How To Be A Single Woman In A Mainstream Rom-Com

Have a weird, random dream job that would only exist in a Hollywood script. You’re a product tester of…products, or a “GLAMOROUS” dog walker, or a super chic editor of Chic Magazine located in Loveless Metropolitan City, U.S.A. Your job is your life. In the office, you’re an assertive smart woman but at home, when no one is looking, you open a bottle of wine and become The Sad Wine-Drinking Single Woman. It’s all so terrible. You really feel sympathy watching the fun, sassy career woman dissolve into mush when there’s no hard, throbbing penis greeting her at the door. “Wait, YOU don’t have it all? I’m so confused. The KT Turnstall song and the DVF dress you wore to work today indicated otherwise. Now, I’m interested…”

Have a quirky single sexually-active best friend who drinks a lot and tells you to go out and find a man, dammit! Sometimes she even talks about penises really loud when you’re at brunch and everyone stares. OMG, she’s so inappropriate and wild but, like, don’t you just love her? She’s the funny kooky friend everyone loves to be around! Whenever you get invited to dinner parties, the host asks you, “Can you bring your crazy friend? SHE’S SO FUNNY!” So you do. You bring her and she livens up the whole evening with her antics. These women are married, which means they’re boring and have no zest for life (Incidentally, the goal of this film is for you to join them and be happily married and boring too but whatevs!), so when this free-spirit energy comes barreling through a home where love and monogamy lives, it’s a special treat for everyone! “Look at her, girls! She’s single and saying funny things!”

Be smarter than the average woman. In case you didn’t already know, the average woman is a retarded psycho. They fall for womanizing jerks and get cruelly dumped but it’s okay because they’re nuts and sort of deserve it. Not you though! You’re smarter than that! When you meet your love interest — the womanizing player — you let him know that you’re not one of the slutty, stupid girls he’s used to sleeping with. You’re on to his game! You won’t be won over that easily. Wait, he has amazing eyes though. And you’re so tired of being alone. Maybe one date with a misogynistic jerk won’t hurt. Farewell bottle of wine…

This is when you stop being the strong, single independent woman and start to lose your mind. You put on a good front there for a second, showing this man that you were smarter than all the other girls, but now that you’re developing a crush, you’ve become One Of Them. Some may diagnose you with a case of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, but nope! You’re just a girl who’s falling in love! Do the following things to show that you’re happy: Dance embarrassingly along to hip-hop in your kitchen alone while in your underwear, gesticulate wildly, call your crazy friend for advice, widen your eyes repeatedly, talk very fast, become a spaz and fall (hilariously) down the stairs, and start to question every aspect of the relationship and/ or yourself. Take down your ratty ponytail (YOU WERE SO UGLY BEFORE WHEN YOU WERE SINGLE, OMG) and get glam.

Tame the misogynistic jerk into a nice guy with only slight misogynistic tendencies. After all, you can’t change a man completely. Now you just find his sexism to be super endearing. Have his male bro friends tease him for becoming whipped. When a man becomes tender and sweet, he is humiliated by everyone around him. It’s really weird and #dark. You celebrate men for mistreating women and condemn them when they change their ways. Um, k.

Have a moment when the man’s whole credibility goes into question. He’s lying to you about something. Maybe he’s actually your ex-boyfriend from high school who’s been made unrecognizable with plastic surgery? Or maybe he’s a Mormon? IDK. Regain your power for a moment and dump him.

Get back together four scenes later after a lot of begging and pleading. All of the misunderstandings are cleared up with some paper-thin excuse, or maybe you’ve just been tasered and your memory has been erased. Whatever the reason, you get back together and suddenly revert back to the powerful woman you were in the beginning but with a boyfriend. Because women can have it all! Because of feminism! Because of… wait, where’s your glass of wine? Can someone put on that song “Hot In Herre”? TC mark

image – The Ugly Truth

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Betoknee

    HA! love it

  • cnh226

    dammit, you beat me to the punch of my new screenplay.

    • Kai

       This movie has been made for 20+ years, there’s no reason to stop making it now.

  • Heather Anne

    once again, great writing from Thought Catalog makes my bad day a whole lot better. 

  • Guest

    oh man i love this

  • lberry

    I absolutely love this.

  • S

    Hahaa! Witty and fun!

  • Kai


  • MC

    I. Love. You.


    Can you do a ‘How to be a teenage boy in an American coming-of-age comedy’ please? With focus on either John Hughes films from the 80s or the current post-stiffler era.

  • rom-com4lyffff

    so on point. I kind of miss the time when 1) I believed them when they said that it was the #1 movie in America and 2) I ate shit like that up without question. (mostly because now its difficult to find comedy movies that aren’t just as problematic and reductive as this.)

  • Anonymous

    You forgot the “realizing you made a mistake of dumping your [insert word for soulmate here], to which the music starts to get [enter a synonym for energetic/quirky here], and you frantically/comically/ironically run through the streets in your [insert crazy wacky outfit here, a bridesmaid dress or Hawaiian luau costume] to make sure they don’t leave your town on their [insert mode of transportation, like airplane or train].”

    *tear* Gets me every time.

  • Cecil

    This is really similar to “Flick Chicks” by Mindy Kaling from the New Yorker.

    • rhoda

      not just really similar. copied the same fundamental ideas. originality is important kid.

      • Guestropod

        I’m *so* sure Mindy Kaling was the first person ever to point these things out about rom-coms.

  • Julie

    I think you just described every Katherine Heigl movie to date…

  • Kelly Burgess

    I just played this movie in my head while I read this.  The movie was just as enjoyable the 80+ other times I’ve seen it.

  • rebecca

    This really is true isn’t it, I used to love these types of movies until I saw one too many…romance in real life is much more comlex, and satisfying…and those players we all fall for, they can’t be tamed by the women they love…and the only women they will respect is there little sister or there daughter.

  • Elle

    Beautiful. Had me smirking knowingly the whole time.

    However, your “kissing the wrong mouth” episode could relate to this is you really did take her back. Just saying. A drunk girl isn’t nearly as legitimate as Bourne. Without question.

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