Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. For this week we will be listing “Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes To Romances In Books.” Oh, good, I get to rant a little. The problem I have with most of these is the fact that they’ve become so cliché and instead of surprising me, these kinds of relationships end up being both trite and predicable. Then there are the romantic tropes that just piss me off. I tried to explain why below. Don’t worry, I kept most of my ranting to a minimum.
(Nearly) Top Ten Romantic Tropes I Dislike:
1. Love Triangles. The more I read, the less tolerant I am of love triangles, especially when the protagonist is very wishy-washy and fickle.
2. Insta-Love. I hate, hate, hate insta-love. This also includes the books that have its characters go on three-day adventures and at the end of it, they are convinced they are in love. Please. Queue eye-roll.
3. “You’re not like other girls.” Please don’t use this line if you ever write a book. There are so many things wrong with this statement, from reinforcing the misogynistic idea that women can only find their own worth when they compare themselves favorably to another female to the false idea that women should be in constant competition with one another.
4. I’m-so-plain-but-this-hot-guy-likes-me-anyways. I cannot count the number of times I’ve read about a protagonist that is convinced she is the ugliest thing in the world (or at least the plainest) and yet this hot guy (or guys) are attracted to her. It’s very superficial and implies one’s worth is dependent on whether or not you are good-looking.
5. You-know-I-like-him-because-I-hate-every-female-that-talks-to-him-and-she-just-so-happens-to-be-a-horrible-person. This is far too convenient and just a horrible example of girl-on-girl hate, which I am always against.
6. Two guys competing over a girl through childish means. Let’s fight because we both know that whoever wins this competition will win the girl’s heart. False. Both in fiction and in real life, no woman is ever going to decide who she wants to be with based on which guy can shoot an arrow more accurately or wield a sword better.
7. Incest/Incest-like relationships. Yeah, I do not understand this at all. To me this also includes the relationships where two characters are raised believing they are cousins, but when they find out they aren’t, it somehow becomes acceptable for them to be in love. No, just no.
8. Sexual harassment masquerading as sexual tension. If a male or female character is being pushy with another character or trying to manipulate them in any way, it’s called sexual harassment not sexual tension.
9. Anytime the protagonist spends an unreasonable amount of time admiring her love interest’s looks. This is pretty self-explanatory, but I still see it too often. I appreciate seeing literary relationships based on more than physical attraction.
And to mix things up a bit, and also to end things on a positive note…
A Romantic Trope I Like:
10. The Slow-Burn. It’s real simple for me. It doesn’t matter if a relationship starts off contentious or friendly, the two can be strangers in the beginning or best friends, but if an author takes his or her time telling how a relationship grows and alters, I’m on board.
I wrote a couple of discussion posts on some on these topics. Here are the links if you are interested:
Do any of these romantic tropes get on your nerves too? Leave a link to your Top Ten Tuesday so I can visit!