7 Literary Lessons In Heteronormative Love

With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, I thought I’d turn to some of the most “romantic” love stories in literary history to gain some insight about love for Blue Mesa Review.  I will now share this knowledge for the betterment of all humankind.

Happy Valentine’s Day.



Adam & Eve, THE BIBLE; Snow White & The Prince, SNOW WHITE

Don’t eat an apple of any kind on a date.  Especially if you’re being peer pressured by a talking reptile or a hag.  Something really, really bad will happen.   Like, you’ll realize you’ve been walking around naked for, like, months and no one has told you, or you could lose about, I dunno, twenty years of your life.

Elizabeth Bennett & Fitzwilliam Darcy, PRIDE & PREJUDICE

If you meet someone, and you think you’re kinda interested, but then you realize that you were actually wrong and now you despise them, THIS IS ACTUALLY GOOD. Especially if they dislike dancing and your family. THIS IS ACTUALLY REALLY GOOD.   It means they are REALLY RICH.  So keep playing hard to get and you’ll end up with a REALLY NICE HOUSE.

Jane Eyre & Edward Rochester, JANE EYRE

Governess jobs only sometimes pan out romantically (I’ve read The Turn of the Screw too, Literature, you can’t fool me!) but if you do take one, make sure that the guy you work for is really single before you make a move.   And preferably owns a house without an attic.  Works out best for all parties involved.

Lolita and Humbert Humbert, LOLITA

Don’t trust guys with the same first and last name.  Or who like 11-year old girls.  Either is most likely a red flag.

Bella Swann and Edward Cullen, TWILIGHT

Don’t date anyone who wears more glittery-face powder than you during the day.  It either means they are a vampire or a drag queen.  Also, if a boy tells you that he’s dangerous and may kill you, you should probably listen.  This book is basically about domestic abuse or an adventure-loving family of drag queens.  I JUST DON’T KNOW.

Heathcliff and Catherine, WUTHERING HEIGHTS

Yes—tall, dark, and mysterious is definitely sexy. And while this may be attractive, it also can be deadly (again, see above).  These guys tend to not give up so easily, especially if things don’t end well.  They may stalk you for many, many years while they plot revenge on your children, who, incidentally, you will have also named after yourself.  This makes things rather confusing for everyone, and also pretty creepy.  So, to recap: 1. Beware of TDM guys; 2. Don’t name your kids after yourself no matter how smitten you were with Gilmore Girls as a teenager.

Romeo & Juliet, ROMEO & JULIET

Miscommunication is deadly to relationships.  You’d think it would be better today due to the invention of cell phones.  It’s not.


Anabel Graff received her B.A. from Vassar College and is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Texas State University. Her work has appeared in Amazon’s literary journal, Day One, as well as Prada Journal.  To read more visit www.anabelgraff.com.