What I Do and Don't Like in a Love Story

I love love stories.  I am, as they say, a sucker for them.  They can tend to make or break a film/book/TV series for me.  (I can't say I'm proud to admit it, but I have been known to let my enthusiasm for diving into a particular story be determined by whether or not it has a romance of some kind.)

Recently, I have been reflecting upon this affection for love stories (I pun without even realizing it, sometimes), and have amused myself most heartily with making up a little list of the things that I do and don't like in a romance.  I certainly don't mention every single thing I do or don't like in a love story, but I do list quite a few. ;-P  It makes me feel all sophisticated and In Touch With Myself to determine what story elements I have grown to like or dislike over the years. :-P

So!  In a moment, the list; but first, a couple (I PUNNED UNINTENTIONALLY AGAIN) disclaimers.

1.  I will be using several different couples as object lessons for some of my points, so a) there may be spoilers, and b) just because I might poke some loving fun at a certain duo for the purpose of illustrating a specific thought, that doesn't mean that I don't still love that twosome very fondly (case in point: Joseph + Shannon from Far and Away).  And it certainly doesn't mean that this particular point I'm making holds true for all couples in all circumstances.  If I make fun of an element that you really like, particularly for a specific couple, I'm sorry -- I definitely don't mean any offense!  

2.  Obviously, I'd prefer my couples to hold to certain moral standards, and a relationship with or belief in God would be great, but I'm not really going to be talking about just those couples who do so, because, unfortunately, most of them don't.  So.  Anyway.  (I say anyway a lot, don't I?)

Okay, onwards!  The deets of Olivia's love story preferences.  (Suuuuuuuper long post, btw, and I'm sorry for the very-un-uniform sizes of the pictures and gifs.  I kind of give up.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 


~ When one of them tells the other -- usually at a climactic moment when they feel they have lost their love forever -- something to the effect of, "I've loved you since the moment I clapped eyes on you."

Actually, no.  You have not, in fact, loved the other person forever.  You may have been Very Interested in the other person, but I think for many of you it's safe to say that you were not in real, true love with him or her right from the start.

Now, granted, I can tolerate this sort of sentiment better with some couples than with others.  Let us look at two examples:

Gilbert Blythe:  Hmm, well, yes.  You've loved her for quite awhile and basically fell for her as quickly as could reasonably be expected, so we'll give you that one.

Shannon Christie:  Umm . . . no.  No, my dear.  You did not love Joseph from the first moment you saw him -- in fact, you thought he was going to rape you and you stabbed him in the leg with a pitchfork.  Let's not romanticize unromantic things.  

~ When our lovebirds are Getting Along Swimmingly, but then a Great Misunderstanding happens and one of them Deeply Wounds the other with their Harsh Words, motivated by their own Deep Pain, and thusly the Budding Romance is Brought to a grinding Halt. 

Urrrrrgh.  I know, I know, stuff like that happens in real relationships and it's good when people try to portray romances accurately, but sometimes?  I'm just like, stop.  Seriously, stop.  It's annoying.  And overdone. :-P

~ When one of them says something like, "I'd die for you" or "I'd die for her/him." *

Show, don't tell.  

Hehe.  Kidding.  (Sort of.)

. . . Okay, okay, this one isn't all that bad.  It just seems sort of, well . . . cheesy.  And unnecessary. :-P

* (The exception to this is if you're Will Turner in Curse of the Black Pearl, because if you're Will Turner in Curse of the Black Pearl, you are basically an adorable, doe-eyed puppy and you can do whatever the heck you want. <3)

~ When the girl is noticeably older than the guy.

I'm soooooorry, but I can't help it. It just majorly weirds me out.

~ When the romance goes nowhere.

This. scene. was. so. weird.

