If you're a romance reader, then you depart from your house every morning with not only your keys, phone, and wallet, but a new novel in hand, but an arsenal full of perfect responses to romance haters. No matter where you go or who you see, you're bound to get in an argument about your reading choices, but if you've prepared a defense, then you're ready for the inevitable battle.
Since the dawn of books, readers and writers alike have been critical and judgmental of the romance genre. There's a sense that those who read it are desperate, dumb, or frequently single, and those who write it are merely unimaginative typists working off the same old script. While sticks and stones can break bones, words aren't supposed to hurt — but trust a romance lover when we say, they do. The constant butt of reading-related jokes and literary digs, romance readers and writers have had to grow a thick skin to keep the hater's persistent comments rolling off our backs. Luckily, there are plenty of love stories, heartaches, and whirlwind romances to keep us busy.
Haters are going to hate, but if you're going to love romance books, you're going to have to be prepared to defend them, too.
1. "Why are you so cold-hearted?"
Romance haters think that all romance lovers have their heads in the clouds and their hearts on their sleeve, but the next time one tries to point that out, ask turn the question around on them.
Perfect response to: "Fairy tale endings never really happen."
2. "Have you no imagination?"
When haters ask you, "you know that's not real, right?"— a dumb question I hear all too often — ask them this in response. Maybe they don't like romance because they have no imagination, or maybe because they're a jerk. Either way, you're not the problem, they are.
Perfect response to: "You know that's not real, right?"
3. "If romance is so terrible, why do so many people read it?"
You may think romance is terrible, but the facts don't lie. Romance makes up one of the largest categories published in fiction each year, and romance novels are frequently on the bestseller list. So, if its so awful, why do so many other people like it, huh?
Perfect response to: "How can you read such terrible books?"
4. "Reading is my hobby, not my profession."
Some people go to the gym, some people binge watch Netflix, and others read romance novels for their relaxing escape. If someone hassles you about not reading literature with a capital "L," just remind them your reading is for fun.
Perfect response to: "Don't you want to read real books?"
5. "Sex is a part of life. Learn to enjoy it."
Thanks to wildly popular books like Fifty Shades of Grey , romance haters all think the same thing: romance books are smutty, dirty porn. The truth is, romance books vary vastly in content, including sex, but even if they did include some explicit scenes, what's so wrong with that?
Perfect response to: "Isn't all romance just porn?"
6. "Don't knock it until you've tried it."
If someone if going to try and criticize your choices, find out how informed they are first. If they've never even read a romance novel, then you have an opportunity to share one with them! And you can finally change their mind about the genre.
Perfect response to: "I've never read romance, but it all seems terrible."
7. "Female pleasure is just as important as male pleasure."
Romance novels are frequently written off as "chick books" because of the content, both the romance and the sex. To haters who use this as a reason not to like the genre, I say, what's wrong with a little attention to women? We deserve pleasure just as much as the millions of men who play video games, go golfing with friends, or partake in activities that are typically "all about men." Ladies need an outlet, too.
Perfect response to: "It's all about chicks."
8. "Fantasy is healthy."
If someone tries to hate on you for enjoying a fun, fictional story, remind them how good it is to let a little fantasy into your life. From books to movies, video games to music, our daily lives are full of opportunities to leave reality for a while. What's so wrong with doing it with a romance novel?
Perfect response to: "You're stuck in a world of make-believe."
9. "Don't judge a book by its cover — especially a romance book cover."
Listen, we know how the romance cover comes off. Bare-chested men, full-bussomed women — trust us, we know how it looks. But as the age old saying goings, you can't judge a book by its cover. It's what's on the inside (usually drama, romance, mystery, and true love) that counts.
Perfect response to: "They just seem so cheesy."
10. "Keep your opinion to yourself."
Perfect response to: Anything and everything.
Beginning on August 1, Bustle will host Romance Novel Month, a celebration and examination of the romance novel genre. But don't worry, romance readers: the coverage won't end in August. We're proud to support romance novels, and we will continue to do so all year long.
Images: Memegenerator; Giphy (11)