Relationships 101:
Happily Ever After?

by Bonnie Burton

Ever wonder why most boys can't stand sitting through a chick flick? Perhaps it's because we girls see so many romantic movie plots as the ideal relationship: A girl who's usually the ugly duckling or boring nerd catches the eye of Mr. Popular. She somehow gets a makeover and before the movie is finished, our heroine has a date for the prom and true love.

We leave the theater thinking to ourselves, "Why doesn't he serenade me with love songs underneath my bedroom window?" and "Why can't I live happily ever after?" It's no wonder that these poor boys would rather take us to a kung-fu action film.

Find out how movies warp your thoughts about true romance by asking yourself the following questions. Then read on for the antidote.

After watching a romantic movie, do you feel like you've been ripped off?
Nothing is more disappointing than watching a movie like "She's All That" or "Loser," hoping for similar plot lines to play out in your own life. You want a boy to spontaneously bring you flowers and candy. But your boyfriend can barely remember a gift for your birthday. You want him to look at you with puppy-dog eyes and hang on your every word. But in reality, he gets nervous just holding your hand in public.

So what's a girl to do? For starters, don't put so much pressure on your guy to be Prince Charming. How would you like it if after every action movie your boy saw, he wished you would go bungie jumping more and learn how to repel down the side of office buildings?

Do you compare your boyfriend to male heartthrobs in films?
If you find yourself falling for the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio in Titantic or some other hunk-a-burnin' love just because he plays a sensitive boy looking for Ms. Right, don't. These are actors playing a part. In everyday life, even folks like Johnny Depp have problems and personality flaws. Nobody is perfect, even if they look like they should be. So don't make your boyfriend compete with fictional characters, unless of course you don't mind be compared with Barbie and Lara Croft.

Do you blame Hollywood for your boring relationships?
If so, quit it! I hate to break it to you, but chances are you were tainted from the very beginning. Remember Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty? I thought so. These kinds of boy-sweeps-girl-off-feet-and-lives-happily-ever-after story lines have been around since the dawn of dating. But real relationships take work—and lots of it. There will be disappointments and communication breakdowns along with all the good stuff. So if you don't want to fall victim to high romantic expectations, cut your relationship some slack and join the rest of us here in reality.

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