This one is difficult to explain. I don't necessarily mean when the romance is cut short for some tragic reason *ahem*, but when the romance seems to have been put in FOR NO REASON. I don't like it when a romance is stuck in just to wither away and die to no purpose. I'm not talking about those times when two minor characters you thought would be cute don't really end up as a couple, like Jack and Annie in Penelope -- I'm talking about when story makers pull Dear Frankie c-r-you-know-what. I get that sometimes these kinds of love stories are meant to illustrate that things don't always work out, and sometimes people are foolish and don't seize the chances they have, and precious things can be lost as a result, but to be honest?

I still don't want it.

~ When couples choose the worst, most impractical times to have "a cosmic moment."

Seriously, when Shannon and Joseph do this in that mansion scene in Far and Away?! STAAAAAAAAHHHHPPPP. I understand that it's Touching that they care about their relationship more than food, but the pragmatist in me is grinding her teeth and saying, "Guys, really. You're literally starving. EAT."

Basically, couples, you should take Han Solo's advice: "Escape now; hug later."


~ When they have adorable, innocent fun together -- either doing something peculiar to their own interests, doing something that others might think strange, or just laughing together.

Examples of this include but are not limited to:

     -- Kit and Ella swinging in the "secret garden"
     -- Holly and Paul walking around New York "doing things they'd never done before" (minus the stealing, of course :-P)
     -- Jason and Hannah playing in the water
     -- Charlie and Sophie eating ice cream cones in Italy
     -- Molly and Roger in Africa
     -- Kat and Patrick playing paintball
     -- Jack and Lucy slipping over the ice

~ When the guy is protective of the girl.

This sounds weird, but "it is what it is." :-P  I love it when the guy is really passionate about protecting his lady love, especially when he does it without even thinking about it or finds himself going a tad berserk when he feels she's in danger or hurt.  ("I made that sound really not good," but y'all know what I mean.)

~ When they've grown up together/when they're friends as adults before they become a couple.

Childhood buddies or longtime friends who become sweethearts later on are so precious. <3

~ When they've both gone through traumatic things and then they find each other (not to be sappy or anything).



(Yes, I may or may not have included this solely for the excuse to gush about Faramir and Éowyn.  I ain't ashamed.)

~ Relationships that start off on the wrong foot and have killer #sass.  And banter.  Lots of banter.

Ahem. ;)  I know some of you aren't so fond of the love/hate format, and I'll admit that it's overdone.  But what can I say?  I really like it.  I will point out, though, that I think this particular element tends to work better in movies/TV shows than books.

~ When one of them doesn't realize The Truth About Their Feelings and gets involved with someone else for a while, but then they realize The Truth About Their Feelings

This picture was cuter and less cadaverous in theory.

Every period drama ever. :D

~ When there's a dance involved.

I'm also a sucker about dances for a couple's development, shallow and too-oft-used though they may be. ;)  They're just romantic, okay?!

~ When they are already married or get married close to the start of the story, and we get to see their "post-honeymoon" relationship throughout the rest of it.

It's more real, dontcha know. <3

~ When they're just plain cute -- when "adorable" is one of the first adjectives that comes to mind when you think of them.

Cuteness is a must.  Don't we all love cute romances? :)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

What elements do we have in common?
What are some things you would add to either of these lists?


  1. *sees the pic of Paul and Holly*


    You put them in!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAS. I wuvs them so very much--you know that <3 And I totally, totally agree--I adored the scene where they go to Tiffany's and have the cereal-box ring engraved. Because nobody but them would ever do that, you know? But THEY did it, because it was fun for THEM; and that's really one of the big things a relationship is all about . . . having your own brand of unique fun together.

    I think nearly all my favorite couples do that, actually. Marianne and Colonel Brandon play piano and fuss over their pet hawks (okay, that last part was in the movie, but still . . .) Rudy and Liesel steal books and stick snow in each other's faces. Finn and Rey commandeer ancient spacecraft (yes, that totally counts as fun :-P) Jyn and Cassian blast stormtroopers to smithereens. Pierre and Cecile from "Shadows on the Rock" walk all over town and chat up their neighbors. Chava and Fyedka from "Fiddler on the Roof" love to read books together. Even Wall-E and EVE from "Wall-E" have fun watching videotapes of old musicals. And Cath and Levi from "Fangirl" read fanfiction out loud to each other.

