Be Selfish With Your Love

Guest Blogger-Rebecca Brooks

Hi all! I’m Charly, Rebecca’s assistant. We thought it’d be fun to do a ‘Romance: The Good, the Bad, and the Disastrous’ theme with guest bloggers. Every Friday, we’ll have a guest blogger talk about fun stuff like horrible dates, good dates, etc. Some bloggers will have a contest, and some won’t – it’s totally up to them. If there is a contest, I’ll randomly draw a winner from the post comments, send the winner’s email address to the guest blogger, and they’ll take it from there. Rebecca will jump in and blog when she can. For now, enjoy as we play!

Rebecca Brooks headshot copyIn April 2015, my brother passed away after a long and heartbreaking struggle with depression. I know, this is a huge downer, but bear with me. Because I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships in the eight painful months that have passed, and I think I’ve stumbled on a little wisdom: be selfish with your love.

Once, on a first date in college, the person who’d asked me out started talking about family while we were heading to a café. I don’t remember what I said, but my brother was in the middle of a particularly difficult period and I was trying to lighten the mood—not fair, probably, but I’m not getting that intense on date number one. Well, whatever I said was clearly the wrong thing because my date started crying in my car.

We didn’t hang out much after that. Because if you’re going to be in my life, romantically or otherwise, you need to be able to support me. And that’s the biggest piece of unsolicited advice I want to shout from the rooftops. Be with the person you want to be around in the worst possible moments of your life. Not just the person who sweeps you off your feet, but the one who’ll take off from work at a moment’s notice, and give you cookie wrappers that say “The Power is Within” to make you smile, and make lunch for your mom and sit with your grandma and listen while she tells the same stories over and over again.

If there’s one thing I’ve been constantly reminded of during this, the worst period of my life, it’s how generous, loving, and amazing my family is. And how deeply my husband cares for me in all the small ways that matter. (And how much writing and reading about Happily Ever Afters is the best job I could ever imagine.)

I try to stay from people who need comforting when it’s their turn to comfort me—like the person I once dated who got upset when I had to cancel plans to go to a funeral. So I say be with someone you can be selfish with when it’s your turn. And someone you’ll be just as giving to when the time comes—the person you’ll go above and beyond for when they are in need. Without resentment, without keeping score, but because that’s what we do for the people we love.


Rebecca Brooks lives in New York City in an apartment filled with books. She received a PhD in English but decided it was more fun to write books than write about them. She has backpacked alone through India and Brazil, traveled by cargo boat down the Amazon River, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, explored ice caves in Peru, trekked to the source of the Ganges, and sunbathed in Burma, but she always likes coming home to a cold beer and her hot husband in the Bronx. Her books are about independent women who leave their old lives behind in order to try something new—and find the passion, excitement, and purpose they didn’t even know they’d been missing.

Find Rebecca on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+. Check out her books and sign up for her newsletter at


Brooks_HtF teaser2


HowToFall_500How to Fall

One week of adventure might just lead to love…

Julia Evans has always put others ahead of herself—her high school math students, her troubled best friend, and her ex. But with New Year’s approaching, she buys a round trip ticket to Brazil. For one week, she can put her needs first. She can meet a stranger in the hotel pool at midnight and dance all night on the beach.

Screenwriter Blake Williams has to keep moving before Oz’s latest scandal catches up to him. But the dark-haired beauty with a backpack and an adventurous streak is messing with his plans. He can’t seem to walk away from her. But secrets have a way of coming out, and when the week is up, Julia and Blake will have to decide if they’re jumping into the biggest adventure of all or playing it safe.


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33 thoughts on “Be Selfish With Your Love”

  1. Betsy Talbot says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Rebecca. My deepest sympathy on your loss. What a profound life lesson on love that came from it! It’s easy to fall in love life easy. It’s when life gets difficult that a great love really shines.

    1. Thank you, Betsy. You are so right that real love comes through not when everything is perfect, but when we really need each other.

  2. G.G. Andrew says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Rebecca. This is so true. I love HEAs as much as the next romance reader, but I think finding someone who’s able to comfort and support you in these small ways is more romantic than any grand gesture. I’m so glad you have that, especially as you go through what I imagine has been an incredibly difficult time.

    1. Thank you, G.G. Even amid the hard times, I do feel very lucky. I love the grand gesture in romance, too (*swoon*) but especially when it’s the kind of move that shows the hero is really going to be there through thick and thin. The committed grand gesture, if you will!

