Jul 31 2017 7:01am

What Is the Most Annoying Misconception About Romance?

We've all been there. We're talking to people who are maybe fellow readers... but they're not romance readers. As with many things, they've come to the conversation with a few misconceptions about the books we hold near and dear. So... what is the most annoying romance misconception? Have you been confronted with them in person? How do you respond? 

Tell us about it in the comments!

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1. Scarlettleigh
I would say that many people think that romance books are all about the sex between the characters rather than the relationship.

When I was reading paperback books --and took them to work, invariably some co-worker (guy) would come by, see the book and pick up and start thumbing until he got to a sex scene and then read it outloud. . .

So taken out of context. . .
Jessie E
2. Jessie E
Honestly, just that they're not good as a whole. People seem to think the quality is determined by the genre--it's a romance therefore it is a bad book. But the same is true of literary fiction, romance, mystery, horror, memoir etc etc etc: some of them are good and some of them are bad. You may not LIKE the genre as a whole, which is valid, but that is not an indicator of quality.
Carmen Pinzon
3. bungluna
For me, the most frustrating thing is that romances are all the same and that, because they must have a HEA, there's no way any creativity goes into writing them.

It's the journey, stupid! All genres have conventions they must adhere to, even literature! Why must romance be sigled out for scorn for sticking to it's conventions when everything else is praised for it?!

Don't get me started...
4. lauralee1912
I think a common misconception is that romance novels aren't as important as other genres, despite sales figures that beat those other fiction genres in multiples. When I explained the RWA's RITA awards were like the Oscars to romance writers, I got a "hmph" out of a die-hard horror novel reader.
Jessie E
5. Christine L
That romance is mothing more than "mommy porn". I can't stand that term, and it doesn't describe the wealth of sub genres and the storytelling in romance.
Jessie E
6. Rivercat0338
That they're stories for sexually frustrated old women. As Scarlettleigh said, it's the relationship, dummy. I actually skim most sex scenes! :)

It also annoys me when people sneer at romance as escapism or entertainment. No one bats an eye when men read Tom Clancy, etc.
7. Jannah
One of the most annoying misconceptions people seem to have about romance is the perception that it's only for dumb women who can't read anything more intellectual. I mean really?! that's such a stupid assumption and it annoys me when people kinda look at you weird like "Why do you read romance? Isn't that for dumb people?" arghhh
8. Janga
I could write a treatise on this issue, but I think the misconception I find most irritating is that romance readers are intellectually inferior to other readers, especially readers of literary fiction. I was told back in my grad school days that reading romance would rot my brain. I suggested to that colleague that we match IQs and GPAs. Even though I had been reading romance fiction since I was ten, I was confident I could best her. Some of the brightest, most articulate, and most well-read people I have ever encountered are romance readers and writers. Shame on those who prove only themselves stupid and narrow-minded with their insults.
Jessica Avery
9. RomancingtheBookworm
For me, just from what I've seen lately, the most annoying misconception HAS to be that the genre is stagnant.

We've had so many people lately hurling around complaints about the genre based on it's hsitory, not it's present. Someone has one bad encounter with an 80's romance (or earlier) - or their entire opinion is based on cultural opinon which ALSO assumes the romance is stagnant - and suddenly the whole genre is undisputed, feminism-undermining, garbage. What's worse is that they never want to listen to reason, or even attempt to read a newer book and revise their opinions.

Excuse me while I go bang my head on a wall.
Jessie E
10. Lolane
For me it's the insinuation that there are no compelling stories in the genre, coming from people who have never actually read anything from the genre. People used to say the same things about comic books and Marvel has been proving them wrong. It's time for romance to prove the naysayers wrong now.
Rakisha Kearns-White
11. BrooklynShoeBabe
I don't like the idea that romance novels give woman unrealistic relationship goals or that it's just porn for women who can't get laid (excuse my language).
Barbara Wilmot
12. miadevlin
I agree with BrooklynShoeBabe about the unrealistic relationship goals. I always point out that in my favourite books the heroine has a fulfilling career, good friends and develops a relationship with a man who supports her goals. That should be totally realistic for any woman.
Barbara Wilmot
12. miadevlin
I agree with BrooklynShoeBabe about the unrealistic relationship goals. I always point out that in my favourite books the heroine has a fulfilling career, good friends and develops a relationship with a man who supports her goals. That should be totally realistic for any woman.
13. gmnigrl1
I agree with ScarlettLeigh. But to also add that, thanks to the 50 Shades of Grey movies, now everyone thinks that romance is just like that. I'm dabbling in writing romance myself. But only as a hobby. So when I say that I write adult romance, I now have to tack on "not like 50 Shades." There IS a difference, people. Fo reals.
Jessie E
14. SpiritedMuse
Third the comments on unrealistic relationship goals. I mean what kind of world are we living in. When we can't expect to have a partner that is loving, kind, supportive. Even someone that wants you to be the best you possible.
But this is based off romances that actually have those things involved. Some other books though where the heroine is accepting all kinds of over the top alpha stuff and always seeming to have her voice not matter. Just gives off a whole other message entirely. And I really hope there aren't any young women or even older women out there looking to THOSE books as examples of relationship goals.
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