Least Favorite Romance Tropes (Pt.1)

Sorry about last week. It's been so crazy with mid-terms that I wasn't able to upload. I will try my best to not let this happen again.
Since my first post was about my favorite tropes in romance, I decided that today I would talk about my least favorite tropes. That only seems fair.

1) But Not Too Foreign
I took this name from a website called TV tropes because I couldn't think of a name for it, but this describes it perfectly. It's when a character, mainly male, has something about them that's from another country, such as being born there or being biracial, but they weren't raised there or identify as that other race. I have no problem with someone being biracial in media. In fact, it's one of the things I look forward to reading and watching because it shows diversity and that anyone can do anything, regardless of where they're from or their skin tone. However, I do have a problem with introducing an "exotic" person just to say there's diversity in a work without accurately portraying that culture. It feels too much like culture appropriation. It can also lead to stereotypes about that culture that just aren't true. If a creator wants to introduce someone of a different culture, then they need to research that culture beforehand so that it's authentic.

2) Nature Adores a Virgin
This name is also taken from TV tropes. I have no problem with a character, or anyone for that matter, being a virgin. It's the "only wanting a virgin" that I have a problem with. Realistically, a lot of people would rather have an experienced lover than a virgin, so a character only wanting one isn't believable. Also, it could be very belittling for the people who have had multiple partners because they feel like they aren't worthy of love. Sex shouldn't be something to be ashamed about: whether you are a virgin or not. If the story features a character who has to overcome the fact that their partner has been with multiple people, then that's fine because it shows acceptance of their partner and shows growth as a person. It shows that anyone can get over their prejudices if they want to. However, if a story shows someone actively seeking a virgin and finding one who meets all of their criteria, then I have an issue. Not only is it belittling, it offers no challenge for the characters and is just a fantasy with no substance.

3) Too Dumb to Live
This one is kind of self-explanatory. It's a character (mostly female) who has so little common sense that she NEEDS someone (romantic interest) to save her. The lover is typically very smart and has no problem controlling the other person's actions so that they don't get hurt. In fact, that's what makes the story so steamy, the control. Having a dominant person is not the issue here (because that could be very sexy). The issue is the fact that a human being has to have someone else chaperone them, otherwise they could literally die from their stupidity. The worst part is that sometimes this trait comes off as endearing and something their lover likes about them. In real life, I don't know anybody who would date someone who has no common sense (at least, not in a healthy way). This character becomes so dependent on their lover that they can't function without them, and that's unhealthy.

4) Cheating
Again, self-explanatory. At no time is cheating okay. If someone is in a toxic situation and finds a romantic interest, then my advice is to wait until you're out of that situation to peruse the relationship. That doesn't mean to stop all communication, it just means that nothing physical happens. Although, if you can't talk to someone without getting physical and you're in a relationship, then you need to stop talking to them. If a character is unhappy in a relationship, they don't need to cheat on their spouse. First, they try to talk about it. If that doesn't work, then leave and break up. This promotes the notion that cheating in certain circumstances is okay, and it's not. It can leave a scar on the victim that will stay for a very long time. It doesn't matter if someone cheated before so the other party is cheating for revenge. Either way, it's still wrong and there are other ways of making a story spicy without making someone a cheater.

5) You Need to Get Laid
Much like the first trope, this one revolves around how frequently someone has sex. Again, sex should not be something to be ashamed about. This trope is when someone is so cranky and horrible that everyone around them believes that if they just have sex, because either they haven't in a while or they never have before, they will be nicer. That's when their love interest shows up and, surprise, they are nicer after they have sex. I don't like this trope because it promotes the idea that sex makes everything better, which isn't true. It can be a wonderful and fun thing that makes life better for that moment, but it isn't the cure to all the world's ills. No one needs sex in order to be a good person. If the sex comes with love and that is what causes character development, then that's fine because it isn't the sex that made them change, it's love. Sex is meant to bond people and to express love (or sometimes just to have fun), it's not meant to cure a cranky attitude.

                 - Lady Silver


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