Can romantic comedies wreck your love life?

by | Dec 22, 2008 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

This shocking news just in: My love life may be over. Or at the least, my fantasy love life. According to a new study by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, people who frequently watch romantic comedies often have unrealistic expectations of romantic relationships and are put at a disadvantage in their relationships. 

They found fans of films such as Runaway Bride and Notting Hill often fail to communicate with their partner.

Many held the view if someone is meant to be with you, then they should know what you want without you telling them.

Psychologists at the family and personal relationships laboratory at the university studied 40 top box office hits between 1995 and 2005, and identified common themes which they believed were unrealistic. The movies included You’ve Got Mail, Maid in Manhattan, The Wedding Planner, and While You Were Sleeping.

Granted most of those movies are lame. They are not MY kind of rom com, more complicated, indie-ish movies like Something’s Gotta Give or When Harry Met Sally, that really do depict the truly circuitous paths that couples take to get together. But still, I must grudgingly and tragically agree there may be something to their findings.Two questions:¬¨‚ĆHow many of your ideas about relationships have been formed by watching television and movie couples?¬¨‚ĆHow many times have you compared a first date or a messy relationship to what you have seen in movies?If we have to limit our intake of romantic comedies, what are we supposed to watch for escapist fluff now? ¬¨‚ĆI’m certainly not a fan of action movies or horror flicks. What does this leave? Indie movies about fucked-up families? Biopics?


  1. Kev

    I can sorta see the logic in that study. I also would like to add Jane Austen movies. Although I love Jane Austen, by reading her books and watching the movies made from her books one can gain an unrealistic portrait of romance that doesn’t exist. I don’t know any man who is man enough to be Mr. Darcy, Captain Wentworth, or even Mr. Tilney.

  2. Ariah

    I don’t know how much watching romantic comedies has affected my outlook on dating, but I know one TV show that has shaped my concept of a successful marriage: The Cosby Show.

    As for the Austen men mentioned by the previous poster… yeah, I don’t know any men that apealing. Doesn’t mean it’s completely unrealistic to hope for a decent man. Decent AND rich, yeah, that might be difficult, as I don’t meet very many rich people.

    I think if more women had SLIGHTLY unrealistic expectations and refused to settle, men might have to “man up” a little, which, assuming they did actually change for the better, would result in fewer sleazoids – always a good thing. 🙂


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Hi! I’m Sasha

Executive and Life Coach on a mission to help women connect with their bodies to pursue their truest desires in the bedroom and the world.

Author of Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics (HarperCollins) + To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us (Simon & Schuster).

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