Three Love Clichés I’m Done With (And They Need to Die)

Posted February 12, 2019 by Clo
20 Comments

couple sitting while watching sun*sips tea*

In the spirit of Valentine’s day, we’re talking about love clichés….which need to die.

Since February is basically the month of love in my mind, I figured I’d try and make my discussion posts have a theme of love. Now as we know, there are tons of tropes and clichés out there, ones I may want dead you may not. But that’s the fun of it… so let’s find out which clichés I want dead already.

Note: clichés here are phrases NOT to be confused with tropes like “enemies to lovers.” A love cliché would be, say, “heart skips a beat.”

If You Love Them, Let Them Go

Sure, I’ll just let go of the person I love, probably won’t ever see them again. It’s okay, though, I love them, they’ll come back to me. *blinks* No… no, they won’t. I don’t want this love cliché to die per se, I’d just really love it to be rephrased.

If you love them, let them be themselves.

This is how I’ve always viewed this cliché, it’s not about letting the person you love go, it’s more about letting them be themselves. If you love someone, you wouldn’t hold them back from what they want to do in life. Even if what they want to do happens to move them somewhere for their school/job/dream and you’re not able to go too. I’d hope you’d let them go if you loved them because you want them to follow their dreams, right?

It’s not about letting them go and expecting them to crawl back to you, asking to date you again. That version can get in the goddamn bin already.

You’ll Find Love When You Stop Looking

Bookwyrms, I stopped looking a long time ago. I just gave in ’cause wow, I don’t have the energy to look for someone. Also, I’d need to actually go outside into the real world for love to magically find me, and between you and me… I really don’t want to socialise to find love right now.

I stopped looking. No one’s appeared and suddenly fallen in love with me. *snorts*

I think the thing I take away from this cliché isn’t to just stop looking. Just go easy on yourself. Don’t put yourselves down over not finding someone; at the end of the day, love is great. But I’m a firm believer in needing to be able to love yourself before you can be in a relationship. No one can love you for yourself if you don’t love yourself. Since you’d just think they were saying they loved you, you’d not believe them.

Learning how to be you and figuring out what you want in life is so so important.

Books which have romance and relationships can often make us forget this; it’s like we need to be dating to be worth anything or to even function sometimes. We don’t. Stop looking for love from others and look for love inside. Can you love yourself? Can you follow your dreams and heart? Are you going to walk through the wilderness and make your own path? Along the way, you’ll probably find someone or figure out some other things.

This cliché… just don’t take it literally because wow, no one’s gonna randomly pop up to you and ask you out just because you stopped looking. (Although that’d be nice…but a little creepy to be honest)

It’ll Happen When It’s Time

I can’t even… the amount of times I’ve had to hear this said to me. I don’t know about you all, but I’m a salty single dragon and have been for over 2 years. My dating history is 1 guy, and I’ve never been kissed. But holy hellfire do I want to shriek when I get told this. “It’ll happen when it’s time?” Time for what? Huh, am I gonna be waiting until I’m on my deathbed to fall in love, see how unrealistic book relationships are to real ones.

*sniffs* I don’t think sitting in my room and typing away at blog posts away from the outside world is gonna help me find love.

Unless of course, we’re talking about fictional characters, which we weren’t since we all have a ton of fictional partners.

This cliché also plays heavily in my mind, into our own thought process of, “I need to wait for the right moment.”

What right moment are we all waiting for? There’s never going to be this sparkly, glittery right moment to do anything. We make this moment the right moment to chase after what we want. Or get that thing we’ve been meaning to do for ages done. Yet we have this cliché of waiting for this time to arrive where we suddenly fall in love.

Like… what are we expecting? Our ideal partner to appear from nowhere, fall for us and it is this beautiful love story where we have dates in quaint bookshops? Or instead of going out to a fancy restaurant we stay in, put on Netflix and binge watch all the film adaptations of books ever?

These three clichés are just…I’m over them already. I may still use them, and implement them but not literally, hehe.

So how do you interpret these clichés? Do you have any clichés you’re sick and tired of hearing/seeing?

Clo is an 18 y/o bookdragon from the UK, England. She's currently studying Graphic and Digital Design at college. Primarily found on her own blog (Book Dragons). Sarcasm is her default, addicted to tea oh and she'd rather you didn't save her from a dragon.

She's also a Co-Founder of Bookend Events, a quarterly event with the aim to bring the bookish community, closer together.

Categories: Books
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20 responses to “Three Love Clichés I’m Done With (And They Need to Die)

  1. I absolutely HATE the whole “you need to love yourself before anyone else can love you”. First of all, it’s just not true. Sure, I understand that the basis behind it is to curve co-dependent relationships, but I don’t really believe in the whole statement. Loving yourself is hard, and you can grow to love yourself and have someone else love you too.

