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    28 Romantic Gestures That Are Dreamy In Books But Red Flags In Real Life

    Let's just say, these moves are a lot better in fiction...😬

    Recently, Reddit user u/cutiemaan asked women to share the romantic gestures and tropes they love in books but see as red flags in real life. Below are some of the examples that make them say "uhhh, no thanks."

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    1. "When a character does grand romantic gestures for someone they barely know or have just met. It's unrealistic and would be weird to do in real life."

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    2. "When the main characters go from being enemies to lovers. That means there's a misunderstanding that no one corrected or the characters have legitimate reasons to dislike each other. IRL, they would be bad communicators or ideologically incompatible."


    3. "When the love interest is the one 'exception' to the protagonist's otherwise terrible behavior. In reality, you shouldn't want to be with someone who is rude to 99% of people because it's likely that eventually they're going to treat you just the same."


    4. “When a character defends their love interest’s honor by physically fighting someone. It's romantic in theory, but would be extreme IRL."

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    5. "When a character shows up at their love interest's door in the middle of the night to talk. It seems impractical and, honestly, annoying."


    6. "When a character tells someone they just met that they're in love with them. IRL, a manipulative person would do that to hook you."


    7. "When a character follows their love interest to the airport and causes them to miss their flight. If this happened to me IRL, I would not miss my flight. We can talk on the phone or when I’m back."

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    8. "When a character has an 'I'd literally do anything for you' attitude. Overthrowing an entire kingdom or murdering someone because they did your love interest wrong is a bit extreme IRL. It sure is entertaining to read about, though."


    9. "When a character inserts themselves into their love interest's life, but in a plausible deniability way. Like 'Oh, I'm just coincidentally hiring your company to redecorate my house (that I hope you'll move into with me when we're done).' It's stalker-y in real life, but I love it in romances."


    10. "When a character leaves an innocent person at the altar for their 'true love' who they haven't even known for very long."

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    11. "When a new character is introduced and it results in the protagonist getting jealous and behaving in a petty way. I once dated a guy who showed signs of jealousy and it was less than ideal."


    12. "When a character is extremely persistent. It's cute in the romance novels, but it's hella creepy in real life."


    13. "When the hero is super obsessed with the female protagonist and he springs to her aid whenever she needs it because he's been watching her. It's so toxic IRL, but I love it in books."

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    14. "When a character strings along two people who are into them because they can't make their mind up. It's fairly harmless to read about and it adds drama, but it would be really horrible in reality."


    15. "When a character is forced to marry someone and then falls in love with their spouse over time. It's toxic to force any kind of relationship IRL."


    16. "When a character throws rocks at their love interest's window. If you're not able to get ahold of me over the phone, then I definitely don't want you scratching up my window."

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    17. "When the protagonist quits their great job and moves across the world to live with their love interest because they fell for each other when the protagonist vacationed in the love interest's country."


    18. "When a character is a home-wrecker. In a book, it’s cute because they are supposedly better for their love interest than who they’re currently with. IRL, it’s pretty trashy to go after someone who’s already taken."


    19. "When a character does something blatantly illegal and dangerous with their crush in order to impress them or charm them. IRL, having your life put in danger isn't all that exciting."

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    20. "When the love interest is so self-confident that they're arrogant. It's super charming in a character who actually has the skills and accomplishments to back it up, but IRL it's always so obnoxious."


    21. "When a big strong man takes charge and saves the girl. IRL, a guy that take charge without even asking is a big red flag."


    22. "When a character tries to 'save' their love interest from pain and trauma. IRL, being helpful and supportive is wonderful, but when someone tries to save or fix another person, it rarely ends well."

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    23. "When a character bumps into the love interest multiple times in the same day. In books, it's a wacky coincidence, but in reality, it's probably stalking."


    24. "When a character is completely devoted to their love interest and is willing to give up themselves or something they love for them. It's romantic in the books, but IRL it's not healthy."


    25. "When a character is overprotective of their love interest. It's lovely in a romance book where there are no real consequences, but in reality, it's very annoying and unhealthy."

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    26. "When a high school/college/early-in-life couple breaks up but stays in touch and is still in love years later. If I knew my partner had a person like that in their life, I’d be furious."


    27. "When one character pines for another for years and the other barely notices them, until one day they finally see what was in front of them all this time."


    28. "When characters constantly engage in super sweet talk. I love reading about a guy comforting his girlfriend and saying cute things, but in real life, if my boyfriend was THAT sappy, it would get on my nerves and probably be a sign of co-dependency or clinginess."

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    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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