The great American love story has a predictable ending, at least on TV or the silver screen. Couples ride off into the sunset to enjoy ‘happily ever after’ bliss in a world where rain never comes, and they never tire of gazing into one another’s eyes while whispering sweet nothings into one another’s ears. Unfortunately, Hollywood often doesn’t portray reality when it comes to relationships.
For that reason alone, Hollywood and television should not define any of your relationships, be they romantic or otherwise. Hollywood and TV are fantasy. They are meant to be a distraction from reality. Pretending that they are real is foolish at any level. Letting them define your relationships is a good way to create messes that can’t easily be cleaned up.
Relationships & More is a Rye, New York counseling and therapy clinic that specializes in relationship and couple’s counseling. They say it is ill advised to allow Hollywood and TV to define a relationship for the following reasons:
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1. Emotions Change and Fade
Emotions play a significant role in how we perceive relationships. They can be especially powerful when it comes to romantic relationships, even to the extent that people believe the emotions they experience constitute being in love. The problem with emotions is that they change. They also fade. Anyone who has been in a long-term, committed relationship knows this is true.
Hollywood only shows the early stages of a relationship, when emotions are running high and everything is positive. It is enough to make you believe that people genuinely in love never lose those feelings. But that is not the case. Those initial feelings fade. They change due to time, circumstances, and more.
2. Things Get in the Way
Long-term relationships evolve over time. Part of the evolution is dealing with things that get in the way. For instance, every newly married couple has to eventually come home from the honeymoon and go back to work. Guess what? Work has a nasty habit of getting in the way. It keeps us apart from one another. It forces us to change our plans, miss important events, and even take one another for granted.
Hollywood and TV do not show these things. Yet they are real, nonetheless. How people in committed relationships deal with such things largely determines their happiness in the months and years after initial emotions have faded away.
3. The Truth Comes Out
The biggest danger of letting Hollywood and TV define relationships is being unable to move forward when the truth comes out. Stay in any relationship long enough and the truth of who that other person really is will eventually be revealed.
It is pretty normal during couple’s counseling for one person to say that their partner is not the same person they originally married. It is a common sentiment, but it’s not true most of the time. The truth is that it takes a while to truly get to know someone else. It is not that the other person has changed; it’s that you are just figuring out who that person is.
Hollywood and TV do a terrible disservice to long-term relationships. They portray relationships as something magical, mystical, and even a bit ethereal. But the basis of every relationship are the people involved in it. People are not perfect. They are not heavenly or magical. People are flawed in many different ways.
If you want your relationships to be mature and long-lasting, stop letting Hollywood and TV define them for you. Learn the things that truly define quality relationships and start working on them instead.