she's been.
Observations: At first, I thought this was not the type of story that I would have expected Woman's World to choose because we have to focus on what is wrong in Emma's relationship. Then I realized that actually, it's a perfect story for a woman's magazine because the "moral" is, if taken to the extreme, being a people pleaser can be bad.
Also, after reading this story, I was confident this couple had a great chance of living happily ever after because the author showed so many connections between them.
1. They work in the same industry--helping homeowners. She sells homeowner's insurance and he works at a title company.)
2. They both like dogs, even if he owns a cat.
3. He is focused on pleasing her by allowing her to choose the restaurant, rather than the other way around.
Finally, I haven't talked about character arcs in a while, but you can clearly see Emma's eyes opening with regard to her selfish, soon-to-be-ex, boyfriend. She begins the story defending her boyfriend's selfish ways, saying he has preferences not rules, but by the end of the story, she realizes that things aren't in balance. Character growth is one of those things that isn't mandatory in these romance stories, but it never hurts.
Photo by grendelkahn (cc)