Maybe it began with Pretty Woman. Or perhaps it started with John Cusack's quest to win over Ione Skye with a boom box thrown over his shoulder. But regardless of when it began, most women have grown up on romantic fairytale movies. We absorb them with as much pleasure as we digest dark chocolate and a fine merlot — and because they don't affect our waistline, we do it often.
But how does a diet of romantic comedies in which the heroine always lands the perfect man — regardless of how ridiculous she may be or how horribly she may act — affect our view on real-life love? According to a recent study by the University of Michigan, the more we view romantic-themed and sub-themed movies, the more likely we are to believe that love will always find a way. Reality marriage TV comes with a similar side affect. Women who watch shows like Say Yes to the Dress and Get Married believe more strongly in love at first sight.
It's never a bad thing to want big romance. But it's important to remember that these movies often depict the excitement we all feel at the beginning of a relationship. They support the idea that real, lasting love can blossom in just a few days. They gloss over the fights over whose turn it is to do the dishes, the squabbles about spending $100 on a new pair of shoes. Believing that love just works, or that if your partner really loved you, he would just get you, can be dangerous and it just isn't reality.
The reality is, real love takes work — and all of you engaged girls certainly know this is true.
So if you find yourself expecting 27 Dresses treatment (where even a reporter using you for your "sad, life-as-a-bridesmaid story" falls head-over-heels), it might be time to load a few thrillers into your Netflix queue.
How do you think romantic movies affect your view on love and marriage? Tweet us @BRIDES.