    But I do totally agree with the “if you love them let them go and if they love you they’ll come back” kind of thing. It just screams mind games to me. — My least favorite thing related to this is the whole “I’m breaking up with you for YOUR own good.” thing. Like someone can’t make that decision for themselves? UGH. STOP and DIE.

    • Clo

      Hahaha that is such a mood, honestly like if you’re breaking up with don’t tell me, it’s for my own good. I’m perfectly capable of deciding that for myself haha.

      As for “you need to love yourself before anyone else can love you” I get where you’re coming from, but the way you phrased it to me that kinda hurt, like you were invalidating how I came to hold that value. Co-dependent relationships, are totally ok if they’re balance in my opinion. However, it’s also really easily for that balance to be knocked and it to all come crashing down. If you rely on someone else for your happiness…how is that healthy? Also you can totally have someone love you, for who you are even whilst you don’t love yourself.

      People will (should) love you for all that you are, as well as giving you room to grow to love yourself too, if you’re not there yet. But this belief to me, means more about accepting yourself, loving yourself so you don’t rely on external validation which unknowingly, so many of us do.

  2. RO

    I think you have a beautiful old soul, and I wish I had your smarts when I was 18. I love how you’re thinking, and the way you’ve put life and love in general in perspective. Wouldn’t it be cool to find your true love in a bookstore or library? Hope your day is as amazing as you are! Hugs…RO

    • Clo

      Awww thank you Ro! Honestly, sometimes I wish I didn’t have such an old soul, because it can be hard to connect to people my age. Although I do appreciate having an old soul for writing, and yasssss it would be so cool to find your true love there. Like when everyone asks where you met, and you say a bookshop/library haha. *hugs back* I hope you have an awesome day Ro!

  3. I think the cliche “you’ll find love when you stop looking” can be better phrased as, “you can find love when you least expect it.” Get out there and do things you want to do, have fun. It’s okay to actively be looking for a relationship (i mean, there are a ton of dating websites), but it’s also okay to not be. I met my husband when we both ended up volunteering at the same charity event. I definitely didn’t go there looking for a husband, but I ended up meeting someone who I had a lot in common with.

    • Clo

      Ooooo yes I agree with the rephrase, things tend to happen when we’re not expecting them to, or we didn’t plan on it happening/leading us to a destination but it does somehow. That’s awesome that you met volunteering though hehe

  4. DB

    I don’t understand why people say ‘it’ll happen when it’s time’ – like why do we have to sit around and wait for love or for relationships when there’s so many other things to focus on or something new, like a hobby or a new task to begin?

    • Clo

      Honestly DB, I dunno, I think it’s meant to comfort us single folk but we could be totally be putting that time to good use elsewhere. Like writing, working on a new project or like you said a new hobby perhaps

  5. Gosh! Seeing them all in one place really made me giggle. I just finished a book this morning, where they employed, the I love them so much I have to let them go for their own good thing. Made me nuts, even if I knew they would ultimately end up together.

    • Clo

      haha glad this made you giggle! Oof yeah gotta love it when one of the cliches pops up, and drives you nuts, I mean what else do we live for if not having books send us insane xD

  6. I love the distinction you made of “if you love them, let them be themselves” because “If you love them, let them go” directly contradicts “fight for what you love” and I think that it is super important (as long as its a healthy love!)

  7. I hate, hate, hate people leaving the person they love for their “own” good. That plotline makes me so mad. It’s one of the reasons I can’t stand Buffy/Angel romance in BTVS. The whole set them free and they will come back to you isn’t that much better either.

  8. I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH! these cliches are all just to make you feel better anyways and really are just weird? It’s kind of problematic to me to be like “love will find you” and all those things too, because it really sends the message of something being wrong when it doesn’t come knocking.

  9. I really don’t understand the saying of “when you stop looking then you will find it” who said anything about me looking. Pretty sure ya girl didn’t step outside with some binoculars on the hunt for a soulmate. Nope, I went outside looking for the optimal root to get back inside.

    I low key agree with you on the “if you love them let them go” cliche, however, I feel like–to me–it’s more of a meaning of “if you love them let them be happy” so the let them go portion takes on a sense of if happy means not with you, then let them go. As long as their happy you are happy. Idk that’s how I have always viewed that gooey gum drop!

    Love the post my dear! Keep the discussion flowing!

  10. I agree with some of those clichés, especially the letting them go one. That one can just be rubbish -_-

    Hehe look at me binging old posts, it’s like April now 😛