Romcom vs. Reality

We all like to indulge in a few guilty pleasures now and again, such as binge-watching trashy reality TV, eating chocolate at 2 a.m., overspending on makeup from Sephora and oh yeah, daydreaming about fictional relationships that we’ll probably never have.

I’ll be the first to say that I love to indulge in a racy romance novel or romcom every once in a while—I’m not the type to read a book with a couple making out on the front cover or watch something like 50 Shades of Grey in public, but I do indulge (privately). I mean, could you imagine someone reading an erotic novel with a photoed couple basically on top of one another while sitting in Starbucks? Or someone watching a sex scene on the airplane monitor next to you when you’re traveling to your grandmother’s house in Cincinnati? Man, if you do these things, I truly salute you, you brave soldier.

However, the point is, romance novels and movies are a guilty pleasure for a lot of men and women and honestly, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with that, nor is there anything wrong with even looking up to some of these fictional relationships. Real or not, I believe that they can teach us a few things about ourselves and what we might look for in love within our own lives, and here are a few examples of how.


1. They can teach you about real-life relationships

Yes, fictional relationships in books and movies are just that—fictional. However, relationships portrayed within novels or on the big screen can be a reflection of ones within real life, and can therefore teach us a few lessons in regards to our own love lives. Simply put, by watching or reading about these fictional couples, we are able to see how certain actions or words can affect a significant other. Often times, fictional characters are portrayed to be as authentic and real as possible, meaning that they may act and speak in ways that might be relatable to us. It’s not so crazy to assume that the dynamic relationships these characters form within a book or movie might relate to relationships we are involved in right now, and can consequently teach us some things about ourselves or our partner that we might not be aware of.

2. They can help you realize what you want in a partner

We’ll probably never meet our book/movie boyfriend or girlfriend in real life, however there is no shame in searching for a partner that might share some of the same attributes or personality traits. If Noah from The Notebook was actually real, I believe we’d all be tripping over each other trying to get to him; though sadly, he will forever remain within the pages of a book and beyond the television screen. However, Noah’s kindness, sense of adventure and dedication to Allie throughout the course of their relationship is something to be admired. There is nothing wrong with basing your search for a partner off of a fictional character you adore, especially if that partner shares the same qualities you think you would appreciate.

3. They can help you realize whether you are ready for a relationship or not

I think most contemporary novels and films do a pretty good job at portraying the trials some relationships are bound to go through. Yes, much conflict within these books and movies are written and scripted for the sake of being dramatic, however they can often present issues and confrontations real life couples face within their own relationships. Even when viewing these works as entertainment, I believe they have the power to influence readers and watchers when it comes to their dating life. Books and movies can make relationships realistically seem like real work—and they usually are. Deciding if you are ready for a relationship or not based off those you see in novels and films is okay.


If romance novels and movies are one of your guilty pleasures, there is nothing wrong with that—not only are they incredibly entertaining to read and watch, but they are able to teach you things about yourself or love in relationships that you might’ve never even known.

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