Welcome back to my discussion feature, Freadom Speaks!
Valentine’s Day was a few days ago and I was originally going to talk about this that week but I decided that this is more of a downer kind of discussion than an uplifting kind so you’re getting it a week later! Yay!
Considering February is the month of romance, a lot of people (including myself) are reading contemporary or books heavily focused on romance. So I decided that it would be a great time to talk about this idea that came to me after watching a video by Whitney @ Whitty Novels called ‘”Outgrowing” YA Fiction?’ That’s a topic for another time but one line she said in that video hooked me. She was describing a typical YA romance where usually things turn out great and at sixteen you’ve found the love of your life when she said:
“Thank you all YA books for that false sense of hope.”
That got me thinking about YA romances and how they’ve sort of given me unrealistic expectations on how relationships should look or be like. That’s what I’m going to talk about today.
SO let’s get started!
Quick disclaimer before I start: I love reading YA as well as YA romance. I’m a huge fan of it and I can swoon and squeal with the best of them!
But there are quite a few things that happen in YA romances that have not and will not happen in real life (at least not in my life):
- Insta-love/strange connection
Most of us hate this trope, most of us complain about this trope, so why do authors keep using it?! Sometimes it can work but there has never been a time when I looked at a guy and declared myself in love with him or admitted to myself that he’s the one. And I swear no guy has ever thought that about me. That doesn’t exist in real life! And it get so frustrating when I expect it to and it doesn’t happen.
- Sparks when they touch
I don’t know about you but I have never been electrocuted when touching someone. Not even one of my boyfriends. How does it even work exactly? Did they rub their feet in carpet just before seeing their significant other?
- Deep eye contact
Okay, this one in general is not that far fetched but I’m talking about those times when the characters stare at each other from across the room for like 10 minutes straight. I’m sorry, not only is that completely weird but also kind of annoying. How are other people supposed to talk to you?
- Meeting in cute places
Most of the time you meet cute guys at school, at work, because friends introduce you. But there are some couples that meet in the most obscure places that while cute, would never happen eve in real life.
- Love triangles
This is one of the big ones. I have never been fought over by two different guys. Like ever. Honestly, I have never heard of this happening to anyone. So why do almost all romances have some form of this?! I am sure none of the authors can say they’ve been part of a love triangle.
- Poetic declarations of love
This may happen to you if you are lucky enough to have a poet for a boyfriend or a guy who’s generally poetic with his words. But most of us get stuck with guys that can’t string two words together when talking about their feelings or just generally speak to my face. Yes, I had a boyfriend who couldn’t talk to me face to face. Don’t judge me.
- No fighting
Sometimes this happens but it’s usually petty arguments over plot devices meant to move things forward or overly dramatic screaming fights again over a plot device to move things forward. I want to see the stupid fights that mean nothing in the general scheme of things but that say so much about a couple.
- One and only for the rest of their lives
This one is the one that hits me the most. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes, like me, you don’t. Most people don’t find the love of their life in their teenage years. Usually you just hang out with a couple of losers and some more losers in college until you find the right loser for you. So it’s impossible for me to wrap my head around all these characters in books finding their one at sixteen.
All these things I’ve mentioned are cute and swoon worthy and make you feel like you’re the heart eyes emoji as you read, which is great, but it’s not what happens in real life.
I’m tired of waiting for a spark when I touch someone I like or hoping that a cute guy will sit next to me on the bus to work and chat me up so it makes a cute story to tell my friends. It’s fantasized and exaggerated to expect something like that to really happen and I find myself being constantly disappointed that my life doesn’t mirror the books I love.
Finding the one person who accepts everything about you, good and bad, is hard. Keeping that person is even harder. Making it last a long time is even harder than that. And sometimes it takes more than one try! You’ll have a few significant others in your life, some you’ll love madly, some you’ll like, some you’ll end up hating when all is said and done. The first person to catch your interest will most likely not become your husband and you’ll most likely not live happily ever after.
And I want more of the books I read to showcase that. Because having those unrealistic expectations about love and relationships just makes it that much more difficult to know the real thing when it’s right in front of you.
So that’s it for this discussion! Sorry for getting so deep in some parts, I really was not expecting for that to come out. Tell me your thoughts in the comments! How do you feel about romance in books? Do you want a more realistic view like me or are you content with the Disney fairytale princess kind of stories? Thank you so very very much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post.