As a woman, I love romance comedy films. They are funny, witty, and oh, so sinfully delightful to watch; makes me feel all warm and gooey inside to watch the socially awkward underdog heroine finally get the man she deserves. As a single woman, I hate these movies. They remind me that I am not a heroine, and my social awkwardness repels men more than it attracts. Most of all, I get angry that all men aren’t as funny, sensitive, and neurotic like John Cusak, the male lead in many hit romance films. At the end of a chick flick, I want to throw my tub of buttery popcorn at the movie screen, stomp out of the theater, and swing by the grocery store to buy a huge vat of Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream to wallow in from the privacy of my own home.
The chances of real love flourishing are at risk of being ruined because women (like me) gush over Harlequin novels and idolize sappy movies like “Serendipity” or “The Notebook”. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that romance movies and books are my dating downfall. I, like most women, want what the silver screen has to offer when it comes to romance; I want my own Mr./Mark Darcy who will love me like Ms.Elizabeth Bennett/ Bridget Jones. When that doesn’t happen, I blame the man and not my inability to check out of the Hollywood story.
How can a real man live up to “The Dream” that Hollywood has woven into all women’s minds? The problem isn’t the men, but the women who believe they deserve the fairytale fantasy, the happily ever after. It really is no wonder so many women feel disenchanted, jaded, and bitter about dating. All their lives they’ve eaten upromance novels written by trained professionals in the art of weaving amazinglove stories. The whole Edward/Bella story is a perfect example of the type of love women think they want. (I admit I do, and I hate that I do.)
I can’t even imagine the pressure a man has to endure trying to date women starry-eyed about finding a love that only exists on film. These are the very same women who get upset at men for gawking at celebrities and movie stars. They cry foul when they are compared to swimsuit models on popular men’s magazines. But, god forbid, someone try to tell them that they are wrong for objectifying a male movie star. Stand back and get ready for a stern talking to if you tell them that love like that on TV and in movies isn’t real.
Trying to live a dating life full of drama, passion and intrigue like in movies and in romance novels blinds you from seeing the actual moments you have with a man. You are going to miss many a time when a man actually does something romantic, albeit a little subtle and less obviously charming for your taste or Hollywood standards, but before you know it, the moment will have passed, and so did the guy.
To my sisterhood of chick flick movie ticket holders, romantic DVD owners, and romance novel bookworms: We all need to stop trying to gauge all the relationships we have been in, are in, and would like to be in by what happens in print and on the big and little screens. All we are doing is hurting our own dating lives by comparing real life men to a movie star who says what a team of writers told him to say or fictional characters written to be suave. Don’t lose a relationship because the man you are seeing isn’t standing under your window holding up a radio playing your favorite love song. Trust me, if a man did that for me, I’d probably be calling the cops, reporting that there a stalker outside. I highly doubt I’d be rushing out to meet him, passionately kissing him and ripping my clothes off for him. We are not fictional characters; nor do we have a large production company filming our every move, so we should stop expecting our lives to play out like a movie. Or lest be hurt for our fantastical follies in the long run.
I bet you’d be pretty upset, if you heard a man talk about you like this, “I wish she looked more like so and so.” If you don’t want him to do that, then don’t compare him to movie stars. A telltale sign that you are comparing your relationships and dating partners to those you see in movies is if you tell your friends, “I wish I could have that kind of relationship. Why can’t he be more like him?” When these thoughts appear, ask yourself: are they realistic points of views? If they aren’t, make a list of realistic attributes you see in the man you like and the relationship you have with him. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you find. – Contributed by J.N. from Sacramento, California.