Book thoughts

Romance Tropes We Love to Hate

We are still in the Hallmark Holiday Romance Movie Season. I have been on a romance kick lately and I’m not sure why I stopped reading them in the first place! Oh yeah, because I went for a while without reading at all. It’s just something about a good (but sometimes problematic) romance that makes your heart flutter. *romantic sigh*

There are many good and bad tropes in romances. The two people who hate each other at first, but then fall in love. Or the “we’re going to pretend we’re dating, but of course we’re not going to fall in love” trope. Or “this is just going to be physical and no one is going to catch feelings, right?”

And there’s always miscommunication and incorrect assumptions to make some kind of conflict, but then the two lovers pull through in the end and love conquers all.

That seems to be a dominating message in our society: love conquers all and you should fight for love at all cost.

I’m a big believer in all you need is love, but actually is love enough? It takes people on average 7-9 times to leave an abusive relationship. Because you should fight for love, right?

In all of the romance novels, it’s not necessarily abusive relationships, but sometimes there are some unhealthy things going on. I’ve become extra sensitive at the awful communication skills in these relationships, but they’re not that far off from relationships in real life. Why can’t everyone just say what they want???? Yelling at myself, as well…

At the end of the day, unhealthy things and difficult life circumstances and all, the two lovers fight through it all to be together. This is in all of the songs and movies too. You work to be together no matter what.

But why do we always have to fight, even for a relationship that might not be the best? What if those were signs that two people shouldn’t be together after all?

My friend gave me this realization when we were talking about staying in relationships. Sometimes we don’t have to make things work if we know they won’t be/ are not good for us. Or even if we aren’t being harmed but aren’t satisfied either. We need to just accept and let go of things that no longer serve us. And that’s ok if you no longer want to fight, if that’s best for you and the other person. This is me giving you, and myself, permission, even though you don’t need that from me (and apparently I don’t want my permission either).

It’s another thing to be actively working on your own stuff to improve the quality of all your relationships. That’s fighting for yourself.

I want to be with someone who makes my life easier. I don’t need a relationship that feels like I constantly have to fight to keep it alive. Or one that feels like it’s holding me back. We all deserve good relationships.

I feel like this has become me being a rambling cynic. Like I said, I’m a sucker for love, but I’ve also learned (am learning) how to pick my battles.

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