Do TV And Movies Portray Real Life Dating?

Girls, HBO, Love
HBO, Girls

Do TV and movies portray dating in real life in an honest way, or am I just spending way too much time watching movies solo and missing something?

Let’s start with TV. Each of these shows specifically have a full storyline or partial storyline that revolves around dating: New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Happy Endings, Girls, I could go on and on all the way back to Seinfeld, Jerry had a new date in nearly EVERY EPISODE. #manhands

Then you look at movies. You have the “I will NOT go on a blind date!” but goes on the blind date setup, you have the one…wait, what am I doing, you know what I’m talking about and you’re probably thinking of a perfect example now. Oh, but the all-time classic “meet cute.” Two people both shopping for fresh blueberries, then end up bumping into each other! Blueberry, you little tasty matchmaker you.

I’m a cute 31-year-old that has bad credit but am fun and sweet and use the word cute too much. I never go on dates. But it’s not just me; it’s nearly every person I know. I’m never having brunch or out having drinks talking about the previous night’s date. To me, if I meet a girl, I’ll text her and tell her some friends and I are going somewhere that night and her and her friends should come. That is a first date.

WAIT! Stop the name-calling. I know that’s not really a first date. That’s what you might call…a douchebag date? What’s worse, is when you get into texting a lot with a girl that you haven’t gone out with yet, and you have covered a lot of things about each other already, and somehow that SMS magic is gone, and you’re out of verbal texts. “Drinks please!”

I’m basing this off of people I’ve talked to in Dallas, Denver, NYC, LA and few small college towns here and there. Very few of them go on actual dates. The worst part is that my guy friends join dating services not looking for anything serious, and girls join it for a free dinner and drinks. So even the online dating people who go on dates don’t seem sincere. I say that knowing there’s sooo many people who have met online and even gotten married. I know some, and that gives me hope. I’m generalizing online dating, just questioning the validity of it.

The worst place is the grocery store. You see a girl, you make eye contact throughout a few aisles, the door is obviously open just like in the movies, and you do nothing. Then you go home and hate eat your pasta for having no balls.

Where are all these other dates coming from? Based on movies and TV they come from yoga class, getting set up, meeting someone at the gym, being a superhero, or actually bumping into a stranger, things drop, you help pick them up, boom: Date.

Truly, my friends and the people I know aren’t “players” or anything of the like. They are all super good people who want to be going on dates, but don’t. Because dating in real life is not like dating in fiction life. You no longer have the time to think of the perfect thing to say as you would with a text and you’re a little nervous because going on a date seems so real, does that make sense? It’s been fictionalized, Facebooked out and textualized so much that going on just a normal fun date doesn’t seem like a normal thing to do anymore. I also can’t think of a worse date than dinner and a movie. Horrible. You have to know someone’s movie watching technique before you go to the theater with him or her. Just my opinion, which is worth the cost of renting on-demand.

Recently I met a yoga instructor getting her PHD; I can talk about her because I know she won’t read this. You know how I know? Because “I met up with her” and within minutes realized she knew nothing about pop culture, music, TV, reading, where as I could spend and entire date talking just about Breaking Bad or “funny people on Twitter”, but she had never heard of Breaking Bad and didn’t really know what Twitter was. Just like I knew (still know) nothing about cells or body fat or studying every single waking second. Luckily this was a group setting because if it had been an actual one on one date I would have just talked about my dog the whole time or fake-listened to her “ruthless professor”.

Is that what real dating is like? You just take a risk? And I can’t stress this enough, this isn’t just me, this about 25 people that range from 25-35 both male and female. Wait, that read like I said 25 people that are half man/half woman. Not what I meant. I bet dating is easier for them, they have niche, you know?

All of this might just make me look pathetic or reveal I have commitment issues or that I just have no idea what I’m talking about, so please don’t attack me! I’m asking this seriously: Do guys and gals really meet each other randomly and exchange numbers, then go out on a date? (How Carrie Bradshaw of a line was THAT. Shame on me.)

I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts on all this, share your meet cute or your weekly dating habits or the first date that eventually led to marriage. But also answer the question: Do movies and TV portray dating in a realistic way? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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