    (Did I list all my favorite couples?? I'M SURE I'M FORGETTING SOME. Oh, well . . . :-P)

    I'm even doing the same thing in my own novel, as much as I can. But HUSH. NO SPOILERS. *zips lips*

    I'm with you, too--I LOVE it those couples where the guy is all protective of the girl *dreamy siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh* Yes, obviously the girl can be strong and take care of herself, too--there's nothing wrong with that--but being protective of somebody is just a way of showing that you love them. And that is GOOD, and healthy, and romantic, and me loves it <3 Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh, that reminds me I haven't seen "Broken TraiL" yet . . . MUST. DO. SO. WITHOUT FAIL. (Maybe someday when we visit each other??)

    Heehee . . . I'm definitely not as anti-hate-to-love as I used to be ;-) I definitely recognize it now as a legitimate romantic trope; and if it's done well, I might even *GASP* like it. I read a romance that was mildly hate-to-love ("Scorpio Races") the other day, and I thought it was beautiful. I just get annoyed by the fact that it's so overused?? As if the assumption is that you will CLEARLY start out hating the person you're meant to be with, because that's what human beings ALWAYS do? No, it's not always what happens!!! If they start out hating each other, I want there to be a good, solid reason for it; a reason which is subsequently resolved in some plausible manner. *nods*

    I wish I could think of some to add . . . I can't right now . . .

    In case you can't tell, I adored this post <3 <3 <3

    1. I put that in there just for you. :) (I mean, 75% of the motivation behind it was for you. The other part was that they're just cute and a good example. :-P I was thinking of using a picture of Kat & Patrick from 10 Things I Hate About You, but then I thought, "But Jessica though . . . " Hehe. ;))

      I knoooooow, the cereal-box-ring-engraving was adorable. Gawsh.

      [I LOVE (or at least like) BASICALLY ALL OF THOSE COUPLES.]


      "Yes, obviously the girl can be strong and take care of herself, too--there's nothing wrong with that--but being protective of somebody is just a way of showing that you love them. And that is GOOD, and healthy, and romantic, and me loves it." << YES. Yes, and yes again. Amen. (Also, YES WE MUST WATCH BROKEN TRAIL TOGETHER. I'd actually thought of that, recently -- whenever we do end up getting to visit each other, we MUST prioritize watching BT. Because Tom. <3)

      Heehee, glad to hear it. ;) *snaps fingers* "Trope"! That was the word I was looking for! Thanks. :) But you're right, sometimes it Just Doesn't Work. (And it is overdone.)

      Awwwww, thank you. This comment was awesome. <3

    2. WE MUST. YES.

      And you're awesome, too <3

  2. Umm yes!!!!!! I try to downplay how much I really love romance stuff but let's be honest... I do! Han and Leia are my favorites. It's the best love/hate relationship I've seen done on screen.

    1. AAAAGGHHH, Lois, your married name and your profile picture!!!!!!!!!! *hugs*

      Same, though! Trying not to appear as hopeless of a romantic as I actually am . . . it can only go so far, hehe. ;-P Han and Leia are AMAZING. I love them.

  3. Just a small note from Miss March and Natalie--We read this post together and Greatly Enjoyed it. :D

    1. Ach, thank you, Miss March and Natalie!! It was so cool hearing about your time together; look forward to hearing more, too! :)

  4. Ohhhhh my gosh. Where to start?????

    I totally agree with everything that you've said!!!!! I have no words, you've saud it all perfectly.


