The “Lies” Romance Novels Taught Me

Ok, so lies is kinda a strong word but stay with me…I started reading romance at the tender age of 14 and I was way too shy to have dated anyone and that would remain the story for several more years. So I learned a lot about relationships, love, and sex from reading romance novels all through my teen years. I adore the romance genre, but I’m sure we all have things that we read repeatedly in novels only to discover it doesn’t quite work that way in real life. So here are a few lessons I truly learned once I got some life experience under my belt.

The Lies Romance Novels Taught Me


Lie: Opposites Always Attract

Now I’m not talking about the introvert and extrovert opposites but the full on opposites. Think the country boy who never leaves the farm and the city girl who can’t live without her Chinese take out. In romance they always find a way to conquer their differences and make meaningful sacrifices to be together but in real life, I’ve found this is often a recipe for disaster. We are what we are and trying to fit a square peg and a round peg into a triangle hole together just isn’t going to work.


Lie: Sex is Smooth and Instinctive

So, obviously sex scenes are romanticized in books because it’s all about the fantasy but I never realized just how idealized they were until I personally started having sex. I mean it’s messy, sweaty, and sometimes you don’t know where to put your arm — also foot cramps. Real sex can be wildly different from what’s shown in romance books and I love both the romanticized version and the real one.


Lie: Someone’s Will & Testament Can Force You To Marry

I love a good arranged marriage trope as much as the next romance reader but I’ll admit it took me way too long to realize that Great Aunt Gertrude couldn’t force me to marry just to keep my stake in the family business. This has to be one of the craziest liberties that romance has taken when it comes to realism and I love it’s place in books but in real life we have to find a spouse the good old fashioned way.


Lie: The Eyes Tell You Everything

After so many years of reading romances I’m a little concerned for how many characters have flaring eyes and constantly dilating pupils. I mean they do say the eyes are the window to the soul but it amazes me how much one character will “see” in the eyes of another character. I mean, I personally have never seen a wave of tortured sadness sweep across someone’s eyes but maybe I’m just not looking close enough.


Lie: Clothes Just Rip Right Off a Person

This has always been my favorite because romances love a good sex scene where the man rips off a woman’s shirt, dress, or underwear. Sadly, most clothes are made stronger than this — unless you’re dating someone with super human strength or you’re pre-ripping your clothes. If you want some good laughs, then check out Talia Hibbert’s twitter thread about testing this action in real life.


What “lies” did you learn from romance novels?

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