My Favorite Romance Tropes (Pt.1)

I have no problem with cliches. They're cute and work in stories really well. Some of the most popular forms of cliches are tropes. As I have read my fair share of romance stories and seen quite a few Rom-Com's, I have spotted a few tropes that tend to pop-up all the time. Since there are literally thousands of tropes to chose from, this will become a series of posts where I break down the good, the bad, and the disturbing of specific tropes. Today, I'm focusing on my top favorite Romance tropes.

1. Enemies to Lovers
Since I'm a pretty optimistic person, I love seeing the silver-lining in any situation, and the enemies to lovers trope provides that release for me. The basic principle of this trope is self-explanatory: the couple starts out hating each other; whether that be because of a past romance where one felt scorned or because of a childhood grudge against one another. As the story progresses, they see the positive traits in each other and grow closer, eventually becoming lovers. Love comes from learning about one-another and finding those qualities that make the thought of spending the rest of your lives together bearable. This trope has two characters look deep inside each other to find the hidden layers of their potential lover, thus making them fall in love with their personality. One good example of this is Pippa Grant's novel Mister McHottie found in the Amazon Kindle store.

2. Childhood Friends
I love this trope because it's literally a classic. I can't count the number of times I've met an older couple who has been together since they were children. Every time they tell their story, I suck-up the details like a child enjoying their favorite lollipop. The idea that someone can find their soul-mate when they are young shows how special love is. When translated into film or a novel, it can add some serious depth to a romance. Sometimes authors splits-up the characters at an early age and they reunite when their older. Sometimes the author shows the progression of their love story from childhood to adulthood. This is my personal favorite because it shows the highs and lows of their relationship. Most love stories stop once the couple finally gets together, but personally, I love it when a story shows the actual relationship. Sorry for the tangent, I just needed to get that off my chest. One of the best movies that shows this trope is In Your Eyes, which you can find on Netflix. It is one of those movies that stops right when the couple gets together, but, it is a good representation of this trope. A good book is Can't Hardly Breathe by Gena Showalter that does show the full (mostly) relationship which is found everywhere books are sold.

3. Damsel in Distress
This one can come in many different formats:
- the runaway from an abusive spouse/lover
- kidnapped and held as a hostage
- financial distress, etc.
A damsel can be any gender because all it entails is someone needing help. The main problem with this trope is when the damsels are being stupid and provide zero meaning to the plot. Also, a major pet-peeve of mine is when damsels could get out of the situation themselves, but chose not to because of plot convenience (i.e. waiting on the other person to save them). I like this trope because of the various ways an author can use it and because of the situations potential lovers find themselves in. Whether that be because one of the characters is the reason for the distress of the other or if they are actively trying to help them get over it, this trope provides a lot of room for character growth. It shows how loving someone involves helping one another in times of crisis and puts the phrase, "for better or worse," to the test. A good example of this trope at work is The Master by Kresley Cole which is found wherever books are sold.

4. Bet
This trope also has a lot of issues, mainly steaming from the fact that it starts as a lie. One of the love interests makes a bet with a friend or colleague that they can get a certain someone to sleep with them or fall in love within a time frame. However, by the end of the book (or movie), the love is real. I like this one because of the forced situation between the two lovers (wow, i just realized how many 'forced situations' I like. I wonder what that says about me as a person?). They have to spend time together so that the bet can be fulfilled and when the truth comes out, someone is going to have their feelings hurt. That means that if the character that started the bet wants to stay with their love interest, then they have to "man-up" and go fight for them. It shows forgiveness, if the other character takes them back, and development as a person. Love can happen in any situation, even an ugly one that involves deception. As an optimistic person, I think that something like this, as long as it doesn't have major repercussions, can be forgiven as long as the guilty party is genuinely sorry. Also, it shows that people are able to grow and learn from their mistakes. The most classic example of this trope is the movie How to Lose a Man in 10 Days, where both parties are in on a bet. A good book that also plays on all three previous tropes is Smart Tass by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff which is found on Amazon Kindle.

5. Beauty and the Beast
Disney's movie is, in fact, a trope. Some of the stories that utilize this trope aren't the best because it upholds the societal standards of beauty that excludes those who are "different". However, there is another version of "ugly" that this trope plays off of: outcast. The person who is different from typical society and is shunned by everyone for various reasons: parents, upbringing, residence, behavior, interests, powers, and yes, appearance. They are the ones who no one in their community would believe could find love, but they do; in the arms of the most popular and respected person in their society. Sometimes, in Disney's case, the "beauty" is also ostracized for his/her own reasons, but, they are more welcomed in the society than the "beast." I love this trope because it breaks stereotypes in the best way. It shows that anyone is capable of love and the old cliche "you can't judge a book by its cover." Everyone is unique and no one should have to conform to society in order to feel accepted. This trope shows that everyone can be accepted for who they are. During their love story, typically the characters will find that they have at least something in common, which is a beautiful thing because it shows that no matter who you are, everyone is connected to each other in some way. A good example of this is One True Mate 8: Night of the Beast by Lisa Ladew which is found on Amazon Kindle. (Books in this series can be read out of order, and I recommend the entire thing.)
              - Lady Silver


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