There are so many amazing things we can learn from YA books, but also so many that aren't so good. As Valentine's day is sneaking up on us, we're contemplating love here at YA Love Magazine and of course, we're turning to our favourite YA books to get us in the mood to celebrate romance. However - and this is a huge but - there are so many aspects of romance in YA stories that we absolutely should not put into practice out there in the real world.
1. Love triangles are bad, bad, bad.
Sure, Bella Swan made having two boys fighting over you look glamorous, but in reality, it's never a good idea. The initial boost of confidence you get from the affection of two people at once may seem like the greatest thing on earth at the start, but it will inevitably end in someone getting hurt, and it could be any one of the three - not just the two suitors.
2. It's okay to fall for complicated people, but only if they treat you right.
This tends to be a theme that's very common, and it's usually the male in a straight relationship who is a damaged, brooding character who tends to ignore, sometimes even insult our female suitor. We can all have a soft spot for bad boys or bad girls, but if someone doesn't treat you right, they are not the one for you and that needs shouting from the rooftops!
3. Creepy, stalkerish behaviours are never okay.
The book that immediately comes to mind with this one is obviously the stalker-ific Twilight, but it's also often seen in many other YA books. There is a huge, huge difference between creepy behaviours and romantic, sweet behaviours - know the difference! This also includes jealousy, which pops up all over the YA community. A little bit of jealousy can show someone's interest in you, but when it crosses a line and becomes controlling and possessive, it. Is. Not Okay!
4. Love doesn't have to have problematic parts.
Although life has parts of it that throw us off balance every now and then, love shouldn't. Sure, everyone gets in arguments, that's completely natural. But not all romances need to have problematic parts. It is possible to have a seamless romance without any major speed bumps along the way, we just don't read about them because they don't make for a good story!
5. You don't need love to define you.
Although this whole article is focused on love and romance, it's not the be all and end all. Focus on yourself, focus on your friendships, focus on your education and your career. Romance is an incredible thing, but loving yourself is way more important.