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The Idealization Of Romance Based on data from the Pew Research Center, online dating has largely lost the stigma associated with it, and 5% of married or committed individuals have met online (Smith & Anderson, 2016).
I suspect that the latter statistic is an underestimation, as many people who support and use online dating still make up stories as to how they met one another IRL (my friends included).
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Therefore, it is not the romantic comedies that lead people to search for “the one” and have a perfectly romanticized view of relationships, but rather the beliefs of those who watch it.
Essentially, it matters why people choose to watch these movies, not necessarily what the movies they watch are. Media is definitely powerful enough to influence our beliefs about what relationships should look like, often instilling in us the desire for a fairytale type of romance.
While I will not (and cannot) give any therapeutic advice, I will often talk about the topic being questioned from an academic research perspective.
My Online Dating Past A few nights ago, I gave a talk on the connection between the science of relationships and Seinfeld, yadda yadda yadda …
I assume this is because people want a romantic story that inspires both awe and “awws” from their friends. Research has shown that media (movies, TV, etc.) can influence our relationship-related beliefs.
Lippman, Ward, and Seabrook (2014) conducted a study with 625 college students and found that the viewing of romantic-themed movies was associated with the belief that “Love Finds a Way.” In addition, exposure to marriage-themed reality TV was associated with beliefs in “Idealization” and “Love at First Sight.” Therefore, it appears that the media we are exposed to can change our perceptions of romance.
We certainly didn’t all meet by locking eyes with one another from across the room, instantly falling in love.