  3. Mia says:

    I have a million things on the brain: holiday stuff, writer duties, and play dates this weekend. I sat down to read this post, and I found myself nodding within seconds. It made me stop everything else and just think. I thought about the people I love. I thought about the people who love me. That’s what really matters in life. So thank you for a thought-provoking post, Rebecca. I’m so glad you have people you can be selfish with in your time of need.

    1. Thank you so much, Mia. I am really touched that you took the time to read and glad this post let you appreciate your loved ones — and how loved you are, too! I wish it hadn’t taken such an event for me to fully recognize what I have, but I’m also grateful for the lesson. 🙂

  4. Jennifer says:

    This is great advice and perspective. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. So glad it resonated.

  5. Amanda says:

    Beautifully said, and so true. I’m so sorry for your loss, Rebecca. Thank you for sharing these honest thoughts.

    1. Thank you so much, Amanda. I was nervous about being so honest, as you say, but I think it’s definitely worth it. 🙂

  6. Elizabeth Cole says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Rebecca. It’s still hard to talk about depression and how it affects so many of us, but it’s vital to share so the stigma will fade. Peace and all kinds of love to you!

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. I always thought I wasn’t one of “those people” who stigmatized depression but then I realized how quiet I was being about my family’s struggles, and that contributes to a culture of silence around depression and the impact it has on so many of us. I hope I can do my very small part to change that, step by step.

  7. Bonnie says:

    Agree 100% with your post Rebecca. You want to be with the person who will stay with you when everything gets tough, not the person who runs away. I’m very sorry for your loss.

    1. Thank you, Bonnie. It’s so, so much worse to go through a tough time AND have the person you’re counting on not be there for you. It seems obvious, and yet it’s definitely been a revelation for me!

  8. BD says:

    It is hard to remember to look out for heart. I appreciate the reminder!

    1. Thank you, BD. Glad you got to have the reminder, even if I hope it doesn’t become necessary. 🙂

  9. Tamara Lush says:

    Excellent post, and I’m sorry to read about your brother. Sometimes love isn’t all hearts and rainbows, it’s listening and quiet times and just being there.

    1. Thank you, Tamara. I love that way of putting it. The “just being there” is so important and often gets overlooked. Yeah we need people to do things for us, but a lot of times there’s nothing to DO or no way to fix the problems. We just need someone to listen and stick around.

  10. Beth Iandoli says:

    So true, Rebecca.

    1. Thank you for reading, Beth. 🙂

  11. Sam says:

    Best advice anyone could give.

    Thank you for sharing. And glad you are so surrounded by love and support in this most difficult of times.

    1. Thank you, Sam. I so appreciate the love. 🙂

  12. Susie says:

    Beautifully said. Having lost my sister several years ago, I empathize with what you’re going through.

    1. Thank you, Susie. I wish you didn’t know what this feels like, but it’s also nice to know that across the vast ether of the internet, neither of us are alone in this. 🙂

  13. Thank you all so much for your caring and your thoughts. I wasn’t sure about writing something so, well, *honest* for a post like this. But what are readers & writers but people looking for connections, just like the characters we love?

  14. Natalie says:

    So important to remember, when it’s so easy to just give all of ourselves away and not make sure we’re with someone who is equally as self-less and kind.

    1. That is so true, Natalie. We put such a premium on being there for others — as well we should! — that we sometimes forget to ask (demand!) for such care in return. I love when romance novels in particular show that balance and make sure that both characters are getting what they need.

  15. Marianne says:

    Your honesty is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Marianne. That means a lot!

  16. Fran says:

    So very true. I lost my husband recently and I experienced this quite a few times. Gues it takes a tragedy to find out who your real friends are. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Fran. I am so sorry for your loss and am thinking of you. It does show who is really there and who isn’t worth the investment. I wish we didn’t have to go through this but am also glad you have those real friends who will be there through everything.

  17. I agree with you Rebecca that writing HEA is a wonderful career. But as characters go through hard times, because the author writes from experiences, readers relate to get to the Happy part. You provide hope.
    Keep moving toward your happiness with your new normal. It too will come.

    1. Thank you, Annette. I love getting to provide that hope that even through the hard times, love is there. We are lucky in what we do! And I appreciate the reminder that a new normal will come. It won’t be the old normal, but new isn’t always bad. 🙂