Top 10 LIES You Learn from Romance Novels

on May 2, 2012
I remember being 13. I even remember my first romance novel. It was a book about pirates that my aunt smuggled to me for a birthday present. "It's a good one. She's held captive on the ship until she falls in love with the captain." I was excited, interested, intrigued... and I totally didn't expect the lurid, intense love scenes that exploded about halfway through the book. "Gee golly!" thought I, "This is great! I can't wait to fall in love!"

Shortly afterwards, I fell into a terrible and naive pattern: I approached all of my teenage relationships with a "fairytale" mentality. I expected boys and men to be perfect, romantic heroes, even if they were only 18. I believed in this so completely that I actually projected the fairytale into the relationship -- even if it was one-sided and a little delusional.

It took quite a few heartbreaks and a bit of growing up to really understand why men seemed like heartless villains more than romantic heroes, and why I always seemed to be let down or disappointed. So for the younger crowd who's reading romance novels in high school (or even middle school/Jr. high), I'd like to pop a few bubbles for you and save you from a world of disappointment.

Here are the Top 10 LIES that we learn from romance novels!

10) One man can fulfill all of your needs.

LIES! You're a woman, and you will never have the same bond with a man as you will have with another woman. BOYS ARE NOT GIRLS so don't expect him to behave or understand you like a girl would! This is unrealistic and you will be very disappointed.

Also, try not to abandon all of your friends when you fall in love... because eventually when you and your "perfect" man start fighting and squabbling, you're going to need your friends to spend time with. Good relationships allow for each person to have plenty of friends.

9) Men will understand AND ANTICIPATE your emotions.

LIES! This might just be the biggest let down ever that girls have with guys. Some men are more in tune than others, but just consider -- boys don't know what it's like to be a girl, what it's like to yearn for romance, to seek out shelter and protection, or to be stuck on a crazy 1 month cycle. So learn how to explain up front what you're feeling and why you're mad about something, and if he doesn't know what to say, then help him work on his communication. Men are about as good at communicating as women are at growing beards.

8) Men are masters of the female body.

LIES! Men usually don't know a lot about physical stuff until they get a little older. Expect to be disappointed by s*x -- and embrace your role as a trainer! But it's okay, after you train him, he'll do exactly what you like and it won't even matter where he started at. Just be realistic. Bodies need to be learned.

7) Alpha male is always best.

LIES! It's a great fantasy escape.... What girl doesn't want a bunch of testosterone by her side? But realistically, it's the sweet, shy nerdy guys that will treat you like a queen. Also, don't date the playboy... men who sleep with a lot of women will continue to sleep with a lot of women, even after you're his girlfriend. Shy guys will treat you like a queen and remain completely loyal.

6) He will never let you down.

LIES! Of course your man will let you down. He will forget important dates, arrive late, buy you the wrong sandwich for lunch after 5 years, or say something insensitive about your weight. He's just a human and he doesn't live inside your head. The more easygoing and lighthearted you are, the better.

Also -- expect everyone to let you down eventually! Even your parents and friends. So go into a relationship looking for another flawed human being and not someone who's going to fix all of your problems. He can't do that -- no one can.

5) He will take care of you like a father.

LIES! Good men have a way of taking care of you.... They'll give you their jacket when it's cold, bring you lunch, surprise you with flowers, you know the drill. But don't expect him to show the maturity of a man in his 40s, 50s or 60s. You don't need that, anyway. Your boyfriend is not your "daddy." Strive to be strong and independent even while relying on him (just a little bit.) He's a shoulder to lean on, not a pony to ride!

4) Men are masters of seduction.

LIES! Guys don't know what they're doing! They don't know how to flirt with you, how to ask you out, how to sweet-talk you, and if they do, be very wary. Guys who are really interested in you will try to get to know you as a friend and hang out with you. Guys who just want to sweet talk and get you in the backseat of their car are only after one thing -- so be smart!

3) A kiss feels like a miniature explosion.

LIES! A lot of guys don't know how to kiss. Some guys don't even like it. Fact.

2) If you throw an emotional fit, he'll chase after you.

LIES! You can run off crying, but that doesn't mean he's going to run after you, especially if he's mad. Don't always be the girl who needs to be saved. Guys like feeling like a hero, but they don't want to be your therapist, so don't go crazy, it's very unattractive! If you're throwing a fit every weekend, you're probably "The Crazy Girlfriend."

1) Love will bring you happiness.


If you read a ton of romance novels, you'd think that the only way for a woman to find happiness is to fall in love. It just isn't true. A lot of times, the opposite happens: we get to a really good, happy place in our life, and then surprise, we find love.


iliana.c said...

nice article! as someone who has read romance novels since 13 years old, i can say that these things are all definitely fair critiques of the stereotypes portrayed in them. i've def had to let some of these stereotypes go, but i can say that when u find the right guy, the reality is so much better than any novel could ever be =)

Runaway Pen said...

I agree Iliana! When I first realized that the "Alpha male" stereotype was really just a crazy female fantasy, I found it hard to imagine what real love could be like... but the friendship and genuine attraction you have with the right guy is the best feeling in the world. :)

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