Who doesn’t love a great movie? They are a great source of escape and entertainment. Some can even rock us to the emotional core. Unfortunately, movies can also set us up for disappointment. This is particularly clear when it comes to romance and dating.
If movies are driving your perception of romantic relationships, it’s time for a reality check. Take a look at these key differences.
Going All Out on The First Date
We’ve all seen the Hollywood version of a first date. A disgustingly expensive meal, maybe a private jet to an exotic destination, and over-the-top gestures all lead to romantic conquest. That’s a great way to land a long-term relationship in the movies, or at least get laid.
In real life, that’s not how things work.Yes, people do like to be treated well, but let’s be honest. That level of spending and planning for a first date just screams obsession. Your simple movie and dinner date may not be groundbreaking, but at least you aren’t raising all sorts of red flags and scaring people away.
The Ideal And Perfectly Timed First Kiss
In movies, the first kiss always happens at the right time, and it’s perfect. The head tilts and lip placement are simply impeccable. In real life, first kisses are usually awkward. Usually, there’s a lot of overthinking, nose bumping, and general sloppiness.
Going Back to a Date’s Unrealistic Apartment
What’s that? Your date is a full-time college student living in Manhattan you say? Then of course they’ll have a 4K per month 1000 square foot apartment in a building with a doorman! We’ll also throw in about 10K in furniture and decor. At least that’s the reality in the movies.
In the real world, the college student you’re dating shares 600 square feet of space with three roommates, and it’s a walkup. The decor will be shabby chic with an emphasis on shabby.
Everybody Changes For The Better
In the movies, it’s perfectly fine to start a dating relationship with a self-centered narcissist. That’s because, in the movies, love will change the heart and mind of even the biggest jerk. All it takes is a simple epiphany for even the most self-centered person to change their ways.
In reality, while people are capable of growth that’s just not how things happen. Assuming you can change somebody’s core personality is just setting yourself up for disappointment.
Why These Differences Are a Bigger Deal Than You Think
Are these differences really important? Shouldn’t people be able to discern fiction from real life? If these misrepresentations were rare, the answer would be yes. The problem is that people receive a steady stream of unrealistic messaging about dating and romance from TV shows and movies. Over time, that makes an impact. It sets people up for disappointment, and to make poor decisions.
What’s The Cure For This Lack of Reality?
It really boils down to managing expectations and having honest conversations. Young people in particular are susceptible to the messaging in movies. So, they need discussion and education to counter that. Yes, sex-ed is extraordinarily important. So is relationship education. Otherwise, you get girls who think their job is to fix jerks and guys who think their value comes from the amount of money they have to spend on their romantic partners.
Of course, all of this mostly addresses mainstream movies and hetero relationships. The level of stereotyping and toxicity in movies that showcase LGBTQ+ relationships is often worse. There’s also the fact that young, queer folks don’t often have much help navigating their relationships.
Fortunately, help for that may come from a surprising source. That gay dating app on an LGBTQ+ person’s phone doesn’t just help them find nearby hookups. It’s a tool that allows them to safely find dates that are compatible with them and get to know potential partners over time. Remember, dating apps often include features like video chat, streaming, and detailed profiles. These things help paint a more realistic picture of users than other methods of connecting with people to date.
Gaining Healthier Perspectives
None of this means that movies are bad or that people shouldn’t enjoy them. Many of the unrealistic dating tropes in entertainment simply exist because they move the storyline forward. That’s great, but it’s up to us to give ourselves a reality check from time to time.