Have you ever watched a romantic comedy and wondered why on Earth your life doesn't look like that? Why are Katherine Heigl and Meg Ryan always falling in love in quirky, funny ways that end up being insanely romantic? No?
For years we have been hearing that romantic comedies are messing with women's heads and making us have higher expectations for romance. But a new study from Communication Monographs that surveyed college students found that there was little to no relationship between watching romantic comedies often and believing in things like "love conquers all," "one and only" love (soul mate), and "love at first sight."
Take that rom-com haters. But seriously, didn't the original thought kind of underestimate women anyway?
I understand the difference between movies and real life. I understand that Meg Ryan's "meet-cute" is probably not going to be mine. Even so, I DO believe in soul mates.
I know that sounds crazy and maybe even naive, but hear me out: It's not that I believe every person has only one soul mate. I believe there are many possible soul mates. But I do believe in just knowing that someone is right for you and that is something you know in your bones. And it's not because I watched too many movies.
We ladies are drilled from an early age with this notion of happily ever after and marriage as an end point and destination rather than a new beginning.
So it's no wonder women are shocked when romantic notions aren't quite as they expected. No fairy tale ever shows what happens after marriage when the handsome prince throws his socks on the floor and you go ballistic over his half-assed dish washing.
Even with all its problems, I still believe in marriage and soul mates. I believe in the romance of falling onto the couch together, exhausted after a day of caring for little ones. That IS romance. That's its own rom-com. So, good for the students in the study who know the difference between real life and moves.
Because you know what? Real life is better. It's richer. It's more complicated. And it's more fun. Take that Meg Ryan!
Do you think rom-coms ruin you for romance?
Image via Grand Canyon NPS/Flickr