how NOT to confess your love // with examples from literature

Confession: I love reading stories with romance.

(Notice that I didn’t say “romances.”)

I used to pretend I didn’t. I used to say oh, I don’t care if a story has romance and I wish there were more books with platonic relationships instead of all this romantic stuff. It was out of a desire to seem open-minded, to make it clear that I don’t think everyone needs to fall in love and I don’t think every story should be a love story.

But I eventually realized that, despite my attempts to make it appear otherwise, I really, really like reading stories with romances. I ship couples with my whole heart, squeal when they finally get together, cry when they’re separated, and just can’t stop reading until I know how their relationship ends.

I still haven’t changed my mind on the issue of whether or not every story should have romance: no, they shouldn’t. Some stories shouldn’t be romantic (for example, almost every story for young and middle-grade readers, stories about characters who don’t want romantic relationships, stories where romance doesn’t add to the plot, etc.). But… I personally love reading books with romance.

Sometimes I even love it when the romance doesn’t work out. When it’s cringy and awful and they break up… even if they never get back together, it can be incredibly, weirdly enjoyable to read.

In my many years of reading, I’ve amassed a large collection of scenes (yes, you can collect scenes) in which confessions of love don’t go quite as planned. These passionate admissions amuse me every time I read them, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

I do want to get married someday, so future husband, if you ever read this, take note: please don’t propose like these characters. Thank you 😆

Warning: spoilers ahead. Each section heading includes the name of the book, so feel free to skip a section if it spoils a book you want to read.

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