STAGE 1: Ignorance
"There are girls in Lord of the Rings?"
At first, the subject is aware of love stories in general, but has either never read any or is unaware that he has. Attempts at bringing romance to the subject's attention may result in discomfort, interrupted thought patterns, or an irrational desire to play Splinter Cell.
STAGE 2: Avoidance
They were close enough to feel the warmth of-- "BO-RING." *flip* *flip* *flip*
In the second stage, the subject exhibits an acute awareness and dislike of romance. He will sometimes go out of his way to learn about popular series with romantic storylines just so he can deride them. Studies show a strong correlation between writers in this stage and bachelors.
STAGE 3: Tolerance
"I like the rest of this story. I guess I can put up with a kissing scene or two."
Often triggered by a well-written adventure/romance novel, or a series of real-life break ups, writers in the third stage begin to actually read romantic subplots, if not enjoy them. This is provided, of course, that the main plot involves terrorists, aliens, pirates, serial killers, or some other form of mortal terror.
STAGE 4: Curiosity
"Women read a lot, and they seem to like this stuff. I bet if I can fake it, they'll read my stuff too."
Writers begin to see romance as a means to "trick" women into reading their book. They pay more attention to love stories, trying to see "how it's done." It's important at this stage that they learn from fiction, because even after thousands of years of studying women in real life, men still have no clue what they want.
STAGE 5: Secret Acceptance
In the last stage, the subject comes to terms with the fact that romance is a part of life, and therefore a part of fiction. Although certain cultural pressures still apply.
In public: "I don't care who she ends up with. I just want to see her blow stuff up!"
At home: "Why can't she see how much Gale cares for her?" *tissue*