When most people think of the stereotypical date night movie, they probably imagine romantic comedies. Hunky heartthrobs, striking starlets and contrived dialogue fill the course of a very painful 90 minutes while couples sit in the movie theater’s glow. As the couple on the silver screen gazes into each other’s eyes, real-life couples might hold hands or snuggle close. It seems like a typical date night, but is it really beneficial for your relationship?
Our matchmakers recommend skipping the typical rom-com this year in favor of something a little more authentic. Psychologists at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland recently conducted a study to test communication skills amongst couples who either claimed to watch romantic comedies very frequently or not at all. The results were astounding: The Telegraph reported that fans of romantic comedies often "fail to communicate to their partners effectively, with many holding the view that if someone is meant to be with you, then they should know what you want without you needing to tell them."
So, what gives? It turns out there are a lot of factors to blame. Romantic comedies rely greatly on the concept of fate and imply that “what is meant to be will always find a way” – whether you work for it or not. Oversimplified storylines serve to diminish the individuality of each relationship, instead branding them all into generic boy-meets-girl tropes.
In The Wedding Planner, Mary Fiore (Jennifer Lopez) just happens to be rescued from a rogue traveling dumpster by her soulmate, Steve Edison (Matthew McConaughey). They meet, fall in love, and… well, you know the rest. The protagonists seem fated for each other from the moment they lay eyes on each other. They barely have to speak to understand they are meant to be together. This is not a good example of how true love works in real life.
Furthermore, love takes time! Romantic comedies are notorious for putting relationships on fast-forward. Runaway Bride, for example, features protagonists Ike (Richard Gere) and Maggie (Julia Roberts) falling in love and marrying in less than a week – all while Maggie is engaged to another man. There are certainly exceptions to this rule, but most lasting relationships are built over a long period of time.
Then there is the “wedding problem.” Romantic comedies notoriously end with a wedding ceremony of some sort as if this is the end goal of every relationship. Again, our matchmakers feel like this cheapens the concept of love. The whole point of professional matchmaking services is to find someone with whom you can build a life – not just for a day, but for decades to come. The wedding is only a small part of the life you and your partner promise to build with each other. We are focused on quality introductions that lead to meaningful relationships for a lifetime.
If real-life relationships worked like romantic comedies, our matchmakers would be out of work. The truth is we are all human beings with our own individual needs, goals and desires. There is no one-size-fits-all love story out there. The best advice we can give? Use a matchmaking service that understands who you are as a person. This is the secret behind Kelleher International’s success. We listen to your needs, use our skills to identify someone with whom you might share chemistry, and then watch the magic happen!
So, which movie should you see next time you and your sweetheart want to his the box office? Whatever you want! Some couples find Star Wars or a quirky Indie film to be just as romantic as something made exclusively “for couples.” You know your date better than anyone so choose a film you will both enjoy.
In this case, it might be a good thing that your favorite rom-com isn’t the best portrayal of love and romance. Romance in real life is just that: real. That automatically makes it so much more fun!