Is Romance in books unrealistic?

11:21 AM

the notebook

Today I get to witness my grandbig* marry her best friend (her boyfriend since 6th grade).  Seeing them together always reminds me that true love does exist and even gives me hope that we all have a soul mate.  But while I've dated a lot in high school and college I kind of gave up on trying to find love when I moved home after graduating.  This past year I started reading lots of YA -the Hunger Games was my gateway to YA.  And I started to look at how love was portrayed in these YA books.  I made lots of observations and would like to share how I think YA books (and even adult fiction) are very unrealistic in the love department.  We maybe not be reading fairy tales like Cinderella every night before bed, but are we reading books that are setting us up for unrealistic expectations and disappointment? 

Lets start with 50 Shades of Grey.  It's obviously adult fiction, but while reading I kept saying "is this author for real?".  Don't get me wrong I liked the series and it was entertaining, but it is highly unrealistic.  One thing I learned from college was that you cannot change a guy into something you wished he was.  I've dated plenty of guys that I've tried to change.  Whether it was an addiction I wanted them to quit, trying to get them to care more, or trying to stop their  verbal abuse.  I've found that 99% of the time it's impossible to change a guy.  So when Ana waltzes into Christian's life and makes him give up his lifestyle that he's had for ten years (a lifestyle that is practically an addiction) I find it very unrealistic.  I don't want girls to read this and think well my boyfriend hits me, but Ana changed Christian so maybe I can change my guy.  (Yes that's a very dramatic example, but you get my point).  Don't even get me started on girls being into controlling guys like Edward and Christian.  That's a whole other post topic.

What about the books where the guy and girl lock eyes and fall instantly in love (instalove as lots of bloggers call it).  I don't believe in love at first sight, maybe lust, but not love.  So when two characters fall for each other in 2 seconds and then claim love it makes me angry.  It gives girls unfair expectations that some day some hot guy will walk through the door at school or work look at them and say "I need to marry that girl someday".  Spoiler alert: guys don't think like that usually.

And finally what about the books that portray one guys as the ultimate boyfriend.  He does no wrong, he's hot and has perfect abs, he loves his family, he's practically a golden retriever at her beck and call anytime.  Let's look at a few examples,

Tucker from Unearthly
Peeta from The Hunger Games
Adam from Shatter Me
Noah from The Notebook

It is impossible for someone to be perfect and the fact that these guys don't really have any flaws bothered me.  

Okay, my rant is over.  But seriously, society is giving girls the idea that some perfect hot guy will walk into their life fall head over heals for them and change just to be with that girl forever and ever.  And while this does happen to some people the percentage is like 1% I bet.  And we all know how small the 1% is #OccupyWallStreet lol.  So while I'm at this wedding today I'll be watching girls swoon over guys hoping that they'll sweep them off their feet onto the dance floor and marry them someday, I'll be the one with no expectations having fun.  But for the cynical like me, it's important to remember that love does exist.  That's why I love weddings so much because they remind me that love is real.  It's by no means perfect, but it's real.  As long as we keep that mindset and don't let movies and books blur our reality I think we'll be just fine.  

*Definition of grandbig= in a sororotiy your "big sister" is someone you choose as a mentor and close friend.  Her big sister then becomes your grandbig.  Everyone has a greek family.

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