the BLOG of stuart mcdonald


Dangerous Chick Flicks?
December 24, 2008, 10:41 am
Filed under: Relationships

Are romantic movies bad for you? That’s the questions that a recent TIME magazine article aims to answer. It quotes Dr Bjarne Holmes, who conducted the study, as saying, “Relationship counselors often face common misconceptions in their clients that if your partner truly loves you they’d know what you need without you communicating it, that your soul mate is predestined. We did a rigorous content analysis of romantic comedies and found that the same issues were being portrayed in these films.”

Translation: You and your girl (or guy) have seen every romantic movie under the sun. But someone fails to understand that they way they are on screen isn’t “real”. They’re acting, but yet your partner is still act like you should know your every thought, want, and need without you properly communicating. Unhealthy and/or unspoken expectations can sabotage an otherwise healthy relationship so quickly it’s not even funny.

The way the plot runs is fantastic, the characters say things to each other that we could only dream of. We sit there and think, “That’s plausible, that could happen to me” and it could. I don’t want to be the ultimate pessimist here, I am, after all, a hopeless romantic myself. I’m always down for a good “chick flick” (or romantic comedies, or whatever you want to call them) and Lord knows I love love songs; it seems like I’m listening to them more and more. I think you do have to be realistic about what to expect in a relationship. You have to understand that real life isn’t a movie, as much as it seems like it. Not every relationship has a storybook ending. I wish they did, but the fact is they don’t.

Another misconception movies tend to perpetuate is that there is one person for each of us; I bought into it for quite awhile myself. But stop and think about the weight of that idea for a minute. That means if one person marries someone who isn’t their “one” then the entire world is thrown off. While the thought that there is more than one person I could marry is a little odd, that forces me to rely on God’s guidance in order to choose the one that is His best for my life that much more! What I’m struggling with, personally, is how do I choose from “the choices”?

There’s nothing wrong with having standards when it comes to what you’re looking for, but at the same time, it’s important to be realistic as well. I’m not saying lower your standards. I am saying be open to things when the situation may not be perfect. If you want for perfect conditions (for anything, not just relationships), you’ll be waiting forever. You might just have to take a chance and be surprised.

There are no perfect people and therefore no perfect relationships. Everything is about compromise and learning and understanding it’s not about you. It’s about working together and moving in the same direction with mutual trust and respect and love for each other. Real relationships take real work. Period.

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