The Problem with Romance Novels (and other romantic media)

After a long year of reading mostly classic novels, I finally found some modern YA novels to binge read. It’s been wonderful. As much as I love classic literature, there’s nothing quite like getting sucked into a modern book.

One of the things I look for in a book is a good romantic subplot. They’re cute, fun to read, and an overall enjoyable experience.

But, as I was reading the other day, I realized something. In the little world being created, romance is the ultimate thing. It’s the blazing centre of the world the author’s create, and portrayed as the only thing you need to be happy. And that simply isn’t true.

While romantic relationships are a good part of life, and a gift from God, they’re not where we should find out identity. Despite what romance books and TV tell us, they’re not the greatest thing–Christ is.


It’s so easy to find our satisfaction in romance. But when your crush likes you, when you finally have a relationship, when you’re happy and married, you will still need Christ.

When we put our hope in our boyfriend/girlfriend rather than Christ, things go downhill. No matter how great they are, or how much they love you, putting yoru hope in them won’t work. They weren’t made to bear the weight of your soul.

Your partner will never be good enough, trustworthy enough, smart enough, funny enough if you’re looking to them for satisfaction.


Romantic relationships only work when you both look to Christ for hope, not each other. Only he can truly satisfy. Let Christ be your ultimate joy, satisfaction, hope, purpose, safety, and comfort, instead of your partner.

Even if you don’t have a romantic relationship right now, this applies to you. I don’t have much experience in the dating/romance/actually-having-someone-you-like-like-you-back, but I find romance taking a spot in my heart that only Christ should. As you wait for romance, focus on grounding yourself in Christ. Whether you find someone or not, if he is your hope, you will be satisfied.

I’m not saying not to read or watch anything with romance. Definitely not. Romance is a good thing, but don’t let it be your ultimate thing. When you watch a romantic movie or read a romance novel, remember the characters are living in a false world. You don’t need romance to be happy, satisfied, joyful, fulfilled, or comforted, because you already have that perfectly in Christ.


2 thoughts on “The Problem with Romance Novels (and other romantic media)

  1. Emily

    Agreed. I’d even extend this romantic movies and any media with romance sending the message that
    this is the best thing ever and will make you happy.” This puts another imperfect human in a spot only Christ can fill.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s