Second chance romance is a popular trope in romance novels. It makes sense. Who doesn’t want a do-over? If not for romance, then for something else we regret doing or not doing.
I’ve used the trope in five of my books so far, and I’ll probably come back to it again. My romantic life is a bit of a checkered past. However, when I look back, my regrets are more focused on things I wish I hadn’t done, although I understand the reasons why I did.
The 1960s did a number on many people, including women. It was a time of breaking free and hope, as well as terrible tragedy. For those of us women who came of age in that era, there were all types of forces pulling at us.
Our mothers had raised us in the “good old days” of the 1950s. If we went to college, we were expected to come home with an MRS as well as a degree, a degree that could only be in teaching or nursing, by the way.
On the other hand, feminists were telling us we didn’t have to settle. We didn’t even have to wear a bra! We could, to borrow the words of the marines, be all we could be.
So we walked down the aisle in that pretty white dress, our heads filled with dreams of possibilities well beyond hearth and home.
And we were so young …
We made mistakes, especially romantic ones. We married people we shouldn’t have, overturned marriages that should have stuck, and regretted the one that got away.
None of us can actually go back for a do-over, but we can dream. That’s what a second chance romance is about: watching another couple get their second shot at “happily ever after.”