I’m addicted to rom-coms. The Notebook, When Harry Met Sally, Love Actually—I love them all, but the relationships in those movies have a lot to answer for. They’ve given me a warped sense of reality when it comes to romance and relationships and I’ve built a bar so high, no guy will ever reach it.
I want life to play out as it does in the movies. Surely this isn’t a big ask. All I want is complete perfection within the ups and downs of life—should be easy, no? In movies, everything is choreographed; from the scenery to the setting and the plot twist, everything is calculated and styled in order to reach the end goal of the story. Unfortunately, life never quite works out that way, which I find completely devasting.
Every scenario has a soundtrack in my head. I’m constantly choosing the soundtrack to my life, adding a worrying amount of nostalgia to pretty much everything and often making the situation 10 times worse. After a fight with my partner, I’m hearing the crescendo of “All By Myself”; coming out of the other side of a tough situation, my head is far too busy trying to remember the lyrics to “I Am Woman” to actually enjoy the situation.
Guys never seem to say what the leading actor would say. In movies, timing is everything and I want that same consideration in real life. In the movie version of life, the leading actor would kiss me passionately in the middle of an argument as a physical way to say, “None of this matters because I love you.” In real life, you both say things you didn’t mean and words can’t be taken back so you harbor resentment for the rest of eternity. Maybe that’s just me…
I think I deserve a movie-esque romance even though they don’t exist. Or if they do, those romances are few and far between! I realize this but my irrational brain wants it regardless. It makes it hard to accept things that would definitely be left on the cutting room floor.
Pathetic fallacy doesn’t help my situation. I’m a bit of a literary nerd, so let me explain what pathetic fallacy is. It’s basically when the weather reflects the tone of the scene. For example, a couple is fighting in the street so it starts to rain or the car breaks down on a creepy road and thunder and lightning erupts in the background. This seems to happen a lot in my life, making me feel like I’m Truman from The Truman Show and adding that blurred line between reality and movie life. If I’m feeling sad and I get caught in the rain, it’s like a sign of confirmation that life can be like a movie, which really isn’t a good thing.
I get hung up on the small details. Every little detail has to be perfect, otherwise, I feel like it’s all wrong. You’d never see the leading lady lying in bed post-sex with a chipped pedicure or seriously smudged makeup; she’s always perfect and her makeup, if smudged at all, is done in a sexy smoldering way, not a clown on acid kind of way. I feel like I can’t relax into life unless all the small details are taken care of. Worst of all, my irrational brain thinks my guy cares about all this too when I know he really doesn’t.
Movie love always work out for the best but that’s not the case in real life. Even when something bad happens, it’s always for a reason. The guy doesn’t get the girl because he doesn’t deserve her yet or the girl has to move to the other side of the world, away from her soulmate, in order to learn a lesson that she eventually puts into place to make it work with “The One.” Life isn’t like that usually, and even when it is, nothing gets wrapped up within a two-hour timeframe.
I’m too busy writing my own story to accept change. I’ve already written my movie script and I know how it’s supposed to end. Of course, life gets in the way and puts obstacles in front of me, changing the script and ultimately the ending. I hate this and have a massive aversion to change because of it. It’s hard to explain to someone that you’re not happy with the current situation in life because of all the extra work involved in redirecting the scenes and the changing of cast members without sounding like a lunatic.
Rom-coms are officially toxic to me. I really need to stop watching them and allowing them to influence me quite so much. It’s definitely not healthy but it makes me wonder whether anybody else is tormented by the illusion these movies give us about life and romance. To me, it’s like the porn debate: if pornstar bodies are the only naked bits you’ve ever seen, that’s what you’ll expect real-life bodies to look like and anything else is weird and not normal. For me, everything that doesn’t fit like a movie seems unnatural and I’m beginning to realize how much of a problem that is.
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