The effect films and television can have on the way we view our own personal relationships is no secret. On-screen couples and relationships can often become the measuring stick by which we measure our own successes and failures – which, given the fictitious nature of the medium, can be problematic, to say the least! With this in mind, what clichés are perhaps the most common for us to fall for?
“Enemies to Lovers”
This is one of the most pernicious tropes in the romantic media, chiefly because it’s a story we all love to hear. The “opposites attract” cliché has been around since well before the invention of the moving picture, and so has been a fundamental element of love stories told on the silver screen since day dot.
Sadly, despite the best efforts of Bringing Up Baby and You’ve Got Mail, the enemies-to-lovers arc is as fictional as they come – something which should be imminently obvious if you’ve ever disliked someone in your life before. Come on, really? Take a second to imagine your future with Derek from Accounting, and his unforgivable tendency to microwave fish in the office kitchenette. It’s fun to watch on a screen for a reason; you don’t have to live it!
Single = Desperate
A particularly infuriating cliché that plays out in a vast array of forgettable rom-coms is that of the desperate single woman. Though surely a hangover from the outdated ideals of the early 20th century, it is a lazy trope that still rears its head in modern love stories. The sad thing is just how easily it is to buy into it. Finding love does make you feel complete, and it’s easy to surmise that being single is the opposite – but living life as a single woman can be incredibly freeing if you choose to view it that way.
Read Also: Easy Ways Women Can Approach Men Without Looking Desperate
The Mid-Argument Kiss
We’ve all been there: a heated discussion with a business competitor/old flame/pain in our backside, when, all of a sudden, we’re mid-smooch and pushing random items off the coffee table to make room. Or have we? Romance films need to ratchet up the drama and tension to 11, and the mid-argument kissing scene is a powerful and cathartic way to release that tension. If only discussions were that much fun in real life. Realistically, attempting to kiss someone in the middle of any discussion, however heated, can only end one way: awkwardly.
Lastly, and perhaps the prettiest of them all, is the tendency for romantic leads to wear matching lingerie sets at all the right times—including the work function where the leading man just happens to be there to walk them home in the middle of a thunderstorm.
When was the last time you wore matching lingerie on purpose, let alone by complete happenstance? More often than not, we’re fighting with the laundry basket in the hopes of finding the missing half, and even if by some miracle we do find the full set in clean and rude health, the chances of wearing underwear that nice on an average Tuesday in the office are slim-to-none.
These are just a few of the many, many clichés that romantic comedies have led us to believe. Clichés are easy to fall for because they’re based on truths – but as we all know, the truth is often stranger than fiction! So, next time you’re looking for love, don’t base your expectations on what you’ve seen in the movies. Life is full of surprises… and usually, they’re not nearly as clean-cut or predictable as Hollywood would have us believe.