Rom-Coms: Manage Your Romantic Expectations

Lauryn Hayes, Staff Writer

Everyone loves a good romantic comedy.  The ups and downs of love, laughter, conflict and heartbreak bring viewers back every time. We obsess over them, know our favorites and the ones we like least. Most of all, we fantasize about them and hope one day we will experience the same happy endings they show us.

“When it comes to romcoms, I think of it as a fantasy,” freshman Kentron White said. “If we’re being honest, half of that stuff does not happen. We only wish that it did.”

This is the truth, and we have to live with this reality each time a love interest in our own lives does not go as planned. We break our own hearts holding onto these damaging expectations.

“Although they are entertaining to the masses, romantic comedies tend to have damaging effects on young individuals’ perspective on love and relationships,” sophomore Zachary Toles said.

Romantic comedies influence college students more than we notice. We carry certain expectations that RomComs set into our romantic conquests and relationships, which are often far from realistic. Students may expect their love interest to go above and beyond for them very soon into a relationship. They may even skip over the friendship part of romantic relationships and go straight to dating, just because of what they’ve seen on television. It’s up to us to recognize our blinded judgment.

“The media perpetuates the idea that if your partner does not mirror the unrealistic expectations set forth by romantic comedies, they fail as a romantic partner,” sophomore Alyane Wollery said.

Many individuals, including college students, may want the funny, cool or romantic partner that we have come to love in romantic comedies and look past the more reserved person. By doing this, we often limit our options and are left unsatisfied due to a popularized fixation on the single personality type that romantic comedies perpetuate for their love interests.

I have done it in the past, so I know how true it can be. Often, romantic comedies seem realistic, and people forget that they are fiction.

I love a good romantic comedy. However, they have become more predictable as of late, so I do not feed into the hype as much as I used to. I fall into the category of people who have this set of expectations from romantic comedies, but I know my limits.

Truthfully, I think these romantic comedies are meant to bring us hope for what love can bring into our lives. Other media often focuses on the real, more negative parts of relationships, and I feel romantic comedies try to remind us that true and fun love may actually still exist.

On the other hand, our high romantic expectations can hold us back from exploring the other things life has to offer. “In reality, self-discovery, self-improvement and being comfortable alone without the prompt of a successful or failed relationship is completely normal,” junior Cameron Scott said.

The same way we obsess over romantic comedies, we also obsess over the role of love and romantic relationships in our lives. College students spend so much of their time and energy fixating over school and love interests that we lose the opportunity to discover more about ourselves.

Discovering our hobbies, likes, dislikes, lifestyles and routines can all be neglected because of our idealization of the perfect partner that romantic comedies perpetuate. It’s odd because at the same time, this fantasy is something that keeps us going, right?

Don’t feel bad about indulging in a romantic comedy or five after this. Take it upon yourself to practice self-care and reflect on your own habits regarding love interests. Just make sure you’re not stuck trying to chase the fictional love story of a rom-com.