Real Life Love Stories…Say What?

Here on Main Street we write fiction, which is my preferred state of being most days. 🙂 I find the lives I create are often so much more exciting than my real life, which to be honest is fine by me, exciting doesn’t always equal a positive. I am not much for real life drama, I prefer my drama in a book or on a screen.

Writers create a great escape for others to leave the stress and worry of their lives behind. We offer characters who are accessible and relatable, who inspire and who almost always find their Happily Ever After. Which is what we all want isn’t it? At least, until we can obtain it for ourselves, reading about it helps!  have always thought so anyway.

For this blog I thought it would be interesting to discuss real life love stories. To Google I went, typing in variations of GREATEST REAL LIFE LOVE STORIES to see what I could find. Although I knew a lot of the stories already, I have to say I was rather shocked by the results. There seems to be a popular ten famous love stories on the lists I found, all with two shocking similarities, death and infidelity – sometimes both. Am I to believe that in order to have a GREAT love, one of historical proportions, it must result in death and/or begin with adultery? I hope not, but take a look.

Photo Credit to Romantic Fae

Lancelot & Guinevere – Photo Credit to Romantic Fae









  • Marc Antony & Cleopatra – Marc Antony was married and left his wife Octavia for Cleopatra. When Octavia brought an army to revenge their actions, they killed themselves rather than be torn apart.  *infidelity & death


  • Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor – They were both married when they met, later married and divorced each other twice, before giving up on a life together. Although, both have claimed the other to be the love of their lives, despite marrying other people after their time together. *infidelity


  • Tristan & Iseult (Isolde) – Iseult was married to Tristan’s uncle when they met and fell in love. When King Mark finds out about the affair he kills his nephew in a rage and Iseult they died of grief after having seen Tristan’s corpse. *infidelity & death


  • Lancelot & Guinevere – Guinevere was married to Lancelot’s friend and “boss” King Arthur when they fell in love. Once their affair was discovered, after years of rumors, Guinevere was sentenced to die by fire for her infidelity. Instead she was sent to a convent where she stayed until death. Lancelot was removed from the Knights of the Round Table and died a lovesick hermit. *infidelity


  • Napoleon & Josephine – While married to each other, history reports they both cheated a time or two. Once divorced it is said that Napoleon continued to pine for Josephine (it’s rumored he carried violets from her garden in a locket until his death) and she was the last name on his lips as he died, not that of his current wife. *infidelity


  • Prince Edward & Wallis Simpson: Wallis Simpson was married when they met & fell in love, she did eventually get a divorce and married the Prince. But his family was very disapproving of their romance, because of the affair and because she was an American. He eventually abdicated his throne in order to be with Wallis. *infidelity


  • Voltaire & Emilie du Chatelet – Emilie was married to a Marquis when she met and fell in love with Voltaire. They did not keep their love a secret and at one time even lived together in a house owned by her husband. They were together until Emilie’s death. *infidelity


  • Lord Nelson & Lady Emma Hamilton: Lady Emma was married when they met and fell in love, their affair took London by storm as they did not feel the need to keep it a secret. They even went so far as to live together as lovers in the same home as Lord Nelson. *infidelity


  • Prince Khurram & Mumtaz Mahal Begum : Mumatz was the 3rd wife of Prince Khurram and most revered it seems since he built the Taj Mahal in her honor, when she died giving birth to their 14th child. *culturally accepted polygamy (infidelity)


  • Prince Saleem & Anarkali – Prince Saleem fell in love with a slave, Anarkali, to the disapproval of his parents. Their love was forbidden and a battle between father and son ensued. When the King won, he demanded Anarkali’s death and Saleem said he would die too. A deal was struck when Anarkali offered her life if they spared Saleem and allowed them one night together, which they were granted, before she was buried alive in a brick tomb that stands today. *death

These are not new stories to me, but I never really looked at them as a group. I have to say I am a little unnerved by the similarities, across cultures and centuries the greatest love stories passed down through time are all tragic. So, to this I say thank you to fiction for creating Happily Ever After’s (Shakespeare with his Romeo & Juliet be Damned 🙂 )! Real life needs writers like us, who make you laugh and smile and fall in love with book boyfriends who won’t cheat on you or sentence you to death!

Needless to say this blog did not go where I thought it would when I started researching earlier this week. It was fun, but not nearly as awe-inspiring or lovely as intended. I think I will settle for a great love, that doesn’t make history – seems the safest bet! LOL

Thanks for stopping by today, if you haven’t signed up for our newsletter, please do and you will be the first to hear about our next boxed set.

If you would like to read some of my made up love stuff, lol, check out my website at Wishing you all the best in fiction and real life.

Kelly Rae

P.s. As I was telling my son (11-years-old) about my day of research for this blog, trying to highlight the death aspect more than the adultery side, he was mostly interested in Helen of Troy and the way she started the Trojan War. He says to me, “Well that just shows you how much we love our women, when we aren’t cheating on them!” Yup, that sums it up…Eh-gads! 😉

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12 Responses to Real Life Love Stories…Say What?

  1. leighmorgan1 says:

    I love your son’s ability to capsulize a theme! Wonderful post, Kelly, and I’m with you. I’ll settle for great love that doesn’t make history 🙂


  2. Reblogged this on Kelly Rae & Jocelyn Bell Books and commented:
    Hop over to my Blog post today on Authors of Main Street, where I took a look at the Greatest Real Love Stories of All Time & ended up a little disappointed. It seems death and infidelity are real
    history makers…


  3. susanrhughes says:

    Greatest real life love story: my parents. Married 47 years so far and going strong.


  4. E. Ayers says:

    Oh such wisdom for an eleven YO.

    Guess my love wouldn’t make it as a romantic great but it ended in death just not a dramatic one. Actually if we get lucky, they all end in death, until death do we part… that little part…that dying part. 🙂

    And I never had to deal with infidelity, Oh I’m sure I probably would have made Octavia look like a sweet little thing. There’s a quote about a woman scorned – can’t remember it off the top of my head.


  5. Kristy Tate says:

    My in-laws were married for almost 70 years before my father-in-law died. No infidelity. I really think the greatest and most important thing about love, real love, is having someone to home to, someone who is your home, your safe place, a foundation. And if you get some steamy romance–then it’s all good. Even if you have to do the dishes and wash underwear.


    • I couldn’t agree more Kristy, it seems there is not enough appreciation some times for the less dramatic day in and day out REAL life love stories. I guess that is why we write the books we write.


  6. I am still trying to figure out what is so romantic about killing yourself for love…then again I never really did get Romeo & Juliet for that reason. I would want to live to tell the story of my Romeo as long as possible. Seems much more romantic to me 🙂


    • leighmorgan1 says:

      My 14yr old is reading Romeo & Juliet in school now. I read him your comment and he said (I’m paraphrasing): The original title was: The Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet. He said it’s about a bunch of stupid people (needless killing & death) and the friar should have just stayed out of it. Plus, mom, they’re not really in love, they just lust the entire play. I think it’s funny how our young sons seem to get it 😀


  7. Joan Reeves says:

    Loved this post, Kelly. I think that great love in the past was equated with great tragedy. It was that whole “love is sacrifice” theme that ran through life for eons. Contemporary romance with an HEA is more to my liking. I think that romance, rather than showing readers an unrealistic ending as many proclaim, instead gives readers hope that a man and a woman can have a committed relationship marked by respect, love, and passion. My greatest love story is my own. Hubby and I have been married 36 years, and I wouldn’t trade a day of it for anything or anyone else.


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