When you think about the staples of a standard romantic movie, you probably think about the fateful meeting, the heartbreaking betrayal, and the inevitable kiss scene accompanied by the sound of violins (and maybe even a harp for maximum impact). And that’s not a bad thing. Romantic movies can be great, and some even offer genuine insight into what relationships can be like. But as much as I hate to admit it, the grand majority of romantic comedies tend to oversimplify and idealize romantic relationships. I mean, is Ryan Gosling really going to run up and kiss us passionately in the rain to win back your love?
Unless you’re Rachel McAdams, then (tragically) no.
I’m sure this is news to no one, but real-life relationships just aren’t like the relationships shown in movies and TV shows. But even though most of us realize this in theory, a lot of people – including myself – will subconsciously believe that love will always find a way, and that a bad relationship can always somehow be fixed. And because of this, it’s hard for anyone – including guys, because they definitely aren’t immune to Gosling-esque charms – to form a romantic relationship that he or she finds completely satisfying.
That’s not to say that a good romantic relationship, when someone finds it, isn’t worth work or effort. If nobody was willing to work on his or her relationships, then everyone would be single! And people might be more reluctant to have children, and then eventually the human race would start to die out… it just wouldn’t be pretty.
So I’m not saying that love isn’t great and fulfilling and wonderful – romantic movies actually get that part right. What they don’t get right is the idea that finding a husband or a wife or a girlfriend or a boyfriend should be a priority.
Ever heard of the Bechdel test? It’s a question that asks whether or not a movie includes at least once scene of two female characters having a conversation about something other than a guy. And shockingly, a lot of movies don’t pass the test. In most movies that feature at least two female characters, usually the main thing they talk about are men. And by including these scenes, directors, writers, and producers are telling us – whether intentionally or unintentionally – that real women should think like this too. Not cool.
If Destiny’s Child says it, it must be true – being independent can feel amazing, and a lot of the time romantic love can produce more trouble than it’s worth. Don’t ignore your friends, family members, and the other people who support you in the pursuit of love. Don’t prioritize finding a romantic relationship over all else, and remember that being single is kind of awesome.
Do you spend a lot of time thinking about love? Why or why not?
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