How Hollywood Media Affects Our Expectations of Love
You know the story…boy meets girl. The boy is incredibly cold-hearted and reserved, yet the girl, who is of seemingly modest background, manages to bring out the heart in him, in a short span of time. Then they appear to live happily ever after because the fade-away movie shot is of them laughing and kissing as the credits roll.
Then we go on to wonder, “Why can’t I have that? I’m just as pretty as the main girl…heck, I even have the same personality! I mean, who doesn’t dance like a dork in their PJs?”
On the other side of the Hollywood spectrum, first date disasters mean there’s no chance of romance, honeymoons are as good as romance will ever get, and we must always be wary of future-in-laws and their unyielding personalities.
Which side tells the truth about romance? Well…it’s a bit of both really. Long term romances aren’t always rainbows and butterflies.
Today, we discuss the influence of Hollywood love stories on our expectations of love and how we can dissociate the real from the fake.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Many romance movies rake in the money by playing on our fantasies. Just look at the newly released “Fifty Shades of Grey” trailer. It deals with a topic so taboo that many of us have flocked to buy the books and are awaiting the release of the movie because it is a fantasy many of us want to live out. Unfortunately, some of us take these fantasies too seriously to the point where it becomes an unhealthy obsession.
Think back to the peak of the “Twilight” era, when you would hear reports of girlfriends biting their boyfriends in an attempt to transform them into a vampire and declaring their undying love for their one true soul mate.
There is a good side to all of this. Romantic movies and stories essentially serve to reinvigorate our perceptions of love, but not all romantic movies are the same. Many of us tend to view rom-coms as reality rather than the fantasy they are comprised of, but there are romance movies that convey more complex messages about the realities of love. So it’s just a matter of tuning our minds to distinguish fantasy from reality.
Now to face the ugly part: reality. It’s not as ugly as it seems. Our expectations of love have fluctuated throughout time. When we encountered our first rom-coms, we’re captured by the unexpected: the first glorious kiss in the rain and the over-the-top declaration of love. Now, we’re just fed up with it and wanting to rid ourselves of the “perfect romance.”
A suggestion? Meet more real-life couples, not the Kimye’s or the Beyonce/Jay-Z couples, but the real couples who fight and go through life’s problems together. Or watch the actual movies that serve to teach real lessons about love and not just sugarcoat it with the overused romance themes (we’re looking at you “kissing in the rain”).
Happy ever after’s are so yesterday.