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The Age of Non-Romance

Ah. Valentine’s day. it’s come. It’s going. I haven’t had to defend my singleness today, which means I won’t be blogging about such for once (yayyy). It didn’t send me into a Jane Austen related spin in which I watch the movies or something. Actually, I spent my day curled up watching Grimm. That’s what I might even call the opposite of romantic, depending who you’re with.

No… my mind tonight is on the whole stupid genre of romance novels. Okay. I shouldn’t call it stupid because even I succumb to them sometimes. And even like them on occasion. Rarely, but you get the picture.

To stay on topic. I was in 6th grade the first time I picked up a romance novel. To be fair: it was one of those love inspired ones. They’re the Christianized versions of the other series. My mom was wary but she let read on. Ok. Fine. I had to talk her into it. Lots of pleading. She didn’t think I was ready yet, because I was too young for love and romance and whatnot.

I probably was. But plunge on I did. and I devoured those books. Each and every one of them. Under the watchful eye of my mother I grew into insprirational romances. When she wasn’t looking I somehow slid into the other stuff, not knowing what it was and being slightly disgusted by it. Mostly because at the time I also read a lot of mystery stuff and checked out random things from the library. But that’s besides the point.

Then in high school I discovered Debbie Macomber. Hm. Have you seen the movie Mrs. Miracle? That movie is freaking adorable. It made me want to go out and buy the book. It also made me want to read everything by her. I used to love her books. Key word: used. past tense.

I’ve barely touched a hardcore romance novel in about two years or so. There’s been other stuff to explore. And I’m not counting YA books in this particular post because, while they include romance, they are not hardcore adult, all about sex, romance. If that makes sense.

So a few weeks ago I was book shopping and I had an opportunity to buy a few of her books. So I did. Imagine my mind while I was reading the book. “I can’t. I just can’t. this is a relationship? no. no. no. no. no.” to put it another way the two main characters hated each other for most of the book but they kept getting put into hypersexualized situations and having hot make out/ grabby sessions. So, at the end of the novel the guy decides to be all chivalric and marry her before having sex, when I’m pretty sure he only wanted to marry her for sex (because beforehand he had been a total ladies man sleeping with whatever he could get his hands on). It became worse when I realized almost all of Macomber’s books were like this: two characters get married just so they can do it.

Do you see my problem? I can’t take it anymore. I can’t read romances anymore when they’re like this. It’s all about wanting in somebody’s pants and not getting to actually freaking getting to know them.

It bugs me when teens can have better romances in dystopian futures when adults in the present can’t even achieve such simple goals. It makes me cringe. On the plus side, I can now get rid of about 10 books from my personal library.

Of course, that’s just Macomber’s books. Don’t even get me started on the hardcore stuff. I can’t take it.

So I’m stepping down for awhile from the romance. goodness knows I probably won’t be stepping back up to it, either. But life will go on. And there’s many many more books out there.

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3 thoughts on “The Age of Non-Romance

  1. I can totally understand your complaints. Most romance novels aren’t about developing a healthy relationship, they are about “chemistry”. In the real world, basing a relationship off of chemistry alone can lead to such tragic heartbreak, since after the hormones wane the two people have to figure out how to actually live together. And imagine, in a relationship where two people hate each other and the ONLY thing that works is the sex! Yikes!

    1. During the particular novel I was complaining about, I think that the author tried to show that there was a change, but all I really got out of the “change” was that the woman didn’t see the guy as a monster anymore. I didn’t see any change whatsoever in the guy. I’m just pretty sure he was horny and respected the fact that the female was a virgin. Actually, not even that. Kind of like “well… I’ve waited this long. I can wait another week. do it properly”
      I just cringed my was through it.

      I also know that Macomber’s Catholicism plays a huge part in how she writes two characters deciding to wait. But for the most part I think it just ends up being harmful.

      1. Yeah, it makes sense that her Catholicism would color what she thinks of as a healthy relationship. But so much romance literature is built off of the assumption that women can (and should) seek to change their romantic partners to prove their love- and that is such an unhealthy idea!

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