Am I Obsessed With Romance? (Ft. Disney)

Hello everyone!! 

Another month, another discussion.

And this one relates to it being Valentine’s Day!! So Happy Valentine’s Everyone!

It is about…Romance *magical music* !!

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I think you will have certainly heard about it because society loves to talk about romance. Love is truly in the air. In fact it is in EVERYTHING.

So is love magical? Yes.

Powerful? Yes.

Timeless? Yes.

Overdone? I’m not sure.

This lead to me thinking, am I obsessed with love? Because there was this advert that was like 10 seconds long and had no dialogue but it had a woman and a man and I really shipped them from a freaking 10 second advert. 

*cue the discussion*

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ROMANCE IN BOOKS

 

108 books out of 130 books (that’s 83%) on my shelves contain a main romantic relationship (as in the main characters are heavily involved). See romance is popular.

This also reflects society as society loves ‘love’. We, as a whole, are obsessed with celebrities love lives (omg did you hear that couple broke up. Wow romance is dead). We listens to love songs on repeat (singing the shower ‘my heart was made for loving you’) and romantic comedies are classics (Bridget Jones became the single icon despite her story revolving around men). And many other facts. Oh and also that there is a day that is built around love (St. Valentine’s anyone) and the wedding industry is huge. (Dollar dollar dollar). Love is the question everyone focuses on.

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Yeah, love is a big thing.

So good or bad?

Good.

To put it simply, I pretty much love stories about love. I think love can be one of the most talked about things and still be underrated. It makes little things big and it is extraordinary. Love in its very nature is a beautiful thing and I really do love to admire this. Love is courageous and encapsulates the beauty of humanity. One of my favourite quotes about love states why love is so grand.

 

“Loves makes the shy brave and the brave shy.”
-c. c. aurel

 

So, safe to say, I flipping love ‘love’.

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Me with ‘love’

 

SO WHY ON EARTH AM I DISCUSSING IT?

 

Because I think the industry shows that love ‘sells’ and I, as a consumer, show that love ‘sells’. I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all. BUT sometimes I think it seems like people only focus that love ‘sells’, forgetting that numerous other things that ‘sell’ too. (Obviously this could be due to many factors like (1) I’m picking up the wrong books, (2) I’m a love sap and I don’t want to stray from this so once again I am my own worst enemy)

But there are some genuine faults in this love-centric view and I’m going to go through some here and explain why I’m not as obsessed with love as the industry would indicate

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ROMANCE IS NOT THE ONLY FORM OF LOVE

 

Romance is special and finding someone you want to spend the rest of you live with is magical, I agree. But your partner isn’t the only one you spend your life with (I know lives vary so this can differ for everyone) but for me, I have family and friends. 

Firstly, Friendships are underplayed. There are many stories where friendships could take the focus of the stories (whether about break-ups, making friends or just togetherness). But they can be placed on the sidelines for a romance. But friendships are capable of grand love stories too. Give me all the strong friendships at the centre of stories. 

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Family relationships can be so important in people’s lives but where are the books?!?! I need them. All different kind of familial relationships from siblings (please read Shri’s amazing post on siblings, seriously read it NOW), parents (despite what books tell you YA parents can exist in books), grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. We are waiting.

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People ship different people all the time. I do too (I’m still in love with the idea of Draco and Luna). I think part of creating a story and letting it out in the world is that it becomes open to new interpretation and I love that it inspires new ideas. BUT sometimes there is compulsive shipping on what could be a great friendship and it can push the friendship apart because characters need to stop being close so it isn’t sexualised *cough cough* five feet apart meme. I think this can make friendship rare especially male/male friendship. This tumblr post illustrates my point quite well.

 


 

NOT EVERYONE WANTS ROMANCE OR A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP

 

person a: Do you want a romantic relationship?

person b: No

person a: That’s great

person b: Where are my books?

person a: I don’t know but I’m going to get you some sweetie

We need to stop tailoring every book to what one group of people want. There are so many amazing people out there who want different things and they deserve to be seen and appreciated. 


 

‘HAPPILY EVER AFTERS’ RELIANT ON ROMANCE

 

And they lived happily ever after… together.

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There is this trope where every character needs to be paired up and often the only way they get a happy ending is if they are smashing booty with someone but no.. Just no. 

