Don’t Tell Me About Love.

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.



15 comments on “Don’t Tell Me About Love.

  1. I think that love isn’t something artists put into what they make, their art maybe, because it’s what they’ve seen, because it’s what they’ve read or seen or watched before. I think that when romance is added to a novel it is done to make it human. Everyone has fallen in love, had their heart broken it’s something we all understand, yeah. But I think, even more to it than that, is the fact that it’s always going to exist, it’s always going to be around. More to it than that even, there are so many ways a love story goes and that has to do with plot and character and life, and the way that they all play together. Love is something you can always come back to, circle above in a helicopter, wish for, want, watch from above. It changes. It breaks your heart some days and lifts you up other days. Everyone feels it–shows it–differently. In every story you write, in every story that you give a character love, if you do it right, it’s not repetitive, it’s isn’t preachy. Love shows you who your characters are. They give a strength to the hero, and a weakness to the villain. It’s an element of a story, not a topic.

    It’s in YA because it’s something that teenagers run into again and again in the world they have yet to come, like the road runner in the cartoon. IT’s what teenage girls long for and what teenage boys don’t understand. It’s deep and it’s the most real thing–most beautiful thing that I think anyone can write about because when you have talent, the love has talent too. Love isn’t something Disney can promote, I don’t think. Love is made out of a tin foil hearts cut on valentines day, and emotions and a real general look at the world and what hold humans together. Because love is really the only thing that does. Of course, all this is coming from a fifteen year old girl that’s never been a relationship, so take it with a grain of salt.

    • I get all of that. I’m too sleepy to give a really coherent reply, but I get it all. I just think, love isn’t always full of tin foil hears and one night spent with your kind-of friend’s ex or spending weeks searching for someone that you think you’ve been in love with for so long but really it was just the idea of them.
      There’s a nastier side to love too. And I feel like it isn’t always accurately portrayed. Love isn’t always as beautiful as it seems. A diamond wristwatch is beautiful on the outside, but you can’t see all the wires and gears and scratches on the inside, and love’s a little bit like that.

  2. Love tastes like shit. Actually, no. Love is shit that you know is shit but can’t help wanting eat anyway, because it’s really strong shit. Love is the burning feeling on your mouth when you eat the pizza too fast from the box. Love is earwax and the pheromonal concave it comes out of. Love is living life but also living death, because love conquers all and sometimes whatever it conquers isn’t necessarily anything that needed to be conquered. Love is a timebomb made of puppies.

  3. Love is when you look at someone and you don’t want to be anywhere else.
    That’s all I have to say about that.

  4. I like flowers. You give them love, and they flourish.
    So unlike people.

  5. I don’t know what love is, but this is what I do know:

    1. Love must be fed. Then it will grow.
    2. Love is hard. Hard to deal with, hard to understand, hard to like, hard to hate.
    3. Love cannot be forced.
    4. Love is different for everyone.
    5. Love is universal.
    6. Love is, after air, water, food, and shelter, the most important thing in the universe.
    7. Love has many forms.
    8. Love is beautiful.
    9. Love is ugly.
    10. Love is all-powerful. If you love something– anything, anyone– you can do anything.

    (Sorry for late reply. Just now getting through my emails and updates. :) )

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