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The Ball Street Journal

The Ball Street Journal

Romanticizing Romance

The Problem with RomComs

Romanticizing, meaning to “make something seem better or more appealing than it really is” is most often paired with synonyms such as “unrealistic”, “to idealize”, and “to glamorize”. While these idealistic expectations aren’t necessarily negative, they can be, especially in cases where you revolve your beliefs and life around false prepositions. One of the biggest instances of this case is romantic comedies. Romcoms have always been known to romanticize love (because that’s the purpose of them). However, romcoms can be a drug in dangerous doses. Continuously watching these shows can distort your perception of love, whether you know it or not.

Whilst reading multiple articles, I continuously came across a familiar saying, “you are what you eat”. While this may seem out of context, you truly are what you consume – in the form of food, media, and even social interactions – romcoms being no exception. Watching movies about falling in love with the perfect person and living a perfect happily ever after aren’t true, and we’re all aware of this fact. However, when you watch shows with constant big romantic gestures and amorous moments every other scene, it’s hard to not convey these desires into reality. You essentially brainwash yourself into thinking “Yes, this is how love works”, even when you subconsciously know it’s not.

Additionally, romcoms tend to focus on the fact that we’re meant to end up with one specific person. While this isn’t necessarily wrong, it makes it harder for people to determine whether the person they have feelings for in the moment is really the one they’re meant to be with. Are these temporary feelings, or are these real feelings of love? And how are you supposed to know? Well, you’re not.

“I painfully realized that the discontent I was feeling in my relationship was nothing less than me expecting my boyfriend to make me feel the whirlwind of romance that actors were playing onscreen,” says Mary Grace Tillman from Blessed is She. “I was limiting our relationship by expecting a full cinematic feature, while disregarding the genuine, real-life love story we were writing every day,” she continued. “I was limiting him by expecting a Hollywood award-winning air-brushed actor, while disregarding the perfectly imperfect man who was choosing to love me over and over every single day.”

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In other words, we’re limiting ourselves in our relationships by upholding these romcom-y expectations. As Tillman said, we need to learn to appreciate the imperfect person that chooses to love us every day and not aspire to have a staged, scripted, 90-minute Hollywood love.

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