Five important lessons rom coms have taught us about dating
Let’s face it – life isn’t a romantic comedy. You’re probs not going to find your dream guy by dropping the contents of your bag and bumping your heads on the way to picking it all up. But unlike all Disney movies where it’s a fairy tale meeting and a happy ending, some rom coms are a bit more realistic than that. These are the times rom coms got real about dating and the important lessons to learn about the world of dating.
Movie: He’s Just Not That Into You
Lesson learnt: Never accept a half-assed effort from anyone
With multiple intertwining stories and relationships, there was bound to be a few lessons HJNTIY imparted about dating. We’ve all probably felt a bit like Gigi at one point in our lives – questioning why we haven’t heard back from a guy after a date and stressing about a text message we’ve sent. If we do finally get a text three weeks later, a lot of us fall into the trap of making excuses for the person we’re dating. But you need to stop making excuses for someone who isn’t putting in the effort and treating you right. Preach.
Movie: Crazy, Stupid, Love
Lesson learnt: It’s not a big deal if you meet someone at a bar
If we could meet someone like Ryan Gosling at a bar, we’d be out drinking a lot more often. A bit more realistic than most rom coms (despite the ridiculously good looking cast), Hannah (Emma Stone) rejects him at first before coming around to his charming ways. It just shows there’s no good way to meet someone – you could meet ‘the one’ at a sleazy bar or Tinder, but you shouldn’t be ashamed about it. Instead of coming up with a fake story about how you met, tell it like it is – it’s just a funny story to laugh about later.
Movie: Easy A
Lesson learnt: It really doesn’t matter how many people you’ve slept with
Although the plot is a little different to the dating lesson, hear me out. Viola (Emma Stone, queen of rom coms) doesn’t actually sleep with anyone. But when a rumour is spread and people think she has had sex with loads of guys, she's subjected to some seriously not cool slut-shaming.
The moral is – be more like Emma Stone and stop giving a fuck. You shouldn’t have to feel bad about your ‘number’ or feel like you have to lie about it to anyone you’re dating. If someone you’re dating cares about something as superficial as how many people you’ve slept with, they’re not worth dating. Hopefully instead, you’ll find someone more like Penn Badgely.
Movie: 500 Days of Summer
Lesson learnt: If you don’t have “the talk”, one of you could end up getting hurt
We get it, it’s really hard to bring up that convo when you like someone and you’re trying to play it cool. But once you start having a few more dates, getting a bit more serious and catching the feels, you need to define the relationship. If you let it go on for too long without saying anything, you might not realise that one of you is way more into/way less into it than you are. Establish whether you’re interested in something a bit more serious or more of a casual fling, or one of you might end up as downtrodden as Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s sad character.
Movie: Love Actually
Lesson learnt: Not everything will be perfect or go according to plan
If you watch this movie religiously every Christmas, you should have picked up some hints about love, relationships and dating by now. It’s important to not keep your expectations at Disney fairytale level but to bring it down a notch. You might not meet in the most romantic way (although we’re guessing it’s probs not going to be on the set of a porno or in the PM’s office), but there’s no perfect way to meet someone. Things might not go to plan – you may fall in love with someone who doesn’t speak a word of English but Love Actually has taught us if it’s meant to be, you’ll make it happen.