  5. AAAhhh, I love how you slipped in all the lesser known couples like Jason and Hannah and Hassan and Marguerite.

    And Will can be forgiven any goofiness . . . because that exaggerated and oddly placed exaggeration is half of what makes it hilariously awesome, especially since either one of my two favorite people (or others even), Norrington and Jack, makes some epic sarcastic comment after it.

    1. Eeeeek, you know those couples, Livia?! That makes me so happy! LET US RAVE ABOUT THEM TOGETHER. ;) (Hassan and Marguerite especially, though -- I recently re-watched that movie, and gosh, are they adorable or what?! THE WAY HE THROWS ROCKS AT HER WINDOW, THOUGH.)

      Haha, so true. (And Norrington! I really like Norrington, too! Especially in the third one *sniffle*.)

  6. I agree with basically every point in your post.


    1. Awww, yay!

      I KNOW RIGHT. WHAT. (Captain Swan forever!!!!! :D)

  7. OLIVIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU AND I HAVE THE SAME MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I actually claim I don't like romances, but I do. It is just that I don't like the kind of romances that you listed in "Thumbs down". Anyway, get ready for a really long comment because I feel like I have to say something about EVERY SINGLE (I mean couple ;)) POINT MADE HERE!!!!
    (What do you think of Mia and Guythathaveforgottenhisname [first picture]? He drives me absoultely crazy!)

    1.AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! That drives me crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Character, you didn't because you didn't even know what they were like. They could have been the most annoying person in the world but you said, "Oh, they are so hansome/pretty. I must be in love with them!" NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! (BatB <3 <3 <3 <3 <3)

    2. Definitely overrated.

    3. "(The exception to this is if you're Will Turner in Curse of the Black Pearl, because if you're Will Turner in Curse of the Black Pearl, you are basically an adorable, doe-eyed puppy and you can do whatever the heck you want. <3)" <---THAT! SO TRUE!!!!

    4. That is just weird. I agree.

    5. It's just sad and the people just want the book or movie to be longer

    6. 'Basically, couples, you should take Han Solo's advice: "Escape now; hug later."' Han has some really good advice. ;)

    1. YES!!! That they are just having fun and not just kissing each other all the time!!!!!!

    2. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. THE BEST. Because they know each other so well!!!!

    4. SCORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    5. YOU INCLUDED LEIA AND HAN!!!!!!!!!!! *does a happy dance around them*
    "Do you love him?"
    "I understand, when he gets back I'll just wack away.."
    "Han, it's not like that. Luke is my brother."
    *happy face*
    Sorry about that....

    6. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES.........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    7. Oh yes! (I'm sorry I'm just saying yes for these! You put it so perfectly that I don't know what to say!) P&P '95 gives me happies every time I watch it!!!!

    8. <3 <3!!!!!!!!!!!!

    9. You know that is a winner!!

    Awesome post Olivia! I really enjoyed it!!!!!!!
    (Is that last gif of Archer?)

    1. I KNOW RIGHT!!!!! <3

      Eeeeeeek, your long comment on every couple ( ;D) points made me so so happy!! Thank you. :)

      (I actually quite like Mia and Nicholas! I'm partial to the second one, mainly for that reason -- I like their romance a lot more than Mia and Michael, though Michael's a precious lamb. <3)

      Han does have some good advice, you're right. ;D

      "That they are just having fun and not just kissing each other all the time" << YES THOUGH! I hadn't thought of it that way, but that's so true, too!

      Never apologize for fangirling over Han and Leia! I'm totally with you there. :D THEY ARE SO STINKING CUTE. The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite SW movie, because of all the Han/Leia moments. Like, when the Hoth base is being attacked and he keeps trying to leave but he can't because he wants to make sure she's safe? And when they're going through the hallway and it caves in and he turns and sort of tackles her to shield her? I JUST LOVE IT SO MUCH. *ridiculous grinning*

      Haha! No, I enjoyed it! You're so kind. :D (P&P '95 always makes me hungry when I watch it, hehe.)

