4 Things Rom Coms Taught Me Not To Do

Everyone loves a good rom-com. We can all agree that most are a little cheesy and unrealistic, but the guilty pleasure aspect draws us into the storyline. Whether it’s a will-they-won’t-they story, a forbidden lovers story, or a tumultuous love story that seems never to give up, we can appreciate the warm fuzzies that a rom-com typically gives us by the end. There’s nothing quite like yelling “Kiss them!” at your screen and cheering on the happy ending for that serotonin boost needed by the end of the week. However, for the sake of real-life purposes, I think we can all agree that your favorite rom-com probably has given you some really bad relationship advice. Out of all my minutes and hours of watching rom-coms to heal a sad heart, here are the four things that I’ve learned I should never do in a relationship. 

Don’t Change Who You Are for Anyone

One of the first movies that comes to mind when I think about changing yourself for someone else is She’s All That. If you’re unfamiliar, popular jock Zach (Freddie Prinze Jr.) makes a bet that he can make the nerdy Laney (Rachael Leigh Cook) into a popular girl. There are already so many red flags about this situation, but we will look past those obvious ones and dig at a deeper issue here. Laney starts to become someone she isn’t Throughout the first half of the movie, she stands up for herself (meekly, but still), has her own unique style, likes what she likes, and is a loyal friend. Through the course of dating Zach, she slowly starts to become someone she doesn’t recognize. She blows off her friends and takes on the role of being Zach’s popular girlfriend, even down to dressing differently in order to be well-liked. Eventually, Laney realizes that she changed for someone who didn’t have good intentions to start with and that she would’ve been better off being exactly who she is. The moral here is that if you are being 100% authentic in yourself, you’ll attract the right people instead of the people who like you but only if you fit their ideal. Be weird, march to the beat of your own drum, and all the other cliches that encompass being yourself. You’ll find the person who loves every aspect of your eccentricities instead of forcing you to adjust them. 

Don’t Chase Someone Who Treats You Poorly

In He’s Just Not That Into You, the film starts with a young girl who is being told the boy on the playground is mean to her because he likes her. This is such a toxic trope in a rom-com that needs to be tossed straight into the garbage. Because of this type of conditioning when the girl is younger, she grows up to chase emotionally unavailable men who are obviously not interested in her. Some rom-coms tell us that we should chase someone harder when they’ve made it clear they don’t like us just in case they change their minds. Many times in the movie, the person being chased ends up being pretty nasty and treating the chasee poorly, but we are told that is all part of playing the game. This is so far from the truth and if someone shows you they don’t like you and shows you who they are, believe them. You wouldn’t want to force someone to change at your expense (see above), so it’s best to cut your losses and focus on fostering a relationship of mutual enjoyment and like. 

Don’t Romanticize Conflict

The Notebook is regarded as one of the most romantic and cutesy rom-coms on the scene. The ending is sad and the love story is simultaneously heartwarming and wrenching, but the one problematic part of the whole movie is how much fighting occurs between Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling). There are many scenes where the two are shown yelling and screaming at each other, even so far as to see Allie hitting Noah in the chest. These two eventually work out their problems, but while they’re young, the conflict is high. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be conflict in a relationship, but solving that conflict by yelling and screaming at each other doesn’t display a very solid foundation of communication that a relationship desperately needs. It’s okay to be frustrated, it’s okay to be angry, but romanticizing that a relationship NEEDS two people to be yelling at each other to have a deep connection is inherently off. It’s not passion as many have argued, it’s a lack of respect and emotional maturity between the partners. 

Don’t Begin a Relationship With a Lie

This should be a given, but building a relationship on a lie doesn’t turn out as well as the movies will tell you. Take How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days as a great example. Andie (Kate Hudson) and Ben (Matthew McConaughey) are two business professionals who think they have the skills to pull off the impossible. Andie is a dating advice columnist and is tasked to research how you can make a man leave you in 10 days. Ben is bet that he can make any woman fall in love with him in 10 days. So, you can see the challenge each is up to with these opposing goals. Over the course of the film, the two eventually start to fall for each other, but as soon as things get really good the two figure out that they were set up to fail. Despite lying directly to each other about who they are, what they like, and what they don’t like for an extended period of time, the two end up together in the end. I can assure you, if you lie about everything you are in a relationship in the real world, it’s unlikely that the relationship will continue and it shouldn’t. Lies can only be kept up for so long, and big lies of that nature have no place in a positive relationship.


About the author

Riley Presnell

Riley is a horror and zodiac writer who uses her powers to dismantle the Gemini stereotypes every day. When she’s not writing, she is lifting, playing with her dogs, and watching movies with her partner.