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Authors when a male and female characters have spent one scene together

I can be a bit of a sucker for this trope as we have already covered that I love ‘love’ but just nope. This opinion that happiness is reliant on us being in a relationship has been fed to us by the media and the film industry and the book industry A LOT but no more. Because it just isn’t true. Let’s move on. ‘Happily ever afters’ rely on so many things, not your relationship status.


 

NOT EVERYONE EXPERIENCES RELATIONSHIPS

 

A lot of books on my shelves on YA meaning the characters are teenagers (even if they don’t act like it) but not everyone experiences romance in their teens. Can they be seen too?

Like I was definitely a nerd at school and I practised the art of being invisible. I wasn’t having a great love story and I was also busy. Relationships are work, ain’t everyone got time for that. Even the same with adulthood, not everyone’s life revolves around a relationship. Just let it go. Also another pet peeve is when the character’s lives revolve around the relationship like they have nothing else in their life, just no.

for the first time in forever on Tumblr

 


 

ROSE TINTED VIEW OF LOVE

 

Oh isn’t love grand and perfect? Nope, it is a real thing so of course it has complication where you are shouting at them because ‘they put the jar of herbs in the wrong place and why did you ever think you even liked them in the first place’ *no drama*. Love is genuinely full of lots of complexities. I don’t just mean cheating and break ups but so many things. It can be easy to make love seem perfect but it isn’t.

Image result for gifs disney mess"
love stories stepping over the complications to make it seem perfect just for the sake of perfection.

 

UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

 

One of the most imperfect parts of love is unhealthy relationships. Love can be dangerous and toxic relationships are a big thing that does exist from emotional abuse, physical abuse, manipulation, lying and so many things. I think books have a duty to not glorify these unhealthy relationships especially in YA as teens are getting impressions from these books. It is harmful and these relationships are cruel and should be shown as such in literature. 

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Me with abusive, controlling, unhealthy relationships

 

 

THE LACK OF DIVERSITY WITHIN LOVE

 

This links to a few previous points but although thing are changing, there is still a silent mould on what love should be from so many things like the gender role of the male and female in heterosexual relationships to the heteronormativity of relationships and the whiteness of major relationships. The book community is getting better at diversity but this is just the start and I hope books continue to show lots of diversity. 

Image result for gifs disney diversity"

 

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I constantly reach for books with love interests and when I hear people talking about a great relationship in a book, I want to read it and fall in love with them. But I think there is more to that and it isn’t my only interest but it just felt like I was obsessed with romance as it is the main form of love the industry focuses on. I would love the industry to show more books without love interests and for love with friendships and family to be respected just as much as any romance. Love is extraordinary but it isn’t limited to romantic relationships.  There are so many different forms and I love them all. Also, for when romance is included, it should always be handled responsibly and realistically. 

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So I would love to know your thoughts on this topic, do you think the industry focuses heavily on love? 

Would you like to see a change and for non-romantic relationships to be focused on?

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30 thoughts on “Am I Obsessed With Romance? (Ft. Disney)

  1. I loved this post and I totally agree with it! I read a lot of romance — I think most of the books I read are romance?? Lately, I’ve been trying to find books that focus more on friendships and families, and I want to find more books in which the main characters do not fall in love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Nikita!! I’m so glad you could agree as well. There are a lot of romance books and I do enjoy reading them but like you I also really enjoy friendships and family stories but they don’t seem to be around as much as romances so I am on the search for them!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh what a wonderful post! I’m also just a teensy bit obsessed with love, but I definitely agree that the idea of traditional romantic love that supposedly “sells” isn’t the only type of love that I’m obsessed with. Stories about friendship and family relationships are also incredible and I want to see more of them! AND stories where characters don’t want romance at all! I’m always happy to find books with great romance (I’m basically that tweet that’s like “do I believe in romance? Not sure. Am I obsessed with it? Absolutely”), but those are too often the ONLY types of relationships we see and I want more options!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! Yes I definitely am in love with love, it is really wonderful so I love reading books with love in it. But I am 100% the same, this is not limited to romantic love at all.
      I definitely want to see more stories about friendships and families, the ones I have read have been so good so I know I love them. The industry just needs to have more of them about, although I do think more and more are coming about. The same with books where characters don’t want romance.
      Haha yes I am in support of that tweet too 😂
      Exactly, it isn’t about removing romance from the scene but just adding more different books too!! ❤

      Like

  3. Draco and…Luna? Darn it, now I ship it. Why didn’t I think of this. (I always liked the idea of Harry and Luna, myself.)

