I have some disappointing news for all of you hopeless romantics who are vicariously living through various theatrical romantic comedies (that’s all of us, right?): rom-coms aren’t realistic. Shocking, I know. Recently, Daniel Radcliffe really drove the point home in an interview with Vulture about his new movie, What If (starring Daniel, Adam Driver and Zoe Kazan), where he talked about the difference between their movie and other rom-coms. He said, “In romantic comedies, all the problems of love are solved by love and by doing great acts of romance, like my character’s trip to Ireland. In real life, flying to Ireland is a mental, extreme thing to do, and Zoe’s character calls him on that.”
It’s true: flights around the globe in pursuit of love seem like no big deal in rom-coms. Not so much IRL. If you’ve been hopelessly waiting for your life to emulate fictional characters’ lives in rom-coms, for the safety and well-being of your heart, you may want to consider lowering your romantic expectations. Here are some ridiculous things that typically only happen in rom-coms:
Rom-coms: They wake up with their hair perfectly blown out, make-up done, wearing the most adorable pajamas, and they probably smell good.
Reality: We wake up with our hair in our face, touches of mascara from the night before on our cheeks, wearing an old t-shirt with arm-pit stains. Flawlessness is hard.
2. The perfect apartment
Rom-coms: Their apartments are spacious, bright, immaculately clean and full of expensive furniture from Crate and Barrel.
Reality: Our apartments are filled with Ikea furniture (most of which are missing screws), laundry is piled up and there are bills on the kitchen counter. Real life stuff.
3. Best friends (almost) always fall in love
Rom-coms: It always makes sense for best friends to fall in love, because other people tend to not exist. And if they do, they are villains.
Reality: Other people exist! And they’re not always terrible. You are best friends and not lovers for a reason. If it happens, great. But the chances of you falling in love with someone other than your best friend are pretty high, because there are lots of other humans to choose from.
4. Regular last-minute travel
Rom-coms: Oh, someone needs to fly across the country for a job interview or to rekindle a romance with the one who got away? No problem.
Reality: That’s a problem! Last-minute travel is expensive and requires a lot of schedule rearranging. It’s not impossible, but it’s definitely not realistic for most of us.
5. Love after one kiss
Rom-coms: They have their first kiss and immediately fall in love. Getting to know each other happens after love happens.
Reality: Love takes time. If you declare your love for someone after one kiss, that person will most likely run the other direction. Fast.
6. Dream jobs aplenty
Rom-coms: They land their dream job as a fashion designer, weather girl, secret agent, assassin, movie star or princess of a tiny country no one’s ever heard of. And they’re given a fancy job title and a huge salary to go along with it.
Reality: We work to make a living. Sometimes we are lucky to work in the field we enjoy most, but we certainly aren’t given titles like Global Senior Executive Supervisor Of The World or making enough money to buy a new wardrobe whenever we feel like it.
7. Shopping like money ain’t no thing
Rom-coms: New wardrobes happen for every date, every party, every everything. Frugality doesn’t exist in rom-com land.
Reality: We might buy a new outfit for a special occasion, but we’re not insane about it. And it’s probably not from Chanel.