I absolutely adore contemporary romance. They capture perfectly the emotions of falling in love. Recently however I’ve noticed that several of my cherished novels involve cheating or almost cheating (ie flirting or leading someone on when you’re clearly in a relationship). Off the top of my head some examples are: Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door and This Raging Light.
Maybe I’m simple-minded but it just seems to make sense to break up with someone when you no longer feel a connection with them. My friend, Vincent broke up instantly with his girlfriend of a year and a half (we were all devastated) when he realised that the feelings he once had for her was gone.
In the abovementioned novels, someone is always in a relationship. Yes it may not be a great relationship(in Anna and the French Kiss, St Clair hasn’t seen his girlfriend in ages and in Lola and the Boy Next Door, Lola’s boyfriend is a jerk) but that doesn’t make it okay.
Maybe Someday- an excellent novel by Colleen Hoover- tells the story of two people with an incredible connection…but the guy is already in a relationship and refuses to break up with his girlfriend. Yet despite that he is unable to let his feelings for the other girl go or even let her date other guys.
I get that in the world of this novels, there’s a reason this behaviour is okay -it’s dramatic, it drives the plot, etc- but it worries me what if people think “hey if person xyz can do it, why can’t I?”
Think about it. How often have we seen the cliché story about the girl crushing on the guy with the mean girlfriend? And why is it okay? Shouldn’t the fact that someone is in a relationship mean that they’re off-limits?
I certainly wouldn’t want my boyfriend going around and flirting, almost flirting or even connecting with someone while we’re still together. The decent (albeit painful) thing to do would be to have a clean break.
What do you think of contemporary romance stories with cheating or almost cheating in it?