So, I know last week I said that there was going to be a series of columns based on marketing yourself on social media. And there will be, but I forgot that Tuesday was Valentine’s Day. Because of that, I think it’s appropriate that I write a column about an element of the romance genre.  

You may or may not know that I enjoy reading romance books. I particularly like the romance-comedy genre, better known as the rom-com. Whenever I feel like reading something light and fluffy, I always pick up a rom-com from Emily Henry, Christina Lauren, or Nora Roberts (not really a rom-com author though).  

For those that are fans of the genre, you’ll probably know the term or have seen it in action in movies. The “Meet-cute” is the scene where two people meet for the first time, normally under unusual/funny/cute circumstances. By the end of the book or film, those two people will get into a romantic relationship.  

In my opinion, the meet-cute is the best part of these types of stories. The sole reason being that just about all of these stories follow the exact same script. However, the meet-cute is the one difference. 

Take for instance, Sarah Desai’s book The Dating Plan. In it, Daisy is evading her aunt (if memory serves) at some business convention and runs into Liam, her childhood crush, and plants a kiss on him so that the aunt will stop trying to set her up. That kiss spawns this really sort of funny fake engagement.  

Or look at one of my favorite Emily Henry books, People We Meet on Vacation. Alex and Poppy meet during freshman orientation and they’re polar opposites. Poppy ends up sharing a car ride with Alex home from college and it’s a hilarious trip. Think When Harry Met Sally vibes.  

If you’re looking for some examples of the meet-cute in movies, look no further than You’ve Got Mail (1998). Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan will forever be my favorite rom-com couple. If you’ve never seen that gem, how dare you, then I’ll enlighten you. Hanks plays an owner of a chain bookstore while Ryan’s character owns a small, local children’s bookshop. They’re Instant Messaging (IM as we older millennials used to call it back in the day) but they have no clue they’re bitter rivals because they don’t share personal information.  

If you’re like me, you don’t have a social life and therefore never date anyone. If that’s the case, then we know next to nothing about how to write a meet-cute since they’ve never happened to us before. The only thing we can do is look at books and movies. After doing some research, I’ve found some tips about how to write a fairly decent meet-cute.  

The first tip is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be cute. It’s more like embarrassment or awkward moments. Like Alex and Poppy, they’re polar opposites and argue about everything. And Hanks and Ryan’s character. They hate each other outside of AOL world and give advice on how to take the other down in the business world. And when they do meet in real life it’s anything but cute. It can be a cute journey even if it’s awkward.  

There needs to be some conflict in the two people. Again, look at Hanks and Ryan, but also look at Daisy and Liam. There’s an event in their shared past that has created conflict between them that will eventually unpack itself later in the plot, but until that point there’s this tension between them because of it. Work rivals, friends to lovers, and other types of relationships all share the fact that there’s conflict.  

The meet-cute does more than introduce the two main characters to each other. The meet-cute sparks the main source of conflict that fuels the story. In the book, Book Lovers by Emily Henry, Nora is a literary agent and Charlie is a book editor. Nora has a reputation to be cutthroat and icy to people and Charlie is your typical brooding editor. They have met a couple times before the main source of conflict and like the description of the book states, “It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.” Henry’s book sort of subverts the meet-cute by pushing it off until later on in the story, but it’s still great. They’re thrown together to edit a book together and that’s where the fun begins. 

That’s about it for this week, I’ll be back again on the social media grind. Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Before signing off for the week, I’ll give you guys an update about my progress on social media. If you read my column last week, it was about gaining followers on Twitter. I spent about ten to fifteen minutes each day following the steps I gave, and I’ve gained about 50 followers. If you missed the column, you could always read it here


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