‘Modern Love’ : The Stories That Changed The Way That I Look at Love

Around two weeks ago, I was wasting time and on the search for another great show to binge-watch.

I decided to see what was available on Amazon, because I’d heard they were producing a few great and original shows.

This is where I spotted a new show they had just released called Modern Love. 

As a self-proclaimed romantic I knew this was a show I at least had to give a shot, and I’m glad I did.

I soon learned that Modern Love was based on The New York Times column where people submitted their true stories about everything from love to loss.

The episodes contain some amazing actors such as Tina Fey, Anne Hathaway and Dev Patel. Every episode in this first season of the newly created show told a different person’s story.

Knowing these stories were a real person’s actual story made them more amazing and heartbreaking.

Since the audience knows these stories were written by a real person and that person actually experienced these events added an extra element to watching and experiencing the show.

Rom-coms don’t hold a candle to these stories. 

What makes this show different from romantic comedies and other love stories 

Romantic comedies have been giving me unrealistic expectations about love since the day I watched my first one.

It made me believe in these illogical fallacies that certain things would happen to me in reference to my love life.

Romantic comedies made me think I would one day a guy would serenade me in front of the whole school, have someone stand outside my window with a boombox, end up with somebody who had been my childhood best friend.

I believed the stereotype that one day, I would look up and the love of my life would be right in front of me. 

Hollywood stereotypes primed be for grand gestures about love that I had been seeing my whole life on movie and television screens. 

Midway through watching Modern Love, during one episode a wave of sadness and loneliness consumed me, a feeling I hadn’t  felt since the last time I actively attempted to use a dating app.

The episode I watched that made me feel kind of sad and lonely was one in which two people met at a job interview and instantly clicked.

They went on a romantic date to the zoo and connected in a way that I had only ever seen portrayed in fictional movies and T.V. shows.

But even though Modern Love was a television show, it was based on a real story and this meant that somebody in the world had had this happen to them.

This amazing, complicated love story was somebody’s actuallove story.

Not something written up to sell tickets at the movies or continue to support this idealized idea of love that Hollywood has created.

I think the fact that this love story was real is what made it hurt.

When we get unrealistic expectations from movies or shows, we can just shrug it off and tell ourselves it’s not real and real life doesn’t work out like that.

But, right in front of me, it was happening.

Somebody was experiencing a happy ending that resembled something I had only seen in the movies.

This was not a time that I could tell myself, well things like that don’t really happen to people, because it had. 

But…it is still real life 

Even though Modern Love’s first season on Amazon shared some stories that had romantic happy endings tied together neatly with a bow, these are still stories based on real-life and real life is far from perfect.

Even though in the episode I mentioned earlier the two-people ended up together before that happened someone cheated, they dated other people and one of them even got engaged to another person.

It took years of growth for these two people to find their way back to one another and find their happy ending.

But not all the episodes end with the main character falling in love and this fix all of their problems.

The episode starring Anne Hathaway deals with the story of a woman that has to learn how to handle her bipolar disorder so it does not consume her life anymore.

Another woman in a different episode leaves her husband after coming to terms with her own unhappiness.

The episode starring Tina Fey is about a couple that has to go to counseling to save their marriage. These stories are not sugar-coated.

They showcase how complicated and messy our relationships and lives can be.

Throughout the show there are multiple instances of people not ending up with whom they thought was their “perfect” match or even stories where people have to deal with the deaths of loved ones.

All these stories have shown me that life will never be perfect, and that relationships and love are messy. 

Hollywood has imposed certain ideas and expectations in us about love and relationships, and what these things should look like in our lives.

We expect every person we meet to hold some potential and wonder what our meet-cute with the next person to come into our lives will look like and when it will come.

I have now started reading The New York Times Modern Love column, listening to the podcast based on it and have long since finished the first season of the show on Amazon.

But the more real stories I’ve heard, the more I have learned that every single person is different, and their lives will not all look the same.

Though some people may have romantic, amazing stories about meeting the love of their lives at some party early in their lives is not the case for everybody and that is OK.

The most important thing I have learned from these real life stories about love and loss is that we have to just worry about ourselves, grow as individuals and live life in the moment and not stress about the things and people we cannot control since this is not a movie where we can write the script.