How my obsession with films screwed up my love life

My first love was Heath Ledger in 10 things I hate about you. Well, to be honest it was actually Jonathon Taylor Thomas on Home Improvement because he was age appropriate, but in terms of romantic films, Heath won out. He was everything I thought romance was meant to be, which did include grand musical gestures. Those flowing locks, the bad boy image, the cheeky smile and the fact that he wore all black (saucy). I expected all boys to be this way, and probably a part of me expected a guitar every time we had a big fight. 

I constantly read books and watched DVDs as I grew up, an only child. These fictional worlds were nothing short of an obsession of mine and I had a particular soft spot for teen romances. I read the ENTIRE Sweet Valley High catalogue. #whatup

But what I didn’t actually realise was how these fictional men and fictional relationships were fucking with my expectations of how my love life was going to turn out. 

I thought that a tortured, complicated relationship meant TRUE PASSIONATE LOVE. 

Turns out, when things are constantly complicated, it really puts a damper on a couple. No one actually wants that drama when they have it. It all sounded so romantic you know? ‘I love you.. but my parents/social standing/wealth/job is keeping me away from you’. Then you obvs overcome it and live happily ever after in utter, beautiful defiance. 

No. The whole ‘fuck over your life for love’ thing is not actually a great plan. It sucks when you get older and realise that Rachel from friends SHOULDN’T have got off the plane. 

She gave up the best career opportunity of her life, in fucking PARIS to go back to a relationship they had tried to make work numerous times. And with ROSS. The most boring, self absorbed man of the 90’s. 

23 year old me is going ‘girl what’. 15 year old me thought that shit was magical. 

A lot of the time, if your friends and family dislike your partner, they usually have a good reason. And you, my sweet summer child all riddled with hormones, probably are blind to a lot of red flags. Is it REALLY worth ruining long term relationships with family for someone who is realistically going to only be in your life a short time. Not really. 

Think about it objectively, think about if their reasons for disapproving are valid and assess. Something I unfortunately had to learn the hard way. 

I thought that all sex was immediate, passionate and full of good times. 

Haha. Hahahahaha. Okay I fully admit that learning about the intricacies of a sexual relationship from the movie Cruel Intentions was a poor decision. But many teen movies that I grew up with alluded to the fact that foreplay is not needed, sex is always awesome, and the girl always has an orgasm. 

I would personally like to call bullshit on sex in almost all movies and tv shows. BULL SHIT. 

Imagine how disappointed I was when I learned that that was a lie! Not as disappointed as my poor vagina, but still pretty bummed. 

I feel somewhat better that sex is being portrayed more realistically now – specific shout out to Master of None, which shows an incident with condom failure and going out to buy Plan B and also how sex changes when you have been with a partner for a super long time. 

Sex ed is super important, Reese Witherspoon movies are not the appropriate place to get it though. 

I actually thought that playing hard to get worked. 

Im gonna tell you a secret – it doesn’t work. I tried so hard to be cool, be aloof, wait for men to approach ME because I was a beautiful ice bitch that didn’t wait for no man. 

Turns out, if people think you aren’t interested, they won’t usually hang about. Who knew?! 

I thought grand gestures of love were REALLY important. 

The Princess Bride fucked me up a bit. Westley and Buttercups relationship is extremely messed up, but Westley becomes a damn pirate and saves her multiple times from certain death/impregnation by a grotty king. I thought that was pretty cute. 

Mean Girls has Cady acting like a damn fool, and breaking up her friends relationship to get her guy, and he still came back to her because she made a massive romantic apology at the prom. 

Where was my big gesture? Where were the proclamations of love? 

In no way are romantic gestures a normal thing. Small ones yeah of course, but if you deliberately break up a relationship to get a man you’re a shitty person and you do not automatically deserve that man. Cause you’re a bitch. If you mess up, you don’t always get what you want. 

Romance movies and love novels, are exactly what they appear to be: fictional. This stuff doesn’t happen in real life, so people who wish it true, write these things so they can pretend for a little bit and continue to give us all hope that love is real and attainable. 

I wish I could go back to my younger self and give her a hearty slap, and explain that that’s not how real love works. But I think all the crap I went through, the failed relationships, the holding on to a shit relationship because they were perfect on paper, taught me how to effectively not give a fuck and learn what I actually want in a relationship. 

And its not a pirate or a bad boy. 

It’s someone who makes me coffee in the morning and touches my butt.


  1. I definitely see your point about assessing if people have valid concerns over the person you're with.
    My grandparents hated my father with a passion. My mom ignored them completely. Best decision of her life. But then again, my grandparents' concerns were not valid, they were selfish and horrible (just like my grandparents themselves).
    At the end of the day, the relationship has to feel right and has to be worth the hassle it brings.

  2. shout out to Girls and Broad City too for depicting sex in a way that's more accurate. A++ GALFREN XOXO

  3. Love this! All of it is so so true! I have been in love with Heath Ledger after A Knights Tale. Ugh so perfect.


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