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Romance in media vs real life


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(Kind of a big post but I had a lot I wanted to say so....here we go!)

I wanted to make a post discussing romance as it appears in media such as books, songs, and movies. Why? Well I think the way romance appears in media may be inauthentic for most allos actual experiences. Also I found the thought, what actually is romance for most people if media portrays it in a showy manner to be a very interesting question. 

First of all if you look up the definition of romance this is what you will find. 

Merriam Webster 

 a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural

(2): a prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious

(3): a love story especially in the form of a novel

b: a class of such literature

Cambridge Dictionary

Romance is also the feeling of comfort and pleasure you experience in a relationship with someone you love:


the romance of the old West

The novel evoked the romance of Paris in the 20s.


The first few lines you see from Webster and other definitions describe an artistic form of media that has definitely influenced our society. It’s interesting to me that media seems to be so closely tied to romance and almost every definition begins with romantic media such as knight tales, prose etc. 

I included one of Cambridges definitions to comment on how incredibly vague it sounds. Sometimes in movies, rarely, but sometimes when the characters explain why they love each other to another they actually don’t sound “romantic woo woo over the top crazy weird” to me and I think... That could be a close friendship... But it’s romantic... Then they usually do something soon after that makes me cringe and go, ewww romance. 

For example I was watching Stranger Things season 4, 1st episode (spoiler alert but not that big of a spoiler.) Nancy and Johnathan Describe why they love each other to their friends and I felt so weird after they finished because I thought. That could totally be a friendship... How does that relationship become romantic? Does monogamy make it romantic? Well no poly people also do romance so.... I have absolutely no idea what romance is I guess but it still makes me cringe when I see it portrayed in certain ways. 

Anyway watching that scene and not cringing gave me a mini existential crisis because romance was portrayed differently. I usually cringe at romance because the only places I see it where it is very noticeable is in media. The two where describing each others unique character traits that caused them to be drawn to each other rather than a vague irresistible attraction or lustful overwhelming passion.

By the way (PLZ DONT SPOIL STRANGER THINGS FOR ME) I have only seen 2 episodes of season 4

Anyway my parents where never very romantic, I never thought now their relationship is that special romance thing which is better than friendship... that special something... Im not saying my parents aren’t happy and loving to each other but nothing noticeable was really there for an onlooker, and not enough for a thrilling tale. 


What also inspired me to post this is this clip from Vaush where he describes his irritation with romance as its portrayed in popular movies, anime, and offers some examples of more authentic romance such as the Witcher 3 and full metal alchemist ( I haven’t seen or played either of these btw.)



Apparently the witcher ok... (Spoiler for the witcher 3) So the there are two lovers but the only reason they love each other is due to a love potion or spell. The two actually break the spell because they are troubled by the fact that they may never know if their love is true. 

I also find it interesting how Vaush talks about very romantic people as being performative and making people happy but a true relationship typically requires communication and how communication is usually the most important factor in a successful relationship. Again I am surprised that an allo content creator such as Vaush finds romance irritating in media. I naively thought that everyone for the most part loved romance in media and to dislike it meant your'e the odd one out. I believe many allos are probably tired of the same romantic tropes in media like Vaush is. 

Vaush also talks about how this one animes romance arc could have easily been made more dramatic. The main character could have been seen with another woman and then the whole “he loves me he loves me not” “jealousy” “who will the protagonist be with” drama. It seems to me unnecessary drama seems to drive a lot of romantic plots as well, reality shows thrive off of this. Most romance could be super low-key relationships where the two grow a deeper fondness from each other through time. Again, what I just described with the “fondness that grows deeper through time” could totally be a friendship. 

What is the distinguishing factor that completely separates romance from friendship when the monogamy, and the romantic media are taken out of the equation. This vague but it’s romantic, and I just think... Why aren’t those people friends then... What a relationship romantic? What is romance? I don’t know if what I just typed only made sense to me but maybe you get what I mean, and maybe not. 

Well anyways that’s about it, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this subject matter. 

What irritates you about romance as it is portrayed in media? Do scenes where people explain why they love each other sometimes click for you but you think, that could totally be a friendship though? 





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17 hours ago, Ikarus said:

I am surprised that an allo content creator such as Vaush finds romance irritating in media. I naively thought that everyone for the most part loved romance in media and to dislike it meant your'e the odd one out.

I find this quite interesting.

I'm a bloke and being raised as a guy in the class/social background I was in meant that the messages I got about romantic media were very different. My knee jerk reaction to romantic media would be either 'this is for teenage girls' or 'this is for bored old housewives'. I think I was sort of expected to not like romantic media. to find it irritating or childish in particular were the default view. 

If anything the 'bad' thing to do would be to admit to liking the sappy romance scenes, especially if it was the sort liked by teenage girls. That would make you the odd one out.

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