Romance is this freaking huge part of kind of everything to a lot of people. I mean, I’m sure that I could put it more poetically than that, but I think I hit the nail on the head with that one.
Now, I could totally go in-depth with this, and talk about people and psychological issues surrounding love and whatnot, but I want to speak of romance in a purely literary sense.
If I pick up any YA, general fiction, or mystery book made in the last forty years, there’s a pretty big chance that it will at least feature a romantic sub-plot or two. A lot of times (especially in YA and general/mainstream fiction), a relationship is the center that the book revolves around. It happens.
It’s especially bad [and I use the term ‘bad’ really loosely] in TV. I mean, I watch a lot of shows. Some of them are made for teens, others for young adults and still others for general audiences or whatever other target audiences marketing people have discovered (I mean, they can come up with some pretty crazy stuff. Like, This year, we want this show’s target audience to be seventeen year old boys who have dropped out of high school but had amazing potential while in it. Also, pregnant twelve year olds. Like. What?). ANYWAY, a lot of these shows are like, “CAN’T HAVE A TV PLOT WITHOUT SOME ROMANTIC ANGST”.
And really, it’s great and all, don’t get me wrong. Like I said, romantic stuff is a big part of some people’s lives and whatever. It’s engaging, you start to feel for these characters, all that. It’s great for ratings and book sales.
But we, as authors or TV script writers or producers or anything of the sort, don’t portray real love often enough. We [and by ‘we’, I mean ‘they’, but I don’t want to present them as something bad. I don’t like Us vs. They statements, sooo.] stick to what we’ve read in other books, seen in other movies and TV shows, to what we know the audience is okay with.
And the audience accepts the love that’s portrayed. Maybe it’s all the built-up angsty love, or the I just met you but I love you so let’s get married or the friends who don’t want to be just friends and they all know it but they don’t do anything about it, or maybe even semi-emotionally abusive relationships (that the audience often defends – “He’s only trying to make her better” or more common, “She can’t be abusive! It’s not abuse if she’s a girl!”).
And a lot of us love watching these things. We laugh when they are happy and cry when they break up or whatever.
And then we expect our relationships with other people – not just lovers, mind you, but with parents or best friends or acquaintances or crushes – to mirror the relationships that we see on TV, and a lot of times, it just isn’t the case.
All too often, we don’t tell the truth about these things, because until we meet it, we don’t know what the truth is. We’ve just got all these jumbled up ideas in our heads from the Disney movies we watched as kids and never really stopped watching as we grew.
So don’t tell me about love. Don’t tell me that in order for love to occur, the person has to be sporty and perfect, or artsy and eternally flawed. Don’t tell me that love conquers all or that the first person you ever ‘love’ will be your soul mate. Don’t tell me that true love is endless or that love is what the world revolves around. Don’t tell me about love.
Because sometimes it’s just not true.
Anyway, I know this post is long, and I’m not entirely sure if it made any sense at all, as I’m running on only a few hours of sleep and also all my creative energies are being burned up because of NaNo (10k behind, I’ll catch up eventually).
I love you. I’ll write soon.