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9 Myths Romantic Movies Made Us Believe, and How They Can Damage Our Relationships

From time to time, it’s good to watch a Disney movie and, at least for a limited period of time, stay in a magical world. But once the movie is over, we go back to reality. With romantic movies, the situation is similar, except some of those myths are very tenacious, and they can actually decrease your relationship satisfaction, according to this study.

We at Bright Side want to bust those myths to make sure that your love life is not affected by any of them.

1. What is meant to be will be.

Examples: The Notebook (2004), How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014)

Common movie tropes, like finding a soulmate, otherwise known as “the one,” “the person you’re meant to be with,” and others, are appealing to those who believe in destiny. However, this makes them more passive. As a result, these types of people’s relationships tend to be short, according to psychologists, since they give up as soon as problems appear. Also, it makes people think that they’re not in control of their own love life.

2. One look is enough.

Examples: Titanic (1997), West Side Story (1961)

“Love at first sight” is a very convenient thing for moviemakers if you think about it: it saves them a lot of screen time. But in reality, while you can find someone attractive from just one glance, building a meaningful connection definitely takes more time.

3. Fighting means your love is passionate.

Examples: The Notebook (2004)

According to industry professionals, sometimes loud fights between characters are used in movies to emphasize conflict. And while disagreeing is perfectly normal, screaming at the top of your lungs, breaking things, or driving dangerously might be a sign of anger control issues.

4. A knight will come and save the day.

Examples: Pretty Woman (1990), Maid in Manhattan (2002)

Finding a partner is often presented in movies as something that can solve all of your problems. In some cases, love is just shown as something that makes your life better, which it definitely can be, although it might lead some people to believe that their life is incomplete if they aren’t dating. In fact, a study showed that being single leaves more time for social interactions, which makes people happy.

Some more extreme examples of the same phenomenon feature an image of a wealthy man who comes to the rescue and provides a woman with a happily-ever-after. Not only is this the opposite of what we need to promote equality, but the difference in habits and rituals, which inevitably comes with a dramatically different financial background, prevents relationships from lasting.

5. Someone’s personality is perfect just for you.

Examples: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Some movies show us that we can lie about who we are and our motives and still end up with a person we like, even though it would be quite ridiculous in reality if you think about it. Psychologists agree: telling lies to your partner leads to a lack of authenticity in the relationship, being uncomfortable around loved ones, and even health problems.

6. There’s not a thing true love can’t fix.

Examples: Beauty and the Beast (1991), Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

We’ve all been shown that it’s possible to change the person you like, even if their behavior is alarming, like if a person enjoys freedom and doesn’t want anything serious, but we still believe that they will change their mind. Projecting our desires on other people’s lifestyles is a type of passive-aggressive violation of boundaries, which has no place in a healthy relationship.

7. Love A Major glow-up is all you need!

Examples: Cinderella (1950), The Princess Diaries (2001), She’s All That (1999)

This ever-present trope from movies tries to persuade us that changing your hairstyle and putting on some makeup (don’t forget a face mask with cucumber slices on the eyes) are bound to “land” you the person you like, even if they weren’t interested in you before. Of course, there’s nothing bad about wanting to change your appearance, but we should never do it just to impress others.

8. Playing hard-to-get works.

Examples: Friends (1994-2004), Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Not only does this myth show the person you like that you’re not interested in them, but it also works against the “no means no” rule. This encourages stalking, which is usually shown in movies as something romantic, but it’s absolutely terrifying in reality. Lastly, such behavior might attract people with commitment issues to you.

9. We can just stay friends.

Examples: Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012), Love Actually (2003)

It’s hard to let go of a past relationship you’ve invested a lot of time and energy in or stay friends if you’ve been rejected. Sometimes it’s best to have real closure, otherwise, this friendship can damage future relationships for you both. Psychologists advise waiting for 6-12 months before starting a friendship with your ex to see if it’s even possible.

Have you ever noticed any other relationship myths in romantic movies?

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