7 Ways Romance Novels Have Ruined Romance For Nigerians


September 1, 2015


I remember everyone compulsively reading Harlequin and Mills & Boon novels back in secondary school. I’m not sure if that’s why everyone I know now seems incapable of having healthy relationships for too long, but I’m certainly going to blame it on that.

When all the love interests in the books we read are getting whisked off on surprise trips to Paris and taken on helicopter rides while sipping champagne expensive enough to rent a small house, it is safe to say that romance novels have given us, and will keep giving us (looking at you, 50 Shades of Crap Grey) wholly unrealistic expectations about romance.

1. The Meeting

When the couple meet for the first time, the novel describes it like some sort of cosmic event that was bound to happen. With the entire universe working in perfect unison to get them to eventually off cloth and knack.

Result: Now whenever your friends set you up with someone, you go expectant, but end up with a bottom-pot date.

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2. The Beauty

The couples are always described like God was in overdrive when he created them. Piercing eyes, tight abs, gorgeous hair, soft hands, flawless skin, full lips, blah, blah,blah… But that’s never all, they will now have inner beauty on top. Let’s hear word, abeg.

Result: Now no one is ever fine enough or nice enough for you. I mean, you will manage them, but in your heart you know.

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3. The Chase

When the protagonist is chasing the loving interest, they take anything the love interest throws at them. From unwarranted rudeness to pointless tantrums. With all that, the protagonist’s love never ever wavers.

Result: Now you try to form small and they stop calling you, completely.

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4. The Fireworks

When the couple kiss or have sex for the first time the novel describes it like the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The trumpets. The fireworks. The earthquake. The tiny naked baby with angel wings (Cupid, you weirdo).

Result: Now anytime you kiss someone for the first time, you just stand there, waiting for the earth to shake small; you’d even settle for your phone’s vibrate setting going off.

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5. The Impossible Sex

The couple have sex EVERYWHERE. Sex on the beach. Sex in the shower. Sex in a pickup truck. Sex on the roof. Sex in the ocean. Sex in a spaceship. Basically sex everywhere except the bed.

Result: Now whenever your partner doesn’t rip off your clothes and pin you against a thorny bush you don’t feel like you’ve knacked yet.

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6. The Conflict

The protagonists even fight well. Their fights are always cute and never take long to get resolved. Usually through another round of impossible sex in a cave or tree or something.

Result: Now whenever you fight with your partner you’re wondering why they haven’t sent roses and chocolates yet.

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7. The Happily Ever After

The couple at the end of the novel will drive or ride off into the sunset and go on to live happily ever after. Whatever the hell that means.

Result: Realising that ‘happily ever after’ actually means meeting the love of your life and living a happy life with them, until one of you dies and leaves the other one lonely. Yeah, that’s pretty dark, but it’s the sad reality.

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