Valentine's Day is fast approaching, so it's only appropriate that this week's topic is about the things we like and hate in fictional romances.
Let's start with my dislikes because of reasons.
ACTUAL WORST MAKE IT GO AWAY.
2. Going from meeting to engagement inside two weeks
Okay, so this is kind of more like 1a, but whatever. This tends to be a fairly common feature of chick lit and authors like Nora Roberts. And whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. YOU BARELY KNOW EACH OTHER PLEASE STOP. Or, you know, at least plan to get married in like two years...
3. Love triangles
Can these just stop being a thing forever and always? Because it's NEVER actually a love triangle. At best, it's a love V. At worst, it's a couple who are in love and the douchey butthurt white boy who believes in the friendzone and won't take no for an answer. Someday, I'm going to write a book featuring a REAL love triangle, where the girl dithers over the two guys for so long that they abandon her in favour of each other.
4. Ignoring everything in their life but the love interest
Look, I get that new relationships are exciting and you're in the nauseating love bubble, blah blah blah. But friends and family are important too. (Yes, I hate this just as much in real life as I do in fiction)
5. Possessive jealousy bullshit
Oh my God, there are no words for how much I hate it when a female character feels the need to insist to her love interest that another guy is just a friend. Or when the love interest gets all "SHE IS MINE". Bitch, please. SHE is not an object. Maybe chill on the testosterone and let her speak.
Aaaaaaand now onto my likes!
1. Slow burn
Oh my Lord, the slow burn. When done right, it's absolutely fabulous though sometimes it feels like absolute torture for the reader.
2. The friends to lovers trope
This is one of my favourites. Not so much the "he's liked me for years, and I finally feel the same" thing, because that one doesn't really work for me. But the friendship growing and changing over time into something romantic? (*cough* Ron and Hermione *cough*) YES PLEASE.
3. The "we've grown up together" realisation
Okay, sure, it's related to #2 pretty closely. But this one is more of a casual acquaintances boy-next-door sort of a thing, and it can be fabulous when it's done right. Especially when it's the "we grew up together but I haven't seen you in five years and now you're totally hot" thing.
4. Sass and humour
There's nothing worse than a romantic couple who are ALL SERIOUS ALL THE TIME. But couples who joke around and are totally sassy with each other? This is of the good.
5. Using Your Words
I swear, there's nothing I hate more than a misunderstanding that could easily have been avoided with a couple of simple sentences. On the other hand, I absolutely adore it when people have ACTUAL CONVERSATIONS about their fears and concerns and work through things together.
What's on your list?