So, should we guys watch rom-coms?
Hey, if your answer is already “no,” then there’s nothing to discuss. Not here to persuade. Leave the site.
I’m no psychologist or love doctor, and I don’t play one on TV, although I’d like to. But, I will try and explain why watching rom-coms is a pretty, pretty, pretty good idea.
At least for me.
But first, so you and I are on the same page…
What’s a rom-com?
A rom-com is short for “romance comedy” and it’s directed at women. You know, where a guy and girl meet. Sparks fly. Then, one of them, usually the guy, does something stupid. They fall apart. Then, one of them, usually the guy, realizes that the other is the one and they need them back. There’s a grand gesture. And a happily-ever-after ending. With questionable comedy.
Now, that we’re on the same page… let’s jump in.
Here’s why I’m down to watch.
1. You get in touch with your emotions. More specifically, the romantic ones.
See, most of us guys are as in touch with our emotions as cats are in touch with water.
The reasons for this are many but that’s a different topic for a different time. And it probably requires a room of psychologists.
So, when it comes to romance and warm fuzzy feelings…
Yeah, most guys won’t think about it often. (Why? You’ll learn why further down.) Not until we run across someone we like, and then we’ll give that emotion a good squeeze. Or, until a John Legend or a Michael Buble song comes on. At which point, I’m very much in the mood to take someone to a candle-it dinner with soft jazz playing in the background. But this all doesn’t last long. We’re back to being Spock.
Romance and those warm fuzzy feelings – these are “unexercised” modes and feelings for most of us guys. Because we don’t feel them on the daily.
But, like biceps, calves and abs, certain “feelings” need exercise too.
If untouched, you’re about as appealing and romantic as a potato.
So, that’s where a good rom-com comes in. If you get caught up in the story, you’ll start feeling things too.
Like the desire to do something nice.
You’ll be rooting for the guy that did something stupid and hoping that he gets the girl.
You may take some examples from the lead guy did and want to do it too.
In my case, yes, it comes full circle back to me. I want to go find the one, go do nice things and treat her right. Yes, like Marcus in “Always Be My Maybe,” I want to go fly to New York and be with Sasha.
By the way, that’s a good movie to check out.
A side note on emotions:
In improv acting, there’s a warm-up game where you’re given an emotion to play, even if you’re not used to it. Why? So you can get used to it.
Most of us only tap into a few that we are used to on a daily basis. Meaning, if you’re at work, then for the most part, you’re serious. You’re quiet. Then you drop a joke or two with a friend. Now, you’re friendly and funny. Then some bad stuff happens, then you’re down. And this stuff happens on a daily for years, so this is what you’re used to. There’s a broad range of emotions we don’t tap into, because it’s not “us” and not what we do, or not how we were raised.
2. You get to pick up some lessons.
Sure, rom-coms are not very realistic.
And no, we can’t ever understand what the other side thinks or wants.
But there’s probably a good reason why women keep watching them.
Now, I’m no expert but I can wager a guess: because of the romance, the relatability, and because of the happy endings. And maybe, just maybe, if you cared enough, you could find some value in there too.
So, what does that do for you?
Well, if you like her and she likes you, you could take some inspiration and be a little more romantic. Instead of rewatching Rocky (note to self). Rocky will teach you to go the distance, but if you’re like him, you’ll end up proposing to your Adrian at the zoo.
And she may not appreciate that. But, she will appreciate something a little more romantic.
Or, if you identify with the male character, you can see what you did wrong with your own relationships and realize the impact you had on the other person. Like in “Friends with Benefits,” where Dylan (Timberlake) calls Jamie (Kunis/Meg Griffin) emotionally damaged, which sends her flying away back to New York. Of course, it always takes someone else in the movie — usually a wise old person — to scold the lead and tell them they’ve messed up.
3. You can deal with the negativity and cynicism that comes with real-life dating and relationships.
Yes, romance is not easy. Pursuits are not easy. Dating is not easy.
And as such, you will find NO SHORTAGE of bitter, hurt, cynical people that have NO SHORTAGE of stories and bad experiences. You can’t blame them. But, you can’t dwell on the bad stuff either.
In my case, I turned to rom-coms to help me cope.
And it helps. Why?
