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Romantic Comedies and Their Overarching Influence On My Life

I grew up watching countless romantic comedies. From a young age, I was being introduced to love stories like that of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail or life after love in P.S. I Love You. It’s movies like these and so many more which have made me the person I am today. I would say one of my personality traits is a romantic comedy connoisseur. But, these movies and all the fairytale love stories that they tell, have influenced my own reality of love and my personal love life. Don’t take this article as me declaring my hatred of love, I watch these movies and enjoy them. I find myself immersed in this world of love and romance. But, if you take a deeper look and separate reality and fiction, I believe one's individual journey of love can be understood and practiced in a more realistic manner. 

I am the person to fully immerse myself in a movie or television show, characters become my family, I build a connection within their stories and lives, and find myself all tangled up in the plot. I take characteristics from these stories and their characters and try to find them in my own day to day life, I meet people and compare them to my favorite characters and romances. Somehow love is always on the brain because of these damn movies and their romantic and spontaneous plots.  

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You have an idea of how your life is going to turn out, when I was a kid, all I did was watch romantic comedies in my basement or with my mom to pass the time. My mother introduced me to the wide and romantic world of Pride and Prejudice (both the Keria Knightly version as well as the 6-hour version) from a young age, on sick days the motive was to cuddle up in bed and binge all the classics. These romances and the characters experiencing them brought me extreme comfort and also unknowingly set my expectations of what I believed my love life would be once I was older. I imagined that when I was older my high school life was going to be the plot of 10 Things I Hate About You. I believed one day I too would have a total hunk of a guy holding a boombox playing “In Your Eyes” outside my bedroom window, but as I enter into my 20th revolution of the sun I have come to the heart wrenching but healthy conclusion that my life is not going to be like the romantic comedies I grew up watching and loved. 

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Somehow even though everyone watching these movies are logical individuals and can separate fiction and reality we still wrap ourselves up in these romantic stories and create unachievable expectations in our own love lives. Sorry to say it, especially since it hurts me but in my current state I can’t see ever having Timothee Chalamet as Laurie in Little Women profess his undying love for me in the countryside and that's just a harsh reality to face. 

The thing is that I feel like I should’ve reached this conclusion much sooner but I was in a bit of denial, to say the least. These movies are meant to make us feel something, make us long for romance, the feeling of butterflies in our stomach, the idea of being wanted just as you are, and they do just that.  Not to mention, I don’t think anyone is mad about the serotonin release these movies provide. The danger comes when we as viewers take these ultimate stories of love and these amazing male characters and try to force them and apply them into our own day-to-day reality. These movies are supposed to be an escape, a tool to use when work and our personal lives are just too much and we need a happy ending. They are meant to remind you that love exists, but if we take them to literally our own love lives will suffer. If you are entering into your love life with the expectations of being wooed off your feet then it's just never gonna happen. Multiple people have told me ‘if you're looking for love you're never gonna find it, you’ve got to let it find you’ or ‘it’ll come when you least expect it’. It’s the advice that you never want to hear, but really it is great advice and it is the exact advice I’m going to go with right now. All my life I have been imagining my one great love story, how I’m going to be swept off my feet and it's been fun, it really has, but it's not real it's just a fantasy built off of my love of romantic movies and television shows.  [bf_image id="svmfbp4k6c3hgkxfnvw4mcrh"]

This idea of love especially in the modern social sense, involving hook-up culture and dating apps and so on, could be talked and written about in both a casual and academic way at length. But let’s keep it simple, all of it both the examination of just how much romantic comedies have formed my love life and language as well as the topic of love itself. Get rid of the glitz and glam associated with these grand romantic tales and bring it back to the skin and bones of it all, remember that to love anyone else and make that love last, you too have to love yourself and everything you bring to the table. 

Keep things realistic people and in perspective and who knows what could be waiting for you around the corner in your love life, I know I can’t wait to find out what is waiting for me.   

Hi my name is Caroline and I am super excited to be joining Her Campus as a writer this year!
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