There’s a reason why I don’t like most mainstream romances.
Its not their impracticality.
Its not their perfect endings.
Its not the unrealistic sex scenes everyone wants to try out.
Its the (in)direct applications of psychological issues.
How many movies/books have you seen where the girl is kidnapped by the ‘hero’ and after a few days of impromtu-togetherness-time they fall in love?
A while back I published on this blog the ultimate writer list which had two rules I’d like to follow up on:
“22. Stockholm syndrome does not mean its true love.
23.When writing a romance piece, I will pretend that the male character is not in love with the female and if he sounds like a stalker/murderer/rapist, then I will rewrite the story.” (Myself, THERE APA! HAPPY? YOU WILL NOT HAUNT ME HERE)
Stockholm Syndrome happens when hostages express positive emotions, empathy and sympathy towards their captors/kidnappers. This syndrome has been widely discussed in media and stats show that a majority of victims do not associate with their kidnapper/captor. Despite the criticisms and stats of Stockholm syndrome, I think its important for any author to keep a mental note of it.
Objectively speaking, stories are generally about the exceptional characters in sometimes exceptional circumstances in whatever world the author has built. Many ‘romance’ stories have been built using the trope of kidnapping someone and then falling in love. By definition, these characters are the exception to the rule.
And most likely to suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.
If you think tropes like these (among several others) are harmless, think again.
References and other links to look at: