This week’s topic is things you like when it comes to romance in books, but I decided to go broader and just talk about romantic tropes I like in general. To do that, I went to the long list of love tropes on TV Tropes, which you can find here, and looked for all my favorites. It actually wasn’t that hard to narrow it down to ten, actually. If you’d like to get trapped into the awesome timesuck that is TV Tropes, all of the graphics link to corresponding TV Tropes pages, so enjoy!
I love it when a character is caring enough to blanket their love interest (or friend or family, it works with those relationships as well!) with a comfy, warm comforter. You know – the character fell asleep in an unexpected position and isn’t in bed, and they get cold during the night or something, so the love interest warms them up with a nice comforter. It’s just so considerate and can make for a cute moment!
Sure, they can be cliches (well, let’s be honest, most of these tropes are going to be a bit cliche), but dances that force a couple to subtly address their chemistry can really work. Whether it’s a slow dance (which it normally is) or just fun dancing at a school dance or club or something, dancing can offer an opportunity that you wouldn’t get from a regular conversation or something.
Hmm, when I made this, it didn’t look messed up, but now all the graphics with two lines of text are like this. Grr. Anyway, this goes with the always fun love-to-hate-each-other trope – but you have to throw in some of these moments to keep the relationship from getting too antagonistic. They can be so cute in between all the playful banter and snark and such.
More comforting! It’s normally the guy letting the girl cry into his chest, but I’d like to see the genders reversed or a same-sex example as well! It can just be such a sign of complete openness, crying in front of someone else, and throw in some comforting and hugging or whatever and you have me melting a bit, if that makes sense.
So many of these tropes revolve around this one: once again, the love-to-hate-each-other trope that’s really just all about love but one or neither parties want to admit it. This tropes allows for snark and banter and play fighting, and those are things I just love in my romances. I want couples that are crackling with chemistry, and couples with this trope (done well, of course) seem to fit that bill pretty well.
Seriously, I should basically just say I like belligerent sexual tension and leave it at that, because so many of these tropes seem related to this. Basically, I love it when you know that the couple likes each other, and everyone else knows it as well, and the couple subconsciously knows it as well, but doesn’t want to admit it. You know, when random strangers just assume that the couple is dating, or actively and verbally ships the relationship – it’s always fun seeing the couple fumble to prove them wrong and basically get into a “doth protest too much” situation.
See also: one head taller, since it’s basically the same thing. It’s probably because I’m fairly short (about 5’4 – but 5’4 and three quarters, which is very important to remember!), but I just like it when it’s a tall guy and a short girl. Maybe because it’s easier for the whole “protecting” thing, because of the difference in height – plus, it’s awesome when the tiny girl saves her guy and shows that height is not everything. I’d also love to see a huge girl and tiny guy, or with a same sex couple – come on, give us even more of this dynamic!
This kind of goes with the comforting comforter trope, I guess, but with this I’m talking more about a couple falling asleep together and getting into an adorable and awkward situation, like using a shoulder for a pillow or getting tangled together in sleep.
I think undercover lover is a good subset of the whole fake relationship – you know, where they aren’t really dating, but pretending to, and end up falling for each other as a result. It’s just so much fun to see them struggling with their feelings while having cute moments together. It’s like having instalove in terms of cute moments, but not the feelings, which is the best of both worlds.
She’s All Grown Up is also kind of similar – and, of course, this can apply to a guy as well, these are just the trope names. These tropes are ones that can easily go along with childhood friendships turned more and such, and I’m just a sucker for those types of relationships as well. This could also go along with the whole aww, look! they really do love each other trope.