Contemporary media creates false beliefs of romance

Adolescents wish to better understand how romantic relationships work. What easier way to learn than to watch rather than perform? They see on screen the stereotypes, relationship norms, and stimulating interests among many other values of a romantic relationship. Film producers follow common themes to seek their fandom. Four ideal themes stand out above all:

 

  1. Idealization of Other
  2. Soul Mate
  3. Love at First Sight
  4. Love Conquers All

This replacing fantasy culture portrays modern love as the lesser desired and mockingly less committed. In fact, viewers do not see any form whatsoever of long term commitment, but the peak of the protagonist's romance. How is the young audience imitating and expecting this dream-like romance?

 

IDEALIZATION OF A PARTNER

refers to perceiving a romantic interest as perfect and then idealizing his or her romantic interests. “Idealizing a partner means that an individual typically chooses to focus only on the good qualities, often exaggerating those characteristics, and ignores the parts that make a partner human,” said Psychologist Bell in 1975. The partner is then perceived flawless. An example is a 1953 movie, How to Marry a Millionaire. A female character describes a man she favors in a way that she believes he’s perfect. By way, she experiences the idealization of a partner.

Existence of a SOUL MATE

refers to the thought of only one love for each person; hence the term “one and only.”

This concept speaks as legitimate love only occurs once. With this said, fate is in the works to connect the two. It is a reassuring belief for those feelings ‘in love’ because it rules out other potential possibilities and reinforces the thought that nobody else could make them as happy as their soul mate. In a 1996 popular romance film, Jerry Maguire, the protagonist says that she completes him in attempt to earn her back. This implies that no other female has the ability to fittingly match him.

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

dictates that feelings will immediately flourish at first glance. This concept suggests that only a few interactions

verbally or not will yield feelings of falling in love.

 describes this concept. “Consequently, this type of love is characterized by flamboyant passion and fast-paced relational movement,” said Psychologists Sprecher and Metts in 1989. In personal experiences, individuals may desire physical intimacy at much earlier times than appropriate ones. Movies exploit this concept very often. “In fact, a recent content analysis reveals that nearly 80% of the romantic relationships portrayed in animated Disney films have love-at-first-sight beginnings and are depicted as easily maintained," said Psychologists Tanner, Haddock, Zimmerman, and Lund in 2003.

LOVE CONQUERS ALL

means all concerns of any sort are irrelevant to love for another. In most cases, this concept explains how love will somehow find a way to solve other non-relating problems if not all. Partners would essentially believe conflicts have their resolution due to their love. Instead of solving legitimate problems,

couples under this influence will “resort only to love as the mechanisms for overcoming obstacles,” said University of Illinois Graduate student Hefner in 2011. “This is the theme is the foundation of many of the storylines in many romance novels,” said Psychologist Lee in 2008. In the 1995 film Before Sunrise, the couple separately resides in different countries. One is from the United States of America and the other lives in France. Even though they met on a train ride and encountered once, the fact that they are on opposite hemispheres doesn’t compare to the latter, winning passion. In the 1990 filmPretty Woman, a wealthy entrepreneur hires a prostitute. Towards the ending, the characters ignore their obvious differences and social status appearances for loving one another.

We shouldn't let these movies define our perceptions.

 

I, for one, know this genre changed how I treated my ex-girlfriend. Whichever method I approached the relationship and each date was almost familiar - displaying similar symbols as a "chick flick."

Go out there.
Learn for yourself.
Date as many young, lost souls you can find.

Feature Image: "CHICK FLICK" LOVE Photo Courtesy: Kevin Hong

 

Kevin Hong on sabyoutube
Kevin Hong

Kevin Hong is the producer behind Hongkster Productions (Youtube). Exemplifying team collaboration and self-motivation, his creative short film projects have been shared by an internally-recognized swimming news network. He’s majoring in Communications at Raritan Valley Community College.