Beginning when I was about 9, I was a romance reader(not risque titles, obv. mostly just contemporary). Clearly when you’re nine and reading romances, there are going to be a ton of people who think it’s stupid. And despite the shame I’ve been forced to feel for being a hopeless romantic throughout my prepreteen, preteen, and teen years, I’m still a huge fan of romance. I’m not going to go into why right now, but I am going to give you a list of things you should NEVER say to a romance reader.
“You don’t really know anything about romance.”
Excuse me, but that accusation is based on the grounds that romance novels are completely inaccurate, and while they aren’t also the best representative of true romance, that’s a blanket statement that is in the end derogatory to both romance as a genre and the people who choose to read it.
“You’re not a real reader.”
Last I checked, reading romance required me to look at words and process them with my brain, an activity often referred to as reading. Just because you don’t consider romance books to be real books doesn’t mean I hold your same opinion.
“Romance novels give you unrealistic expectations.”
Some romance novels have this effect, but here’s my side of it. The only expectation I’ve been given from reading romance my whole life is that I want whomever I marry to respect me. In fact, the specific romances I love have taught me that I deserve that respect. Blanket statements are stupid, so obviously I can’t speak for the whole genre.
“You know it’s not real, right?”
No, of course it’s real! We’re all brainwashed idiots who think everything we read in a book is real. Dragons, and unicorns, and fairies, and finding a guy randomly in the world, falling in love, and having him respect you. Oh it’s not real? I KNOW.
“So you’re obsessed with sex?”
Despite what everyone thinks, there is a difference between ROMANCE and EROTICA. Just because someone reads romance doesn’t mean they’re in it for the smut. And if they are, THAT’S THEIR BUSINESS NOT YOURS.
“Oh I know someone who reads that kind of book.”
Romance is a WHOLE GENRE with countless SUBGENRES. There’s bound to be hundreds of other people who read romances, and they’re common enough that you might know 1 or 5 of them. Tbh, your mother probably reads romances(which is an assumption we’ll get into another time because I could take about it for awhile).
If I’ve offended you at all in the duration of this post, I apologize. But one thing I’ll never apologize for is reading romances. Clearly, they’re not all I read, but they are a big part of my reader identity! So….