How ROMCOMs Ruin Our Relationships

Yes it’s true, those adorable Drew Barrymore movies where she finds someone as quirky and cute her are ruining our relationships – how? Setting us up with unrealistic expectations. Let me set the scene:
Ridiculously adorable, witty, yoga-loving, cheeseburger-eating, 30-something woman is single and working away at her quirky job in the city. Through pure serendipity she keeps running into an equally handsome successful, romantic, philanthropic, guitar-playing, 30-something man.
He can’t resist her charm and it hits him – he has always been focused on his career and charity work – and looking at her the world stops and he wants to  know everything about her, make her smile, show her the world.  
They have some awkward but heartwarming dates. As they fall deeper into passionate love he realizes there is some seemingly mundane secret he can never tell her cause it would be a deal breaker for her (like that he hooked up with her BFF years back) – but he can’t tell her NOW! Still, through some weird circumstances she finds out and kicks him to the curb. His heart is broken – he’s miserable, pining, he can’t live without her. She’s getting her drank on and skank on trying to forget this true love and BAM! realizes she’s looking for love in all the wrong places.  
Cut the story short – he spends a lot of time and effort to get her back, there is a dynamic tearful proposal (that goes viral on youtube), wedding, marriage, years of bliss, great sex and cute outfits for all.
I’m sure every husband in Canada wishes they could ‘screen’ these romantic comedies and have free-range to edit them to be more ‘like real life’.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for raising the bar in what we expect from our men (but that’s a whole other blog post), but these scripted love-capades are just NOT gonna fly 95% in 99% of our relationships – especially after say eight years with your Boo!

Here’s my take on where Hollywood is pooping rainbow skittles when it comes to LOVE & MARRIAGE….

Our spouse can read our minds and meet our expectations in all situations
He leaves his socks all over the house. I just leave them there and get madder and madder – and one day snap that he’s such a slob and so rude to think I’m gonna clean up after him! Ok, this did happen ONCE – now I know he knows I won’t be picking them up – and he will (eventually) make sure they get to the laundry basket. 
Nobody reads minds we have to voice our expectations. This takes assertiveness and tact to do well but I feel it means success or failure in all relationships.

My husband expresses his love with creative and grand gestures, in just the manner I need to feel loved
I lost my ish when I got a sentimental note for mother’s day rather than some elaborate gesture. After calming down, seeking some sage advice & acknowledging the role pregnancy hormones MIGHT be playing – the truth is, he took the time to voice and write out his feelings to tell me how great I am. I am always asking him to leave me notes like he used to and he knows I love it when he opens up to me with words of love – he probably thought he had it in the bag!
All people (especially men and mothers-in-law) express love differently, usually its not in the way and time we want. We have to observe them to learn how THEY do it (cue the Five Languages of Love). 

My husband is a great listener; we talk about everything from pillow shams to world hunger. He truly wants to hear my every thought and I his. Sometimes we fall asleep in each other’s arms just talking (PUKE!)
I can see my husband nodding but I know he’s officially listening to the radio when I get to minute 11 of explaining how I ‘need’ a teal-coloured wedge shoe or how the lady at the check-out line was being all ‘judgy’. Maybe it goes both ways when my mind wanders to ‘did I pay the internet bill? Where online can I find those teal wedges?’ as my husband tells me yet another fishing story with full detail on rigging, jigging and lures.
Give him the Coles Notes version and save the rest for lunch with the ladies. Science has proven our husbands aren’t biologically wired to listen and support like our GFs (cue The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (yeah it sounds old school but it’s a big reason why my marriage didn’t flop in the first year) & Men are from Mars Women are from Venus).

My husband meets all of my needs for encouragement, security, support, finances, fun, romance, conversation….
So I was totally tired this weekend, my husband was out mowing the lawn and cleaning the yard. And I was in the kitchen all like ‘ex-ca-uuuse me! I’m slaving away making lunch and all I wanna do is nap, and you haven’t even come in to ask me how I’m feeling and offer to take the baby so I could go for a snooze!’.
So in walks Husband for lunch and I serve his with a cold shoulder cause he isn’t ‘helping me’ – hello crazy pregnant lady! After lunch I mumbled ‘I’m pooped’ and Husband said ‘Ok, then go have a nap’. Ooooh! So it’s that EASY! I can just say ‘I need a nap’ and you’ll be all like, ‘have one Honey’. Yup! Because I’m being a big ole bag of crazy expecting someone else to meet my needs instead of voicing them and ensuring they are met. (Did I mention I’m seven months pregnant and sleep deprived? I promise I’m usually somewhat rational and reasonable but I’m pretty sure my baby stole my ‘crazy filter’)
This is unfair pressure on ANY other person (kid, parent, spouse, friend). After all we are all only human and it would be impossible to anticipate and supply the needs of someone else let alone your own.  Its up to you to take stock of what you feel, what your needs are, assessing if they are reasonable, and empowering yourself to ensure they are met. Also, how many of us know what our spouse ‘needs’? I THINK I know what my husband needs: food, intimacy and respect. I’m sure there’s more and goodness knows my list is much, much longer. But that’s up to me to take care of through my own hobbies, friendships, activities, exercise, health….

And don’t EVEN get me started on how these movies put pressure on women to always be cute, funny, smart and oh yeah! Look freaking adorable even first thing in the morn – when the truth is your breath probably smells like hot dog water, you have roofing tar lining your eyes and your hair looks like you got into a fight with a feral dog. Don’t EVEN get me started!


THIS WAS WRITTEN WHILE I WAS PREGGERS (OBVIOUSLY). I finally finished it by adding the pictures.

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