    I do love romantic stories, but I do agree that non-romantic stories are also wonderful. I think (almost) every story needs a central relationship, but that doesn’t mean that the central relationship needs to be romantic. Platonic works too! Platonic is amazing! I also LOVE stories where the main focus is friends or family.
    Toxic relationships are tricky–I have read great books featuring toxic relationships that were glorified quite a bit, but I agree it’s a subject that needs really careful handling. There have also been a lot of books with toxic relationships that made me want to pull out my own hair.
    (And yes to more diverse romances, of course) (Also, I’ve only read…maybe one or two books with a protagonist who could be described as aromantic or asexual, and that needs to change)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES come to the Draco and Luna club 😂 I saw a fan art of them and then thought they would compliment each other really well. (Harry and Luna would be lovely too- I am torn between loving their friendship but thinking they would go well together, ahah 😂)

      Yes it isn’t about taking away romance stories but just adding more books with non-romantic storylines as I think they would be well received as I already know ones that are. I agree that relationships are important in books, they help with dialogue, difference of opinions and build a connection with the audience but you are so right that is doesn’t have to a romantic relationship. Platonic is amazing!! Friends and family have extraordinary relationships that deserve to be at the front too.

      Yeah toxic relationships should be talked about as they do exist in the real world so it is important and they are a complex subject as it isn’t just one feeling the characters feel, it’s loads. It needs to be treated with care and to send the right message out. I have definitely been at the pulling hair stage before.

      I agree diversity is so important. I also need to read more books with ace main characters but I 100% plan to.

      Thank you for reading and this wonderful comment!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. THIS POST 👏 I LOVE 💕💕

    My biggest beef with bookish romances is that they’re sooo unrealistic. They give many people (myself included) the wrong idea of what real romance is like. Book boys are seemingly perfect, always know what to say, and are so selfless. Relationships might be messy, but I feel like something always works out? Also, I feel like everything is so sexualized. Personally, I want to save intimacy for marriage, and I wish we had more representation of characters who want to wait for certain things.

    Also can I just gush about how ADORABLE friendships are! Especially boy friendships… I’m literally obsessed with them. Stories that focus on friend and family relationships are honestly my favorite ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! Thank you so much!! ❤

      I completely agree about bookish romances being unrealistic and it just isn't what I want to see. I understand it can be hard to capture the complexity of it but it feels like some don't try because they want it to be 'perfect' which gives people the wrong aspirations. Yep I've been there, everything about a book boyfriend can be oh-so-dreamy. Yeah there is always an easy solution to a lot of romances problems and never the opportunity to explore 'and they lived happily ever after… separately' because that can be true for many people.
      That is an excellent point that I didn't touch on but talk of sex is the same in a lot of books so you don't see characters who have different things they want from relationships and/or who want to wait so it would be great for books to reflect the varying opinions on the topic like there is in reality.

      Friendships are the best!! Boy friendships can be so sweet and I have so many that I love!! I agree friendships and family are wonderful so I love to read about them all the time!! ❤ Thank you for this comment!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I totally agree! I thought of something else too… I love romances where you can tell they’re a couple without them kissing or hugging all the time. Instead, they respect each other and are selfless and idk if that makes sense, but I just want to see more of something like that because it would be so beautiful. 😀

        Family & friendships are gold! Love love love them 💛

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ohh yes!! I saw this quote at one point that said if the couple have to kiss to tell your they are a couple, that you haven’t wrote them right which I think shows that love is showed in a thousand different ways, not just the kisses and hugs. So I 100% agree!! It would be so beautiful!!

