Once upon a time, I was a romance reading naysayer. I was one of those people saying all the annoying things that all romance readers are tired of hearing. But now, I have successfully crossed over to the other side, and I have started adding romance novels into my reading routine, I realized that people who find out about your reading taste are quick to judge. Why does everyone hate on romance?
When it comes to romance novels, the most common misconception that people have is that they are all sex, all the time. While it is an important (not to mention exciting) aspect to many romances, there's a lot more to the books than bumping and grinding. Romance novels are love stories and family dramas, period pieces and war tales.They are emotional and exciting, sexy and thrilling. They are a lot more than "fluff," and the people who read them are much more, too. While modern romance novels may not always be high-brow lit, they're still wonderful stories that can take the reader to another time and place and into another life entirely.
If only every hater could see that — but since they haven't yet, you have to deal with side-eye every time you crack open your next steamy read. Here are 11 things all romance readers are tired of hearing. Trust me, we've heard it all by now.
"Reading Romance Novels Gives You Unrealistic Expectations"
Listen, romance readers don't expect to find out we're all secretly a princesses, nor do we think that we'll be reunited with our childhood crushes someday under a starry sky, but that doesn't mean we can't read about people who do. It's nice to play make believe, OK?
"You Must Go on a Lot of Dates"
When you read a lot of romance novels, people assume that automatically makes you romantic, or at least on the prowl for love. Reading about evenings filled with roses, wine, and dancing in the moonlight doesn't mean that is what we do on a weekly basis — it's more like boxed wine and Oreos. For me at least.
"Oh, That's Why You Don't Have a Boyfriend"
Since romance lovers are constantly reading about other people's love lives, people seem to think we get too caught up in fiction to have one of our own. Either that, or we can't find a real boyfriend because our reading taste has set the bar too high. Whether single or not, our relationship statuses have nothing to do with our love for love stories. Does reading fantasy mean we ride around on unicorns?
"Aren't You Sick of Happy Endings?"
Despite common misconceptions, not all love stories have happy endings. There is more than enough heartbreak, tears, and tragedy to go around in the romance genre.
"You Know Real Life Isn't Anything Like That, Right?"
OMG fiction isn't real life? We romance readers had no idea! You know what also isn't real life? Harry Potter, but that doesn't mean it isn't a damn good read.
"Romance Is Basically Reading Porn"
Another major misunderstanding when it comes to romance novels is that they are full of sex. Romance is not necessarily erotica, and while sex is a great part of a lot of romance books, it is not the whole thing. Get your mind out of the gutter. And furthermore, so what if someone is reading porn, huh?
"My Mom/Grandmother Reads Romance"
She does? Well, then your mom/grandmother has great taste in books. Sure, a lot of older women like love stories and romance novels, it's a genre that readers of all ages can enjoy. Trust me, I'm in my 20s and there's a lot to love.
"Don't You Want to Read Real Books?"
I'm sorry, do you think this book in my hand is make believe? Romance novels might not be required high school reading or highly acclaimed literature, but they still have words, pages, characters, plots, and everything that "real" books have to offer.
"Is There Even a Plot?"
There's a lot of storytelling in romance novels, contrary to popular belief. It's not all stolen glances, hidden kisses, and unspoken love. There are complicated pasts, family dramas, and complex relationships that make for a great plot.
"Aren't They All the Same?
Is every science -fiction book the same, or every fantasy book? Like every other genre, romance novels are all different. Some have aspects of historical fiction, others involve the supernatural. Some have happy endings while others end in tears. No two romance books are the same — read a few and you'll see.
"I read Fifty Shades of Grey"
Yeah, hasn't everyone? But in all seriousness, Fifty Shades of Grey is not romance, and not everyone who reads romance novels are also into BDSM-filled novels. Don't assume because I love romance novels I also love E. L. James-style writing.
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