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Love Not Actually

Love Not Actually

You might want to hold off on grabbing your beau and renting “Knocked Up” or “When Harry Met Sally.” Turns out, these rom-coms could actually be a death sentence to your perception of what constitutes a healthy, realistic relationship.

A study from the United Kingdom found that romantic comedy fans were less likely to engage in open communication with their partners, which is a cornerstone for improving relationships. Chick flick devotees were more likely to believe that if their partners were “meant for them,” their partners would know what was wrong without having to say anything to them. Romantic comedy fans were also more likely to believe in predestined love and destiny in general.

As one researcher, Kimberly Johnson, says, “Films do capture the excitement of new relationships, but they also wrongly suggest that trust and committed love exist from the moment people meet, whereas these are qualities that normally take years to develop.”

The researchers are continuing to study the effects of pop culture on relationships and are asking for participants to fill out an online questionnaire.

Perhaps it’s because I’m not a big fan of chick flicks in general (although I admit that I love watching “Love Actually” during the holidays) that I’m not surprised by the findings. I’ve always considered most of them to be too sugar-coated and sappy. But if we accept that movies like "The Matrix" and "Lord of the Rings" are fantasy, why do we try to convince ourselves that these romantic comedies are just like real life?

Well, romantic comedy fans, what are your thoughts on the study?

—Laura Lee Bloor

Posted: 12/18/08
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alegria

When I was in college I actually took a class devoted to this subject. My professor's all-time most hated line was "You had me at 'hello,'" from Jerry Maguire. She had a point. I mean, it should take more than a standard greeting to win your heart.

  • By alegria
  • on 12/18/08 12:39 PM EST