          YES!! ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  5. OH MY GOODNESS SOPHIE. THIS POST. 😍

    You always manage to write the best, in-depth discussions, and this one spoke to me so well! While I’m totally a soft romantic, there are many problems with the media’s representation of love. Most of the YA novels I read revolve around only heteroromantic relationships, and while I love reading those, it’s so important to display diversity and even platonic love. Like, books about friendships are golden but it’s so hard to find good ones these days!! *cries*

    “Love is extraordinary but it isn’t limited to romantic relationships.” < you described this perfectly, I loved this post so much!! ❤ ❤

    (Oh, and I tagged you for the Share the Love tag over on my blog! xx)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh.. thank you so much Ash, that makes me so happy!! ❤
      Your comments are always so sweet and I'm so glad you enjoy these discussions as I have been loving writing them recently. Honestly I'm so eternally grateful, I don't have the words to express it!
      I'm glad you could agree. I definitely love romance and will always find the romantics details adorable, but it's representation does have some flaws.
      The heterosexual relationship is the main one so I would love more diversity (and I'm glad to see more diversity in recent years) and friendships are extraordinary. They could easily take the focus of so many books and would be so well received, we need them!!!

      Ah.. thank you. All your kinds words mean so much. Thank you.

      Oh thank you so much, I can't wait to read it!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this post!! You’ve made it so balanced, focusing on both sides of the story.
    I do think romance is overdone a little in YA in particular. I think contemporary realistic fiction is getting better at including other relationships as the focus, but sometimes I wish I could pick up a fantasy that didn’t have a romance at the centre.
    Also, I don’t mind unhealthy romances (I love The Cruel Prince trilogy, so… obviously, lol), but as you say, I wish they weren’t glorified so much. It’s a tricky line to walk in some cases.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay thank you so much. That makes me so happy!! I’m glad you found it balanced as I love romance and didn’t want to make it sound like I hated it but I wanted to acknowledge the flaws with it’s representation and the desire for all types of love.
      I agree YA can make love the focus of every book in every possible situation. I think Samantha Shannon’s tweet summed that up quite well!! A lot of fantasies do have romances which on occasion I like but in all of them, it is like aren’t that too busy saving the world right now 😂
      Yeah to be fair unhealthy relationships do need to be talked about as they occur in real life so they are important but some are just not represented well. It is a tricky line as it involves so many different emotions, it isn’t just one. (I still need to read TCP so I will interested to see what I think)!!

      Like

  7. I agree with everything you’ve said about love. I think one of the reasons we’re so obsessed with love is because it encompasses every other emotion. From jealousy, happiness, lust, sadness, every emotion can be routed in love. Which is fascinating. The need to spotlight the different types of love is so important without shoving it down our throats or making it seem like the grand healer of all things. Give me a love that is flawed, give me a love that doesn’t take away from the individual’s journey, give me self-love, and everything in between. Love is rooted to a lot of relationships but that doesn’t mean it has to be romantic and that’s what I want to see more of.

    Also love the use of the Disney GIFs. I must admit the fox and the hound never fails to make me emotional haha.

    Brilliant discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you could agree!! Ohh I love that so much and I didn’t think of it but it is so right love covers such an expanse of emotions that we are all drawn to it in some way. It is fascinating and I can see why so many people are interested in it.
      Haha I love that, they do like to shove it down our throats like it is the most magical, perfect thing ever. They often try to sell it as this one-in-a-million thing when I think the best thing about love is how it is an everyday, human thing. And yes show me all the different kinds of love especially the flawed and self-love, and everything else. There is not just one formula for love.
      It definitely doesn’t have to be romantic, there is so much more to love!!

      Yay I loved finding the different gifs, it was so fun!! I know The Fox and The Hound is so emotional!!

      Thank you so much ❤ and thank you for this comment. I loved reading it!!

      Like

  8. erm THIS POST IS SO FREAKING AWESOME. Like I’m obsessed with this Sophie. You discussed so many brilliant points in this post and i can literally SEE all the work you put into it! Friendships and family in books are often the most wholesome things and it kinda sucks that they only really appear in contemporary books and even then, only sometimes.

    I am a total romantic (i too ship people in like 10 seconds) and it’s something that makes me really happy but it is very sucky that representation is sometimes harmful or just really unrealistic? and even when the characters are just teens, the relationships are sometimes too sexualised. like snarky couples who constantly bicker are also awesome

    the gifs in this post were just on point (yes disney!) I don’t really see Draco and Luna together but what are your thoughts on Draco and Hermione?

