9 Romance Novel Tropes I Swoon Over In Fiction [But Side-Eye IRL!]

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9 Romance Novel Tropes I Swoon Over In Fiction

9 Romance Novel Tropes I Swoon Over In Fiction

Romance novels are my guilty pleasure. But sometimes I wonder what I'd do if what I'm reading actually happened to me in real life. Some of them would give me serious butterflies, but others? It would either creep me out or annoy me to no end. 

They can be a bit cringey, overwhelming, and borderline alarming. Here are nine of my favorite romance novel tropes that make me swoon in fiction but roll my eyes in real life.

1. The "Alpha Male" Trope

The domineering, possessive alpha male can be alluring and hot in the books. But in real life? Just no. A man who can't respect my independence and tries to control everything isn't sexy; it's toxic.

2. Insta-love

While the idea of two people instantly recognizing their soulmates is swoon-worthy in novels, solid relationships take time and effort to develop in reality. Give me that slow-burn connection any day. I'd be really scared to be with someone I barely know. I mean, he could be a serial killer, you know?

(Before Sunrise is one of my all time favorite romantic movies, and it's the ultimate and cutest Insta-love trope).

before sunrise gif

3. Misunderstandings that Last Forever

Dude, just talk to her. Communication is key. I'd be frustrated if a tiny misunderstanding led to a prolonged breakup in real life, like it does in many romance plots.

Mr Darcy gif

4. Bad Boy Transformation

I believe a person will change if he wants to, not because someone made him/her. It's lovely when it happens in the book. The unraveling and the reformation of the rake are charming. But I'll have trust issues if someone I know to have a reputation will swear to me I'm different, and I made him change.

Fave Book with Bad Boy Transformation

Jax Teller gif

5. The Persistent Suitor

In novels, it's portrayed as romantic that someone never gives up on their love interest, even if initially rejected. In reality, persistence can easily cross into the territory of not respecting boundaries. It borders on stalking and obsession.

romance trope - persistent suitor

6. Jealousy as a Sign of Love

A little bit of jealousy might be endearing in a story, but in real life, excessive jealousy can be suffocating and problematic. And personally, that is insulting because you don't trust me enough. I would feel like you're limiting me from being friends with or at least talking to people. 

    Fave Authors Who Write with Neanderthal, Territorial, Jealous Characters:

    jealous guy gif

    7. Marrying After a Week

    Whirlwind romances in books? Adorable. In real life? It might work for some, but I believe in getting to know someone deeply before making that kind of commitment. It's like Insta-love but on a different level. It's still good to marry your best friend.

    frozen gif

    8. Fake Dating

    I'm a massive fan of this trope in books. That moment when the characters realize and reveal that it's not pretend anymore? Sign me up! Pretending to be a couple for some reason might lead to real feelings in books, but it's a tricky foundation for a genuine relationship in reality. 

    Fave Fake Dating Books

    fake dating trope

    9. Grumpy Boss

    It centers around a boss who is usually stern, cold, or distant, but through the course of the romance, reveals a more vulnerable and passionate side. There is nothing cute or charming in a boss who seems to enjoy making your work doubly hard. Especially those who get off in humiliating or contradicting you. But yes, I'll read and swoon over it in books. Every. Single. Time.

    Fave Grumpy Boss Books

    Grumpy Boss

    9. Enemies to Lovers

    This is usually what happens in Alpha-hole characters. Because they would start on the wrong foot and then realize they're not as bad as they seem. So they eventually fall in love. In reality, once I find you annoying, it's next to impossible to change my mind. But in romance novels, I don't hesitate to add this to my Kindle. I just love the tension, and the banters are too funny!

    Fave Enemies to Lovers Books

    All GIFs from Giphy

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    These romance novels remain my cherished escapism. They take me into worlds where everything magically falls into place by the last page. Just need to remember to leave those dramatic tropes in the pages and live our best lives on our own terms. 

    What things do you find endearing and swoon-worthy in fiction but can't stand in real life?

    I'll keep adding books here as I continue my romance novels era, so you can bookmark this page or follow me on Instagram (or bookstagram as they call it 😏) for more book recs, reviews, and ravings.

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    1. Yeah, there are so many things that are cute in fiction but not so much in actual life.

    2. Your reflection on these tropes is spot on. While romance novels provide an escape, it's crucial to remember that real relationships thrive on understanding, open communication, and mutual respect. Thanks for sharing your thoughts – it's a reminder that fiction and reality don't always align!

    3. I perfect slow burn connections, too. I love it when you're rooting for them to realise they are perfect for each other!

      Corinne x

    4. What a fun post! I enjoyed reading about these different tropes and your examples! Thanks for sharing.

    5. Enjoy your romance novels ~

      Wishing you good health, laugther and love in your days,
      A ShutterBug Explores,
      aka (A Creative Harbor)

    6. Enemies to lovers if my favorite trope.

    7. Misunderstandings can be a real thing in relatioinships and family as well. You're right, just talk to the other person. Good advice. : )


    8. Romance novels are not my kind of literature, but I agree, especially misunderstandings that never ending are annoying.

    9. Before Sunrise is a favorite of mine. I haven't seen it in a while- and this is reminding me to curl up on the couch and watch it again soon. Much overdue. Thanks for the reminder. :)

    10. This is SO true, they may work in the movies like who does't swoon over Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders but IRL that kind of personality would be way too much to deal with.

      Allie of

    11. Romance novels are not typically my favorite genre, as I prefer to read books that are centered around adventure and suspense. Misunderstandings are used too often— they simply become annoying and tiresome.