Here’s The Problem With Rom-Coms


I’d been dragged out on a date with a man I met at a fratty bar (first warning). My friends thought I needed to give men a fair chance before shutting them down, and it was my New Year’s resolution to spend less nights at home alone with a bar of chocolate. He was good-looking but our conversation was going nowhere, fast. He asked what I was doing after dinner and my natural response would be, “not you,” but I bit my tongue. We finished our meal and he signed for the bill, although, not without asking me if our service was good enough for a nice tip (second warning).

He drove me home and did not walk me to my door (it was over). I quickly hugged and thanked him and hopped out of his car, skipping the goodnight kiss. I watched his face fall, disappointed and annoyed. As I walked toward my house I couldn’t help but wonder if he was all that bad or if my standards for charm and romance were just too high.

I opened my apartment door only to find my two best friends waiting on my couch, wine bottle opened, for my return. I knew I’d given them a key for a good reason. I gave them a brief lowdown of the date and we dismissed the night as a mere experiment to give more men chances. I was right, they were wrong, and He’s Just Not That In To You was queued up on my television screen. This was our downfall.

Fine, I’ll admit it; most of my expectations for life and love have stemmed from the plot-lines of various chick-flics. There are few things I love more than a complicated love story between two unusually attractive lovers.

Throw in a perfect soundtrack, dirty jokes, and a rain scene and why would I ever watch anything else? Serendipity made me believe, whole-heartedly, in density, Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached proved that sex is rarely causal, When Harry Met Sally taught me to keep a keen eye on any male friendships I have, and How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days made any relationship that doesn’t involve Andy Anderson and Benjamin Berry seem unworthy. The list goes on.

I’ve been single for a while now and I find myself constantly wondering where all the good men have gone. I’ve convinced myself that they’re taken, busy building their empire, not in this town, or gay. I usually ignore the possibility that I’m the one at blame. So, I know what I want, is that so wrong?

Well, I devoured the movie with my girlfriends. We laughed, and sighed, and finished two bottles of pinot. But I watched us with newfound guilt. We wanted what we saw. We expected what we were told. We blamed the lack of romance in our lives, that lived not in our minds, on everything Nancy Meyers, Garry Marshall, Nora Ephron, and Nicholas Sparks told us. Perhaps we needed to create our own stories instead of waiting, slightly drunk, for them to happen to us.

If we didn’t stop this behavior, would the scenes playing out in front of us ever meet our expectations, or would our love lives be forever stunted by the romantic bullshit engrained into our minds?