My Top 5 Favorite Romantic Tropes

Tropes get a bad rap lately, but they’re just helpful story-telling devices! When used well, they are amazing. Here are a few of my favorite tropes in the romance genre!

5. The Protector

Image is of a knight in armor holding a battleax while standing on an empty field

I love feeling safe with my lovers. As such, I love when a protagonist feels safe with their lovers! The metaphorical and even literal knight in shining armor is truly a staple of romance for a good reason. Knowing that someone wants to protect you and is willing to put themselves in harm’s way to defend you is one of the most romantic tropes there is.

4. Friends to Lovers

Image is of two teddy bears in front of a beach scene, one with its arm around the shoulders of the other

In real life, I can’t help but love the idea of being close to someone and nurturing a friendship first before romance develops. You know you have a connection, even some chemistry, and then romance and sex is just the cherry on top of the sundae! It can be a heartwarming story to read, and very enjoyable in the genre. I’m particularly a fan of the LGBT+ variant of this trope!

3. Enemies to Lovers

Image is of the sword fight scene in the 1998 movie The Mask of Zorro, featuring actors Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Zorro and Elena, respectively.

The only thing better than friends to lovers is of course, enemies to lovers! Love is what happens when sparks fly. What makes more sparks than a little bit of competition or even fighting? Then, people from opposing sides realize… hey. You’re hot. Maybe we’re not that different after all? There’s extra tension, a little bit of something forbidden, a dash of internal turmoil: what’s not to like? The only problem is that it makes all sword fights erotic… A bit of sword play counts as foreplay, right? Or maybe that’s just me.

2. Marriage of Convenience

Image is of two gold wedding bands together

Honestly, I’m a sucker for this. There’s so much angst, nervousness, and excitement in a well-crafted romance featuring a marriage of convenience! I can’t help but get drawn in. There’s the nervousness of dating someone new, yet sometimes not even knowing if the other person feels the same way, despite already being married! It can feel so complex. I just want to read more!

1. There’s Only One Bed

Image is of a bed on which the comforter has the words “there’s only one bed”

My favorite trope is the classic case of “but there’s only one bed”. This leads to one of two things: one character will offer to graciously sleep on the floor or on a less comfortable surface on behalf of the other, indicating some romantic chivalry, or there will be a nervous bundle of hormones as they share a bed and see where things go! You pretty much can’t go wrong with this trope, or other variations of the idea of “oh no, we need to share a small space together and have so much sexual chemistry… who knows what might happen!” This trope is particularly fun in combination with any of the above tropes, making it very versatile, which is why I’ve picked it as my #1 romance trope.

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