The Loneliness of Rom-ComsThe Loneliness of Rom-Coms

Rom-coms are a solid source of simple-minded happiness for many, but do they truly succeed in bringing happiness to their audience? Romantic comedies generally tend to portray a distorted perspective on love and life, implying that life is not complete without your great true love.
        While some viewers watch romantic comedies to remedy their lonely, broken, or bitter hearts, others experience the opposite effect: they feel emptier and lonelier after watching others fall so deeply and truly in love. Seeing others find their person, their true love, can lead to a spiral of thoughts and beliefs that they will never experience a deep love like those shown on their screens. They don’t believe they are worthy of love, or that their perfect match is out there, waiting for them; searching for them. 
        Humans are social animals, as several philosophers —including Aristotle— concluded, which means people need other people around them in order to grow and thrive. We are not made to wallow in our rooms on our own. This, however, does not mean we can only be truly happy and thrive in romantic relationships, platonic relationships get the job done too; a life without friends or any connections is even lonelier than a life without a romantic interest, some could argue. While many realize how unrealistic rom-coms are, they continue to be watched and made over and over again, as people let their perception of love be broken down and crushed.
        Viewers have become obsessed with rom-com tropes and the idea of their own meet-cute, so much so that they are unable to let fate work her magic organically. Love is treated as a cure-all by these movies and this idea is then projected onto the viewer, who then projects it onto their own specific situation. This often leads to a sense of loneliness, as the idea that they need a stable romantic relationship to be happy and fulfilled blooms even further. Pushing this agenda only further boosts loneliness within the audience, after which they might end up in a vicious cycle of watching rom-coms, feeling lonely over not having the same life, watch more rom-coms to boost morale, and so on…
        It doesn’t help that these romantic movies barely cover the empowerment or self-love aspects, as if the process of achieving self-love or empowerment cannot co-exist with a happy romantic relationship. When self-love and empowerment are portrayed in movies, they are depicted in such a way as if they are still lacking something: a romantic partner. Being single is treated as a taboo; something to avoid; something that will suck the life and happiness out of you. Love is depicted as the cure-all: the solution to every problem or shortcoming in life. There are too many issues and problems that cannot be remedied through the power of love or romantic relationships. The romanticized and distorted views of love depicted by rom-coms are unhealthy, especially for people already struggling with themselves.
        The loneliness behind rom-coms can be softened, not cured, by all sorts of love in the world. It can be softened by your friends, your family, the barista who upgraded your order for free, the person who complimented you on the street, and yes, it can be softened through romance as well. But remember, you don’t need some great romance to be fulfilled and happy with yourself.


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