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Sex + Relationships

Rom-Coms Are Unrealistic: Let’s Talk About It!

I spent most of my childhood watching rom-coms, and TBH, I still do! The only difference is that I now know what real relationships are. I’ve had many heartbreaks and seen my best friends and sisters deal with heartbreaks too! And why? Because we weren’t fully prepared? Because no one taught us how real relationships work?

Maybe it’s because we’ve been learning about love and relationships from all the wrong places.

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I was in the 10th grade when I went home crying after I found out my boyfriend at the time had cheated on me. We were “broken up” for two weeks before getting back together. It happened two more times in the four years that I dated him. A part of me wanted to forgive him because I wanted what I saw in the movies; I wanted us to be the ones that had it the “tough way” before we ended up together for good. *Literally cringing so hard on my 17 y/o self rn.*

Now that I think of it, there are so many issues with rom-coms, the first one being the obsession with adding a third character for the good ol’ cheating scandal and the movie ending with how the main character forgives the other and they live happily after. What happened to addressing the insecurity issues in the aftermath of the reunion? What about showing characters that could be role models? How about teaching your audience that they’re worth more than just dating a cheater?

[bf_image id="7tg7gnct6gpxmnrpjg2bjtn4"] The other day I was watching the third part of To All The Boys where Lana Condor’s character, LJ, talked about “the meet-cute” and all I could think of was how young girls are so influenced by movies. I think it’s total B.S. because everyone I know that’s in a happy, healthy, and established relationship told me they didn't have a "meet-cute" the first time they saw their S/O. (Not that it’s impossible, it's just very rare.) For instance, my sister that’s been with the same guy for about 17 years told me “she had the biggest crush on him” and when she saw him across a busy hallway one day, she tried to make the first move by walking up to him. Turns out, she slipped and fell on her knees to which he “bursted out laughing.” They’re married now and have a three-year-old son. I’d say they did pretty good in spite of experiencing the exact opposite of a meet-cute. 

[bf_image id="q5aqlj-avn7rc-9ap1hd"] According to Miss Congeniality and She’s All That, makeovers just magically change not just the way you look, but also the way everyone else feels about you. It literally teaches you to change yourself in order to be liked by a boy, which I think is very ironic since they also say that if a person truly loves you, they wouldn’t want to change a thing about you! Oh, and in addition to the topic of change, the movie Failure to Launch made me realize how much writers love to portray boys/men to be wild beings that are only meant to be tamed by the “right woman.”  

[bf_image id="8snfj377gpr99fbq9vxptc98"] Do I sometimes wish for people like Peter Kavinsky from TATB and Josh from Clueless? Hell yes! But should I expect the same from boys IRL? NO, because very often it’ll only lead to disappointments. It’s sad because like me, there are so many young girls out there that watch similar TV shows and movies that aren't far from getting their hearts broken. 

Rhea Malve

U Mass Amherst '22

Rhea Malve is a Her Campus contributor who is a junior at UMass Amherst majoring in Journalism and communication. She's an open advocate of feminism and equality. Her interests include baking, everything beauty, art history and culture.
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