Romantic Comedies Vs. Your Actual Life

Scenario: A guy wants to date you and goes 7000% over the top in his effort to woo you

Romantic Comedies:

This beautiful creature, in the vague shape of Ryan Gosling or Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who looks as though he was carved from flesh-colored marble, is here to woo you with gestures that are so over-the-top that they become endearing. Who cares if it’s stalking, as long as it’s performed by someone with a shoulder-to-waist ratio fit for a Disney prince and a jawline used to sharpen kitchen knives? Essentially they will just perform increasingly insane acts — from waiting outside your house with 4,000 yellow daffodils, to stopping an entire school dance to sing you a personalized song — until your chagrin is worn down into a mushy kind of admiration and, eventually, true love. Nothing gets a woman quite like persistence.

Your Actual Life:

Some MRA off of Reddit (the only genre of man willing to make such egregious overtures in spite of zero reciprocal feelings) tries to get you to tolerate him enough to agree to a date and reward him for all his hard work and money spent on 1-800-Flowers with a round of reluctant sex. When you inevitably let him down easy, implying that gestures of infatuation which clearly violate your personal boundaries are the opposite of attractive, you will be labeled a ‘bitch’ who doesn’t like ‘nice guys’ and who will ultimately regret it when you are 30 and undesirable and he is rich from some Silicon Valley-based startup.

Scenario: You have a crush on someone and they refuse to acknowledge your existence

Romantic Comedies:

You are pursuing the popular guy, whether in the cruel halls of public high school or the pressure-cooker world of big city dating as a 20-something, who is way out of your perceived “league.” Though, at the beginning, he brushes you off without a second thought because the rigorous rules of dating imply that he could never be seen in public with someone who wasn’t a part-time model and part-time grade school teacher who loves to nurture and not talk too much, your strange charm eventually snags his attention enough to give you a real chance. You forgive him for his initial displays of horrifying shallowness and misogyny, of course, because you have only marshmallows and welcome mats where your spine should be.

Your Actual Life:

The cad who refuses to acknowledge you because he openly believes himself to be too good for you is eventually pestered enough by your attempts to get with him that he decides you would be a good opportunity for the errant booty call, so you have a few months of being strung along and never shown out in public with him to look forward to. He may eventually sleep with your better-looking friend.

Scenario: You are pursuing a bad boy who insists that he isn’t looking for love

Romantic Comedies:

While everything he does seems to indicate that he is just as much a tender soul as you who is in desperate need of cuddles and occasionally enjoys being the little spoon, this hottie with a chest tattoo and just enough Adam Levine-esque scruff to make him mysterious insists that he’s only going to break your heart. You’re a wonderful girl, and if it would be anyone it would be you, but he’s just not looking for that — or so he says. As it turns out, you are just the right combination of acerbic and small-waisted to win over his icy heart and prove to the world that even the most rogue stallions can be tamed with the right set of skills. You are now the envy of every girl to ever get those fake stocking seam tattoos on the back of her legs.

Your Actual Life:

The gorgeous douchebag who works as a barista at the vegan coffee shop and occasionally dabbles in white man dreads is as serious as a heart attack when he insists that he’s not actually looking to do anything besides bone prolifically and hang out with his alt-bros. You will try to wheedle down his resolve for a few weeks, certain that you possess the keys to his icy, be-inked heart, only to realize that he is indeed not interested in anything that would require him to call someone more than once a month.

Scenario: You are a quirky, offbeat girl who has strange interests and a weird sense of humor

Romantic Comedies:

Aside from being physically stunning, your offbeat-ness is just the right level of inoffensive and charming that any quirks you possess can be considered a pleasant alternative to the “normal girls” who are only interested in getting manicures and talking about the myriad uses of hair straighteners. You represent all that is unique and special in this world, while still possessing the conventional beauty essential to make your personality appealing. You are the talk of the town, and every man in the tri-state area would give his left testicle for a chance to decorate stuffed owls to put on your Etsy page.

Your Actual Life:

You don’t look like Zooey Deschanel, and dudes are strangely not fighting over the chance to hang out with you while you browse erotic fanfic and get stressed out at the prospect of speaking with people over the phone. Also, bangs kind of make your face look like a potato.

Scenario: Your friend is getting married and you don’t have a date for the wedding

Romantic Comedies:

Luckily for you, the piping-hot best man is there to woo you over the course of the wedding preparations and ceremony itself, to the point that the two of you watch the couple having their first dance and both secretly consider what it would be like if it were the two of you up there dancing instead. Though you came into this expecting to be down on yourself for not having a date to bring to such an overtly romantic event, Hot Best Man Guy is charmed by your Daria-esque cynicism and disillusion with the whole concept of weddings that you have managed to shelve long enough to be a cool, supportive friend.

Your Actual Life:

You swallow the vaguely betrayed feeling as your Facebook news feed fills up with non-stop pictures of the happy new couple posing in quasi-matching outfits out in a field somewhere to announce to the world that they are happier than you. You look forward to the wedding mostly because it will mean getting crunk on free alcohol and eating seven slice of cake, only to find that they have tried to set you up with the cousin who wants to talk to you about the philosophy of Ayn Rand for the duration of the evening. You take several consolation slices of cake home in a Tupperware you brought yourself. TC mark

 

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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