If you’ve been around romance books long enough (and I’m fairly confident we all have!), then you’re familiar with the concept of tropes. This is the literary device authors use as the theme of their romance—the means of which they center their meet-cute all the way to their happily-ever-after around. And, if we’re being honest, we all have our favorites and those we may shy away from if we get a hint of them in the back cover blurb. For example, I’m a bit of a sucker for enemies-to-lovers and marriage of convenience stories while I tend to not be as enthusiastic about love triangles. Some people may think that tropes exist solely in romantic fiction. They are a literary device, are they not? But, as with most things fiction, the basis comes from real life.
Skeptical? I am a living, breathing “secret baby” trope. My mom never told my bio dad that she was pregnant with his child. 38 years later and he still doesn’t know I exist (which I am ok with, by the way, in case you just gasped). In the case of my love story with my husband, I’d say we are opposites attract as well as a reformed rake on his part—and we all know reformed rakes make the best husbands. ;)
In case you still aren’t convinced that tropes happen in real life, I asked some of the other ladies here at InspyRomance about their own love stories and the tropes they’ve lived out outside the pages of a book. Here’s what they said:
Julie Carobini: My husband and I are a second-chance romance. He was a widower and I was divorced. Plot twist: I had a serious illness at the time. Some told him to run since he’d already lost his first wife to illness. But we’ve been married 31+ years and counting (My book, Walking on Sea Glass, is inspired by our story )
Toni Shiloh: My hubby and I are instalove. I met him the first day I arrived to my duty station. The airmen (including him) took me out to dinner as a welcome to England and the flight. My husband and I started talking and we’ve been together from day one ever since.
Liwen Ho: My hubby and I are opposites attract, as in a literal sense because he’s a ENTP and I’m an ISFJ. The year and a half when we were sheltering in place together with our kids was an absolute dream for him; me not so much. LOL He’s also a reformed rake , while I was (actually, still am!) a wallflower. Our friends were so concerned when we got together that my best friend took him out for coffee to “check him out” and another mutual male friend warned him not to break my heart. He was my first and only boyfriend and we’ll be married 21 years next month.
Meghan Whistler: Opposites attract! I was a creative writing grad student and he was a research scientist doing post-grad work at MIT. We met on a blind date
Jaycee Weaver: I’m the product of instalove—my parents met in May, married that Nov, had me next July and are still married. My hubby and I would be opposites attract, athlete/book nerd, and beta hero. Lol! I had to look up a list of tropes because I was blanking out after opposites attract and you have several here already. Lol! We met through a circle of friends. He was Mr. Popular Jock in high school, but mellowed to be a chill beta hero engineer in college. I was the book nerd/invisible girl in high school but became Ms. Spunk and Sass in college. We’ve been opposites in love for 22 years!
Elizabeth Maddrey: My hubby and I are best friends to love. Sarah Monzon: awww. Did you guys have the regular conflict of afraid to talk about your feelings for fear of loosing your friend? Elizabeth Maddrey: we did! I even gave him advice about the other girl he wanted to ask out. And then finally I sent him a letter through the college post office that I thought we should consider being more than friends and he called me and said “We need to talk” and I thought oh no…just killed that friendship.
What about you? What is your real-life trope story? Do you have a favorite or least favorite trope in fiction?