Relationship Advice: Rom-Com Myths You Need to Stop Believing

February 17, 2016 by

Everyone is familiar with Hollywood’s most predictable genre – the romantic comedy. Better known as the rom-com.

We’ve seen it all before: Boy meets girl. Boy and girl flirt and think they’re falling in love. Boy and girl have numerous issues and misunderstandings that keep them apart. But then – ta-da! – they realize they’re meant to be together, kiss, and live happily ever after.

Even though we know we’re watching a fictional movie, it can be hard to distinguish between fiction and reality when it comes to rom-coms because we keep seeing the same stories over and over (and over and over) again. Why don’t our own romantic lives look like the ones depicted in the movies?

The answer is simple: real-life love and romance is way more complex and nuanced than the movies could ever begin to show. They present to us a simplified illusion of love that’s great for entertainment but lousy when applied to our actual lives – which is why we shouldn’t be getting our relationship advice from the big screen.

So let’s set the record straight and bust the three biggest rom-com myths that you can’t help believing.

Myth #1: Love at first sight.

Yes, we can look at someone for the first time and feeling something, but it’s not love. Most likely what we’re feeling is lust or attraction. Love is more complicated.

The love at first sight trope is easy for movies or TV shows to use because they don’t have to show the actual workings of getting a relationship off the ground. When it comes to on-screen romance, love has to happen quickly.

That romantic period at the beginning of a relationship is called the honeymoon period, and it usually lasts between two weeks to a year. But it’s followed by the Power Struggle – where that romantic bubble has burst, and disappointment and anger can set in.

Many people who reach this point in the relationship mistakenly believe they have “fallen out of love” or “chosen the wrong partner,” but that’s not true. You can work through this period together to discover a deeper, stronger relationship.

Remember, real love takes time.

Myth #2: Fighting just means you have a lot of passion.

While this might seem true, it’s definitely not. Movies show couples fighting intensely, and then moments later, they’re making up and making out. In the real world, volatile fights rarely end with such passionate displays.

Every relationship has conflict, of course. The trick is to learn to manage that conflict together in a healthy way. It’s also important to note something else – while fighting doesn’t equal passion for one another, a total lack of conflict isn’t a good thing either. It can mean that one or both partners have tuned out of the relationship.

Myth #3: Love conquers all.

It’s a wonderful concept to believe that when two people love each other, everything else will automatically fall into place. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and reality is far more complicated than that.

There are so many things that can arise in a relationship that are out of your control. And while love is obviously a necessity, it can’t fix everything. Sometimes, love simply isn’t enough.

Does that mean you should give up if you feel like love is gone? Absolutely not. Instead you should seek help. Relationship education or coaching can help you to rediscover one another again and rekindle that spark you thought was lost forever.

So the next time you watch a rom-com and wonder why your relationship doesn’t look like the one on the screen, remember that every relationship is different – especially fictional ones.