You know what bugs me? When people, including myself, watch scary movies or action movies or thriller movies we constantly sit there and analyze how unrealistic and ridiculous the plot line is. I am making this statement from personal experience, and from observing other people. Throughout a scary movie people constantly yell directions and phrases at the main character that normally fall along the lines of: “don’t go upstairs you idiot!”, “you’re dead. no doubt about it.”, “you basically just killed yourself by hiding in the closet, everyone knows that’s the first place the killer looks” etc, etc. As real live humans, who experience real live things, we are able to point out and notice how outrages some movie plots are.This, in my opinion, is a good thing. It helps give us a sense of the real world and the world of fiction. There is nothing wrong with being able to distinguish between the two, in fact it would be kind of scary if we couldn’t distinguish between the two.
But the problem is, which most people don’t even realize, is when it comes to romance movies or even novels we suddenly forget how to separate the real world from that of fiction. For the sake of this blog post I am going to speak for majority of people. I know that this will piss some people off, and I also know that not everybody does this. But from my experience and observations I think I can give a pretty good general idea of this topic. People watch romance movies and read romance novels and they are presented with a flawless main character – who is normally a bad boy turned good for that one special girl – and we all melt over the idea of him. Suddenly your real relationship doesn’t add up because your boyfriend didn’t knock on your bedroom door at 3am just to kiss you in the rain. We somehow get so lost in the plot line of love that we forget these actors and actresses rehearsed those lines, and that scene, X amount of times before it was brought to theatres near us. Instead we forget about the little things that our significant other does and focus on the big picture – literally the move on the big picture that you just finished watching in theatres.
So why do we do that? Why do we constantly compare our lives, especially our love lives, to those that are fiction? Why do we search for “the perfect guy from the movie” (or girl) well ignorantly forgetting the fact that the story is completely made up? I personally do this much more often with characters out of a book than I do with movie characters but the principles are the same. Either way they are still fiction. Not real. You are never going to find the guy out of the movie, or the character out of the book because he is just a figment of some wonderful authors imagination. He is, in simple terms, too good to be true.
We pine over the characters out of movies and novels but the thing is we also pine over other peoples relationships. Whether it be through social media, your peers, or your famous role models – people constantly compare the love they have to the love they see in other people. I know that I have compared my relationship, or envied some body else’s relationship through the pictures that I see on social media. Sure they look like they are so in love and having so much fun, but the problem with social media is you only get to see what they want you to and on the other hand, the problem with fiction is the major conflict between characters has to be resolved within a certain time limit – it’s not real life or real fights. And just maybe that guy that you are so obsessed with, who makes his girlfriend so happy, is really a lazy ass who has never washed a dish in his life. Or maybe that girl wouldn’t make you near as happy as she makes her boyfriend because even though you look compatible through pictures – you really have nothing in common.
Social media, romance movies, and love stories have given us an unrealistic expectation for love. They give us the chance to see the beauty in some peoples stories and relationships but the truth of the matter is we shouldn’t care. We shouldn’t care how happy another couple is. We shouldn’t care how cute they look together. We shouldn’t even care if he’s hot if he is already in a relationship. I believe that love should be completely selfish. By that I mean that love should consume two people and absolutely no one else. You shouldn’t need to broadcast your relationship, or compare your relationship to others because you should be too busy focusing on your own relationship – but we do it anyway and I am just as guilty as the next person.
I am a hopeless romantic, I am a huge sucker for a good romance novel, I love posting couples pictures so everybody around me can see how happy we are, and I have also compared my relationship to other peoples. I am kind of ashamed to admit that to people, but I am also pretty confident that everyone has done this at some point. What I am starting to realize though, is every single person has the opportunity for a love story, but that story will be completely original and completely yours to own. How I am starting to look at it is, if you want your relationship to be the exact same as a novel or a movie, then write it yourself. Write your own love story and fill it full of all the details that give you butterflies in your stomach. But stop trying to shape your love to fit a story line, instead shape the story line to fit your love.
We have unrealistic expectations for love because we are so busy trying to make other people jealous. We are so busy looking for other peoples approval and comparing our real love to pictures of other people. We forget that romance movies are just as unrealistic as horror movies. The thing is though, and the reason that I am still a hopeless romantic to this day, is that love doesn’t have to have unrealistic expectations – we just have to change the way we accept love into our lives.