How Romantic Comedies Distort Standards for Dating

Watching romantic comedies seems like a rite of passage for the teenage years or the guilty pleasure for the helpless romantics. However, watching so many Hollywood romances can actually harm obtaining and remaining in real life relationships. These romance movies set unobtainable standards on both the relationship and the partner you expect to have. Below are four reasons why watching romcoms might be unhealthy for a relationship.

1. It makes you expect perfection.

Romantic comedies suggest that the perfect boyfriend or girlfriend truly does exist. Somehow all their flaws seem good as if being distant or upset is edgy and deep. In romantic comedies, there are no flaws, just perfect relationships with the perfect ups and downs to make a good story.

Believing this is how it works in real relationships will cause unhealthy rifts between you and your partner. There is no perfection. You will have to work through each other’s flaws and the things about the other that annoy you. Your partner will do things that will get under your skin and push all your buttons. That’s just part of being close with someone.

If you crave perfection in someone else, you will be drastically let down. Perfection in any form is unattainable. It’s the mess that truly makes a relationship beautiful.

2. You’ll want to wait for love at first sight.

Love at first sight isn’t a new concept but it is in almost every romantic movie. Whether it’s obvious to the characters or to the audience, love is always immediately identified. This suggests that when you find the one, you will know as soon as you first meet them.

This is damaging for those trying to find a relationship because you’ll be waiting for that magical moment. It is a moment, that the more you fantasize about, with become more unobtainable. There aren’t always sparks. Some of the greatest couples are ones that hated each other at first. If you wait for that special moment or feeling to happen when you first set eyes on someone, you’ll be waiting forever and passing up many opportunities.

3. It teaches bad resolutions for conflicts.

Somehow, everything always works out in romantic comedies. After a big fight, the two always find their way back to each other. Maybe there’s a big romantic gesture or a moment of fate, but conflicts are always resolved with a touch of divine intervention.

This teaches bad habits when confronted with conflict between you and your partner. You can’t just wait for that moment of fate to solve all your problems. You have to work through the hard times, have meaningful conversations with your partner and really focus on their feelings along with yours. There’s more work to building a strong relationship than is shown in the movies.

4. They create selfish expectations.

When you watch a girlfriend or boyfriend getting pampered by their partner, it will make you crave the same thing. If they get treated like royalty every second, don’t you deserve the same thing? Well, not exactly.

Watching romantic comedies will give you the desire to be treated this way but it will be detrimental to your relationship. Soon, nothing will be good enough. No matter what your partner does, you’ll expect more and more until there’s nothing left. A relationship is not all about what you want. It’s about compromise, trust, and deep love, and deep love isn’t selfish.

Romantic comedies are not bad. They can be fun to watch on a Friday night with a bowl of thick ice cream. However, don’t take them too seriously and don’t view them as learning opportunities.

They are not based on real life or real relationships and if you try to mimic them, your own relationships will suffer. There is more work and deeper compromise than what is shown on the big screen, but the real-life beauty of a relationship is always worth the extra effort.

Featured Image: Shutterstock

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