We bookish folks sure do like to talk about our crushworthy fictional characters and all the swoon-y moments that happen within the pages of our books. Most of the “crushing” seems to happen in YA literature but let’s be honest…there are some pretty crushworthy characters in classic literature as well… a la Mr. Darcy!!
Recently my sister and I were talking about how, before we really starting dating seriously, we would always get caught up in movies, tv shows and books that had “cute” guys that would act so sweet and make grand, romantic gestures to profess their love for the girl in the movie/book/tv show or they would have some romantic date planned that was PERFECT. I mean, let’s be honest, think of all the chick flicks you’ve ever watched…there are always those moments were you sit there and say, “Awww, I want a boyfriend who will do THAT for me….” LIKE BUILD YOU A HOUUUUSE.
When I started dating, I feel like I had these ideas in my head from all the movies/books and I EXPECTED these types of things to happen to me…that romantic blockbuster moment. I would wonder when he was going to stand outside my window blaring a love song or make some beautifully-worded apology about how much he loved me and needed me when we got in a fight or take me on some intricately planned date where we lay in a field of sunflowers talking about the rest of our lives. I kept waiting for those moments. And then suddenly, I realized something…I’ve got something real. It’s not always ultra romantic nor is it always perfectly scripted, but that’s the beauty — our love is not a script nor is it a love story that has been perfectly plotted…it’s REAL LOVE that comes from the heart and is found in those little moments…when he’s holding my hair at 3am because I have the flu or when he paints my bathroom or opens the car door open for me. I was putting such unrealistic expectations on my (wonderful) boyfriend and our relationship for NO REASON!
Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me a good fictional romance and a swoonworthy character, but I feel like I have a much more realistic idea of what love is these days that I don’t let those sometimes unrealistic expectations cloud my judgment. And yes, sometimes I still long for that grandiose display of love but I know what I’ve got 🙂 And no, I don’t think YA lit is to blame or is evil or any of that..because I totally love talking about my fictional crushes. I guess, I just think sometimes it is very easy to have unrealistic expectations implanted in our minds because of those fictional characters we deem as “perfect” in books and movies. I hear lots of people saying “fictional boys are better’ and I don’t always think they ACTUALLY mean that but sometimes I do wonder if it sets us up for some unrealistic expectations about relationships and what love looks like. I’m not saying NOT to have standards or expectations, because you totally should, but waiting for your guy to one-up your favorite romantical gesture from a book or movie every other day is just not going to happen…unless you find a guy who has a thing for those grandiose gestures. I do have a friend who had a fairytale engagement. Really. It could have straight up been in a movie.
So let’s talk…am I the only one who has ever longed for those “fairytale” moments from the movies/books? Do you think you’ve ever had unrealistic expectations as a result of movies/books that you’ve put on your significant other? What made you realize that they were just that…unrealistic? Girls without boyfriends/husbands…do you think sometimes you are waiting for that boyfriend who is a combination of all your favorite fictional characters? Do you hold out for that serendipitous moment where you bump into your soulmate on the street in some romantic way and then he somehow tracks you down because he couldn’t get you out of his head? Do you feel like you have an idealized version of what you are looking for and nobody compares? Or do you feel like that doesn’t affect you that much? I’m not at all trying to be judgmental or act like you all don’t have healthy views of love but I polled some of my IRL friends and they all admitted to being guilty of having similar unrealistic expectations from movies so I just wanted to poll my bookish friends to see if the same was true of our fictional characters from books!
And while, we’re at it, because I reallyyy do like talking about romantical things despite the feel you might get from this post….tell me one of your favorite fictional moments that makes you swoon!