‘The Rules of Romance’ features contributions from (L-R) Cameron Fuller, Ashley Forrestier, playwright Renee Rivon and Dez Abrams (Photo courtesy of Renee Rivon).
Early Midlife Crisis
Hitting the age of 30 is a son of a gun.
You’re not old, but you’re not a youngster either.
You still want to go out to the clubs, because you might find your potential spouse there, but you do not know whom rapper Bobby Shmurda is or that random dude who left One Direction.
Furthermore, you do not want to go to the club by yourself because all of your friends are married and their idea of fun is cupcake night with their spouse and children.
So, what do you do? Do you settle down with anyone because it’s now or never? Or do you wait on God, wait on love and tune out your family and friends who are looking at you sideways for being in your 30s, unmarried and childless?
Playwright Renee Rivon hopes to give a voice to that real life struggle in her upcoming play “The Rules of Romance,” which opens in Houston on April 18 at Frenetic Theater.
“The Rules of Romance” centers on Dee Dee, a romance novelist who has never been able to master romance in her own life.
Her biological clock is ticking and she is desperate to find a husband and have children while maintaining her professional career.
She prays to God for the man of her dreams, but when you look for love you often find the wrong one instead of the real one.
So, how does one know that they are ready for marriage and a family?
How do they know when God has sent them the one?
Most importantly, how do they keep the flame going through the ups and downs of a marriage?
RegalMag.com recently sat down with Rivon and the stars of the play to get their real life rules of romance.
“I’m still finding my wife and I’ve been married to her for five years,” said actor Dez Abrams, 29, who plays Lewis in “The Rules of Romance.”
“I’m still searching for her. I’m still finding out who she is. I’m still finding out what makes her click. What she doesn’t like. What she does like.”
“The Rules of Romance” co-star Cameron Fuller, who plays Justin, believes people have to know themselves before they can begin getting to know someone they want to spend the rest of their life with.
Fuller, 25, stated that it takes a minimum of three years to really get to know someone before considering marriage.
However, Abrams does not put a time frame on courtship. He looks at relationships as seasons, and couples need to experience the four seasons together before considering marriage.
Every couple should first experience the winter (hard times); spring (life begins to blossom); summer (life in full bloom); and fall (things in decline), and couples need to see how they handle prosperity and adversity before making that decision to jump the broom.
Abrams, Fuller and Rivon blame the media for people’s distorted views on relationships from the obsession with physical attraction to the false sense of being able to fix a broken person, popularized by romance novels.
Rivon stated that in romance novels, the man usually has flaws and the woman fixes those flaws, and the couple lives happily ever after like in Cinderella.
However, real life does not always work like that and many women find themselves with Mr. Wrong after their experiment to fix him fails.
Another illness the playwright sees in relationships is too much interference from single friends.
“I try to give them a little bit of medicine [in my plays] and then cover it up with everything else,” Rivon said.
The problem that Abrams sees with many relationships and marriages is that many are not asking God to cover their search for a mate or their current relationship.
However, even when God grants a person that special someone, they must continue to look to the Scripture for guidance.
“Marriage is like a college commencement or a high school commencement,” Abrams explained. “That’s the start of the journey.”
The problem with many people like Dee Dee from “The Rules of Romance” is that they start the journey before they are ready and do not receive God’s best for their lives.
Abrams does not believe Dee Dee is ready for that big day because she is so desperate to have it.
He stated that there is no grand moral of “The Rules of Romance,” but it will make those in the audience think.
Do I want to just have a marriage or do I want to be happily married?
Do I want to have a child at anytime or the time that God has ordained for them?
And is being the old person in the club really worse than being old and stuck with someone you despise?
No one can answer those questions for other people. It all depends on their rules of romance. And every game is just a little bit different than the others.