      THANK YOU SO MUCH! I really enjoyed your comment! :) Actually, no, that isn't Archer -- that's Killian Jones (a.k.a. Captain Hook) from the TV show Once Upon a Time. Do you watch OUAT? I feel like you'd enjoy it. :)

    AND YES!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Such a great post! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and totally agree with you about liking couples that banter. It's always great to have some humour in relationships! XD

    Sincerely, Melissa <3

    1. Thank you so much, Melissa! (Really like your name, btw.) Yes! Couples that banter are so cute, I wuvs it. <3

  10. Such a fun post! I agree with a lot of this! It's awesome!

  11. LOVED reading this post, Olivia!! :D

    ARROOOWWW. Have you seen that? :) I'm finishing Season 5. It's really weird and really great. Definitely wouldn't recommend to anyone however - only if they really like intense action series and don't mind a bit of violence. There's also a bit of Content and Language etc. :/

    "Can everyone please take a handful of chill pills?" << HAHA. XD I'm SO going to use that!

    That 'well hurrah for you' gif has gotta be in my top 10. XD And Will Turner can sure pull off the adorable puppy eye look, sheeesh.

    "Escape now; hug later." << Some of Star Wars' best life advice.

    YES. When they have their own unique fun - I LOVE THAT!! :D


    FARAMIR AND EOWYN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<3 <3 <3 <3 <3

    Haha, yeah, I like them when they banter and get sassy and then love each other. (In other words, I love Han and Leia together. XD)

    "Every period drama ever. " Well if that ain't true I don't know what is!

    YESSS I LOVE IT WHEN THEY DANCE. *heart eye emojii*

    AYE AGREED CUTENESS IS A MUST. (Btw, did I ever tell you I saw "The Hundred Foot Journey"? I only saw some of it, as it was playing on TV, but I do believe it was most of it! I really enjoyed it. I've got a soft spot for movies involving cooking/chefs/food (Ratatouille, for example, is a favourite of mine) and this one isn't an exception. Also, MARGUERITE'S WARDROBE. I NEED.)

    This was a really fun post, Olivia. :D <3

    ~Miss Meg

    1. Awww, thanks, Miss Meg!! I'm so glad. :)

      I haven't! That is, sort of. A friend did show me a few episodes, but I haven't, like, watched it watched it. You know. I could see potential in it, for sure, even though it's not necessarily my cup of tea. (And I've seen edits on Pinterest and I'm wholeheartedly #TeamOlicity, for what it's worth from my uneducated point of view. :-P)

      Isn't it great? I love Gilmore Girls, despite its occasional *ahem* problems.

      SAME. It's a really good one. :) (Yes, yes he can. In the first one especially.)

      SW life advice is great in general. <3


      "(In other words, I love Han and Leia together.)" << SAME, GURL. XD

      Haha! I know, right. ;)

      "*heart eye emoji*" << Yuuuuusssssss.

      Eeeek, you saw THFJ?! What fun! I recently re-watched it, and HASSAN AND MARGUERITE ARE LEGITIMATELY ADORABLE THOUGH. And I know what you mean with movies about cooking/chefs/food (Ratatouille -- kudos to you for knowing how to spell it; I didn't! -- for the win)! I'm not what I could call a "foodie" -- I mean, I can't really differentiate between or appreciate good vs. bad food allllllll that well, and I'm not at all an adventurous eater -- but I really like those kinds of movies, too. :) I mean, I like most kinds of movies, so that's not saying a whole lot, but still. (ALSO, YES. MARGUERITE'S WARDROBE. I'M THERE WITH YOU ON THE NEED. And her hair.)

      Daww, thanks, girl. :) <3

  12. I'm very much onboard with a ton of these. I'm very leery of insta-love. I love cute-random-nonsensical-fun-no-one-understands kinds of character development. I totally put dancing in "Cloaked" because "people who are starting to like each other and then dance together" is just a fun place to explore.