Because rom-coms are light. They’re easy to watch. They have a happy ending. They offer hope. They often involve stupid scenarios from which the characters can bounce back from. And that’s important because in real life, we often say and do stupid things that we wish we could bounce back from.
And, we can.
So, rom-coms give us another frame to look at life with.
4. Friends give bad advice.
Not all friends, but most.
If you’re having girl problems, you’ll also find no shortage of friends that feel bad for you, son. And they’ll tell you, “more fish in the sea bro,“ “stop wasting your time,” and push quick gratification. “C’mon bro. Let’s go get wasted.”
Very few will tell you to confront the issue, talk it out like grown adults, and consider the other side’s feelings and situation.
Very few people ever tell you that… you are the problem.
Side note — Funnily enough, I’ve also never read an inspirational/motivational quote that went, “What if you’re the jerk?” Those quotes are always about other people. Never you.
Anyway, I’m not saying YOU’RE the problem, but we’re all incredibly talented at judging ourselves by our …intentions (“Yes, I broke the plate but I meant well…!!”) and everyone else by their actions (“They broke the plate. Arrest them!”)
We’re not always the best judges of ourselves.
So, where do rom-coms come in here?
Well, quite often, it’s the guy that messes up in the movie. And if you’re a guy watching, it’ll make you think back to yourself. Were you ever wrong in what you did?
Maybe you need that wise old supporting character that sits down with the lead and tells them, “you messed up. Do you like her? You don’t want to wonder ‘what if.’ Go make it right.”
Press play below —
5. You give yourself some balance.
Here’s a question for you, guy:
What kind of movies, music, shows, and books are you drawn to? The reason I ask is, we guys are drawn to media that’s… not particularly helpful in getting us in touch with our emotions. Or being romantic.
While you think about what movies you’re into…
I’ll give you my answer. For movies, the Dark Knight, Rocky, Heat, and Collateral. Yes, all are fine works of art, but they’re also intense and broody type of movies.
And if that’s ALL I’m about… If there’s no other depth to me minus those few titles… you and I can agree here — I’m not exactly a well-rounded person.
Just think about it: have you ever met anyone who’s watched the same show (cough, Seinfeld, cough) over and over? And that’s all they can talk about? You probably didn’t want to stick around when you realized that’s all they’re about.
The type of content you consume is important.
Whether books, movies, shows, or music.
People that listen to sad music… end up feeling sad. Same with angry music. Same with happy music. It all has an impact on you.
So, by watching a good rom-com, and activating other sides of you (see point #1), you balance out your thoughts and your emotions. You think about love. You think about romance. You think about how to be better. You think about the lighter things in life. You’re more pleasant.
Otherwise, you’re the guy that can’t stop making Seinfeld jokes at inappropriate times.
Now, some high IQ individual out there reading this is probably going, “hurr durr, but they’re not realistic. blah, blah, false hope, nyuck, nyuck, nyuck. Grand gestures never work. Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck, can’t recover from the stupid thing I did or said”
– Grand gestures do not work in real life. I can speak from experience.
– You may not get the results you wanted.
– Rom-com pursuits can’t be replicated in real life and there’s a thin line between being romantic and creepy.
– Consuming ONLY rom-coms won’t help either. Balance is key, after all. So, don’t give up watching Batman and Rocky.
Yes, these things should be kept in mind too.
But the point is, rom-coms offer us guys that we otherwise don’t get a chance to do on a daily basis. Something that not all of us were raised to do.
It gives us a chance to flex other emotions that we usually don’t on a daily basis. And that includes romance, caring, empathy and love. By bringing those emotions to the surface, we become more accustomed to them. We begin to practice them in real life.
On top of that, rom-coms offer hope and nice endings.
They show us what the other side wants from us, and how we can improve.
They offer inspiration and ideas that we can use in our own lives.
They tell us to “go tell her how you feel before it’s too late.”
Even if we miss.
P.S. Are rom-coms a miracle cure and will you be a better person after watching some? Of course not.
P.P.S. What should you watch? “Always Be My Maybe” is an easy start. But if you’re already an expert, please leave a comment and offer your recommendations.
P.P.P.S. On that note, I also recommend music by Isaac Hayes, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, John Legend… and anyone else that offers calm, romance-type jams