    I loved reading this so much! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw.. thank you so much!! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it as I loved putting it together!! ❤ ❤ Aw.. that's so sweet and means so much! I definitely wanted to cover the topic correctly as there are a few factors!!
      YES friendships and families are amazing in books and I need them!!! I agree, it is a shame that they are rare in books but I hope we get to see more and more in the future!!

      Same I do love romance too as it does feel good to read about them and they often have the cutest moments ever!! But yeah we don't need harmful representation that sends an unhealthy image out and I much prefer realistic relationships, it might be less perfect but I love that it is real, it makes it more magical in a way.
      I agree a lot of teen relationships are sexualised a lot and it would be great to have more diversity within couples. Yes snarky couples are AH-MAZING!!

      Haha I do love Disney!
      Aw.. I think they would compliment each other well but I have heard of Draco and Hermione, whilst I don't see it myself I do see lots of qualities that would be fun to explore and how they would build up chemistry. I always loved Ron and Hermione so that's probably why I don't see it myself. I love that we all have someone for Draco though, we all agree he deserved more.

      Thank you so much and thank you for this amazing comment!! ❤

      Like

  9. AH I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH. I feel like I’m also reading a whole lot of romances and books including a romantic relationship and, if I appreciate these kind of books a whole damn lot, I always feel like… well, there’s always some sort of romance. I love books that don’t have romance in them a little more, when I get to them because they feel all the more special. I love it when the focus is on friendships and family love, too, these are SO important.
    Great post!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! ❤ I'm so glad you enjoyed this post!! ❤
      I have definitely read a lot of romances and I definitely enjoy them A LOT but it would also be nice to have friendships and families at the focus, I don't want to take away the books. I just want more 😂
      I agree there is something very special with books around friendships and they are really important as so many readers would be able to connect to them!!
      Thank you Marie!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. One thing I just realized whilst reading your post is that you don’t really ever get that many relationships in books that don’t work out (although I could be totally wrong as I’ve been appalling at reading lately). But you read YA books and half the time it’s these characters first relationship and it seems to last forever. Like yeah that can happen sometimes but not for everyone all the time. You never see relationships that just don’t work out or where conflicts of opinion push couples apart very much.
    I also know there are actual names for the different types of love but I can’t remember them 😂 you’re right they definitely need to include more of others though. You don’t get that many family bonds in a lot of books and even friendships can take a backseat.
    Also I need to start watching Disney animations sometime. I keep seeing things about them and thinking ‘yeah I remember none of that’ 🙈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yeah you really don’t get to see relationships that don’t work out that much which I think is a shame because so many people would relate to journeys like that. I think it is because happily ever after is so closely linked to relationship status. I l know it is a lot of first relationship lasting forever which is pretty rare irl I find, I mean I get why a lot of books do it as we like these relationships and get attached but I think diversity in this area would be great. Like you said relationships that don’t work out are common and should be shown more.
      Yes there are, I know in Anicent Greek they did like Eros for romantic love, agape for selfless love, mania for obsessive love, storage for friendship love etc.
      It would be great to see, like family and friendship can mean so much to people they should be at the front of some books !!
      Hhaha they are still so good to watch !! Especially when you don’t remember them as it is like the first time again, haha !!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Yeah I agree, it is a shame. I guess maybe in some books it’s not necessarily forever as the characters are still young but it is generally made to at least feel that way. Yeah it’s weird how rarely they’re shown.
    Ooh yes the first two of those were definitely on the list I learnt at school 😂 I like mania because it’s so interesting to read about. You don’t get a lot of selfless love though in books – although Katniss volunteering for Prim is sort of, along with family love.
    Yeah they should!!
    I’ll definitely have to try them out again sometime. I actually looked to see what was on Now TV yesterday out of curiosity and there were quite a few

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it isn’t stated that is forever but you definitely get the impression a lot!!
      It is !!
      haha yay !! Mania is interesting and you can explore a lot of different things !! Yeah you don’t see too much selfless love really that’s true !! Katniss is definitely close though !!
      Yay, that’s great !! I really do love them– so many good ones !! *heart eyes*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I actually realized that I do have a couple of books that I think will feature it on my TBR.
        We need more of it!!
        I think I’ll start with Mulan. I really don’t remember much about it and it can kind of fill in whilst I’m waiting to see the live action one 😂

        Liked by 1 person

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