    And YOU HAVE SEEN 42!!!! I loves that movie.

    1. "Very leery of insta-love" -- haha, yes! Such a great way of putting it. xD

      Yes, it IS such a fun idea to explore; I'm glad you put it in Cloaked. :)

      I HAVE! And you have, too?! How exciting! It's so fun to find people who have seen the same obscure movies as you. :D I really like 42! Jackie and Ray are adorable and Harrison Ford as Rickey is so good!!

    2. Jackie Robinson has been a big hero of mine for a lot of years, so a movie that celebrates his story AND stars one of my favorite actors? And is a genuinely good, enjoyable movie? I must love!!!

  13. This comment is going to be long. Brace thyself. It is also LATE so I apologize for that...

    I love that little confession in the beginning!!! I AM SUCH A HOPELESS ROMANTIC and it's nice to know I'm not the only one. I also like that you are proud of being romantic. Ain't nothin' wrong with that!!!

    "When our lovebirds are Getting Along Swimmingly, but then a Great Misunderstanding happens and one of them Deeply Wounds the other with their Harsh Words, motivated by their own Deep Pain, and thusly the Budding Romance is Brought to a grinding Halt." <------ AGREED!!!! I hate this one!!! It is so....... frustrating!!! I mean, that IS the point. Stories are about Bad Things making people Change. But still. I don't like it. It's so shallow and immature. If people would just COMMUNICATE...!!!!! Also somewhat unrealistic???

    The guy should always, always, always be older. The end.

    I... kind of... like the Romances That Go Nowhere??? I guess I'm a sucker for Tragicness.

    Oooooooh!!!! All your Thumbs Up's!!!!! Having random FUN???? Like whoa!!! Couples DO THAT???!?!?! (That is my favorite!!!) Protective guys are the SWEETEST.

    The growing up together one... *clutches heart* I am such a sucker for those.

    Eowyn and Faramir are my precious smol children. *sobbing*

    Also I cracked up when you said"this picture was cuter and less cadaverous in theory." They both DO look rather cadaverous, don't they???


    Anyway I loved this post. And the gifs were on point. :)

    1. I'm so sorry I never responded to this comment, Kate!

      YES, we are both romantics and there is nothing wrong with that. <3

      OKAY THANK YOU. Like, I get that sometimes those kinds of scenarios happen . . . but do they really happen with the frequency and drama of these movies?? I submit to you that they do NOT.

      Oh my goodness, thank you. (I mean, at least if there's a noticeable age difference. A few months or a year or two doesn't bother me.)

      See, as I said, that one's difficult to explain . . . I don't mind love stories that end tragically, I just dislike love stories that end pointlessly. Like, if they're stuck in there and then do nothing (or very little) to develop the plot or characters or benefit the viewer in any way.

      Heehee! <3

      They are indeed both precious and smol and must be Protected.

      Haha! Thanks! Yeah, I hadn't realized quite how pale Amy was in that picture. xD

      I (usually) LOVE IT SO MUCH, TOO. <3

      Awwwww, thank you!! :)

  14. Ok, I know I am horrendously late in commenting... but I totally agree with these! I too enjoy a good love/hate relationship in a story. Not just with couples, even, but with regular friends too.
    AAAGGHHH IT MAKES ME SO MAD WHEN PEOPLE IN MOVIES MISUNDERSTAND EACH OTHER SO EASILY. I feel like it's just a cheesy way to make things complicated, but it ends up being so annoying.
    I'm all about ligit misunderstandings (that are written well and are not cheesy), or none at all.
    Anyways, I have a lot more thoughts, but I don't want to overdo it (I AM late, after all), but great post!

    1. *I'm* horrendously late in replying to *you*, Amaris! Sorry about that.

      Love/hate is just fun. And I like how it kind of furthers the growth of the people involved, you know? Good point about with friends, too!

      It really does. Ugghhhh.

      You weren't late! You were perfectly on time. :) Thank you so much!


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