Romance Cliches That I Dislike (And Some That I Love!)

Ah, romance in fiction. I’ve got a serious love-hate relationship with it. On one hand, all of the cute moments have me begging for more. But on the other hand, one of the things that drives me crazy about romance in fiction is the sheer number of clichés I’ve read. Some of the clichés drive me crazier than others, and yet some I find myself asking for more of. Without further ado, here are three romance clichés that I dislike and three romance clichés that I love.

Dislike: Instantly Falling in Love

“And then their eyes met from across the room and they just knew that they were meant for each other…” It wouldn’t be entirely untruthful to nickname the cliché of “insta-love” as “Disney-love.” After all, nearly every Disney princess movie has moments of insta-love (although in Frozen, this cliché is flipped beautifully). Yes, attraction happens, but falling in love with someone in a matter of minutes is utterly ridiculous. 

This idea of “love at first sight” is not only unrealistic, but it also is super shallow (and not the smartest thing in real life, if you know what I mean). Who falls in love with someone after a glance from across a coffee shop or a quick conversation about the book you’re reading? How can you know it’s really love if all you know about the guy is that he has nice blue eyes? 

Love: Damsel in Distress

I LOVE THIS CLICHÉ SO MUCH. I blame it on the Disney princess movies that I will never get enough of. Just ask my siblings. But honestly, what can be more romantic than a prince saving his princess from a fire-breathing dragon, a poison-apple induced sleep, a sea-witch, or an evil stepmother?I’M KIDDING I’M BEING SARCASTIC. Or am I? 😉 

I like this cliché because it totally goes against the “strong” women cliché (check out this post to see my rant thoughts). However, I will say that sometimes, this cliché can make women look weak. It has to be done right, or not at all.

Dislike: Love Triangles

Newsflash: LOVE TRIANGLES ARE KINDA DONE. If I have to pick up another book with a love triangle in it, I might cry. Yes, love triangles can be done well (or even be enjoyable), but honestly, we’ve seen it a thousand times before. Nothing seems to have changed. It’s so easy to figure out which guy the girl is going to pick! Not only are love triangles super predictable, but they add weak (and unneeded!) tension to the plot. 

There have been books I’ve read that have love triangles in them just to have love triangles. The love triangle adds nothing substantial to the plot. In some cases, all of that unneeded baggage about which boy the main character is going to the dance with can take away from the story. I don’t want to know about Suzy’s inner turmoil about Eddie and Bob. I want to care about something more than the love triangle in a book and see something more original, something more real. 

Love: Hate to Love

Don’t you love it when two characters start out hating each others’ guts and then end up falling madly in love? I know that I do! Not only is it slightly humorous, but it is also so stinking adorable when it does happen. ESPECIALLY if a good dose of sarcasm is thrown in the mix. For example, Darcy and Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is my favorite hate-to-love relationship. Another book that had a great hate-to-love relationship was Unblemished by Sara Ella (read my review by clicking here). Read it and then we can fangirl together, okay? =)

Dislike: Insecure Girl Meets Prince Charming

This cliché is so common it’s not even funny. We go from a main character thinking that nobody loves them to suddenly meeting their “true love” and then suddenly having extremely high self-esteem levels. In this cliché, characters feel worthless without their love interest. But when Prince Charming comes along, the mirror is no longer as harsh. The critics’ voices become muted. They’re happier. They’re content. They feel worth something, now that someone so wonderful loves them. This is cute, but isn’t this cliché teaching readers to find their worth in what others think of them? 

Instead of encouraging readers to find their worth in what the Lord thinks of them and the beautiful people He made them to be, this cliché teaches readers that their worth comes from having a Prince Charming to tell them how lovely they are. Truthfully, our worth comes from the God who created us and loves us more than we can imagine, not a tall, dark and handsome guy. 

Love: Romeo and Juliet

What I mean by Romeo and Juliet is FORBIDDEN LOVE. But this cliché does need to meet some conditions for me to love it. For example, I actually have to LIKE the characters. Other conditions include their love being forbidden for a good reason. For example, a family feud is not a good reason to not fall in love. Just saying. Another condition is that I would like for it to have a happy ending (I’m looking at you, Shakesepeare). Please. Happily ever afters make me VERY happy. 

What are some romance clichés that you love? What are some that you hate?

8 thoughts on “Romance Cliches That I Dislike (And Some That I Love!)

  1. Totally agree with you on the love triangles, so boring! I love a marriage of convenience in historical settings, where two characters (usually who hate each other a bit) have to spend time together for *reasons* and slowly realise they were made for each other – I guess that’s hate to love in a way, but it can also just be awkward to love, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marriage of convenience definitely is a fun cliché! It has that hate to love or awkward to love feel that I adore. =) And the historical settings always make it even better!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 100% agree on the love triangles!! I can hardly get one guy to look at me seriously; how are all of these girls in books having TWO?! (Okay, mostly kidding, but STILL)

    I also really don’t like the insecure guy story, though there have been some well done ones.

    I guess all that to say, cliches are fun, but at the end of the day, that’s all they are: cliches. They’re only fun to read if they’re done well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha ITS SO TRUE. xD And having two guys falling in love with you at the same time?
      Yes, there definitely have been some well done versions of that cliché. It just bothers me that what it communicates is that one can’t be confident and not have a significant other.
      I completely agree with you! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Romeo and Juliet and Hate to Love to DEATH. also, semi unpopular but any of the less seen tropes like arranged marriage, convenience marriage, already in love when the book starts, married quickly in book … I LOVE THEM. I am really interested in trying to explore more facets of romance in my own stories. I hate love triangles so much, though, allow me to say. Because usually it’s just the main character girl being indecisive and idiotic. There’s a high chance I will decide not to read a book just because it has a love triangle in it #sorrynotsorry

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ME TOO. I could read hate to love romances ALL DAY. xD I like those tropes too! Probably because they usually end up as a sort of hate to love and they can just be so cute! I totally agree, love triangles are basically the main girl being stupid. I really only like love triangles if they’re love triangles for a legitimate reason, if that makes sense?


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