Until the age of 23, everything I knew about dating, I learned from movies.
It was great! I learned about buying her flowers, taking her on nice dinners, showering her with love and affection, and happily ever after.
My movie education worked out so well, that my virginity basically had time to grow back over the course of the three years since I lost it. This is because movies aren’t real.
“What?!” you say in mock surprise. “Everything I see on the big screen doesn’t work in real life?”
No my son, it doesn’t. Allow me to enlighten you about the reality of dating in movies, in today’s first edition of Lies Movies Teach Us About Dating.
Movie Lie #1: The Big Finish Will Make Her Love You
Movies tell us the best way to show your love for someone is to blow her mind with a big surprise. Two dozen roses delivered to her workplace, her name painted in the sky with a propeller plane, or maybe you just chase her to the airport before she leaves town and tell her she’s the one.
Whatever you choose, it’ll solve your problems and make her love you.
Check out this magical example:
Movie Examples: Heart and Souls, Ten Thing I Hate About You, Love Actually, The Wedding Singer, Garden State
Is it true? NO!
In high school, I remember having a crush on this cute girl. I didn’t know anything about her, except that I thought she was sexy, and she gave me warm fuzzy feelings in my stomach when I spoke to her. So on Valentine’s day, I grabbed a long cardboard tube, stuffed a red rose in it, and took it to school. At lunch, I went up to her, smiled, and said “this is for you.”
She opened it, blushed, and… appeared extremely embarrassed and uncomfortable. She mumbled a thank you, then ran away as fast as possible. She then proceeded to ignore me for the rest of the school year.
The problem with this movie approach is that it gives men the wrong idea on how to attract someone. It tells you that it’s not about who you are, it’s about what you do.
Worse still, it tells you that you can completely fuck up any part of your relationship, but if you rent a hot air balloon and take her for a ride one day, problem solved.
The truth is, attracting a girl is much more complex, and solving your relationship issues begins with communication. You should probably cancel that dinner reservation, and maybe sit her down for a proper talk instead.
Try instead: if you’re trying to fix your relationship, multiple regular small gestures, like loving texts, date nights, small weekend getaway surprises, are way better than the one grand gesture because you fucked up. If you want her to want you, try dating her like a normal person, instead of stalking her with crazy stuff.
Movie Lie #2: Friend Gets the Girl
Ah, the dreaded friend zone. The place from which geeks constantly try to escape, to land in a girl’s pants. Or worse still, the place geeks get into with the intention of getting in her pants.
It seems like every movie out there shows a random geeky dude, who’s friends with a hot babe. Eventually, they fall in love. This is destiny.
I see a lot of geeks imitating this in real life.
“Why not?” they think. “It’s only a matter of time before she falls in love with me. I do everything for her: I take her to dinner, I pay for all her things, I carry her groceries, I help her move, I give her my shoulder to cry on when she breaks up with someone… Of course she’s going to fall in love with me eventually, and realize I was the one all along.”
Right. And I’m going to find out the spider that bit me last week was radioactive, and now I can shoot webs out of my ass.
Here’s a scene from Zack and Miri Make a Porno where Zack lays it all on the table for her.
At least they got the ending right, where she tells him it didn’t mean anything.
Oh wait, no they didn’t. He comes back and they live happily ever after.
Movie examples: Zack and Miri make a porno, Just Friends, The Wedding Singer, He’s Just Not That Into You, That Crappy Movie With Jason Biggs, Every Teen Drama Ever EVER.
Is it true? NO!
In my early twenties, I made friends with a cute girl. We would go out for food, have drinks together, and go to parties together. When I made my intentions clear, she said “but we’re friends.”
After that, I stopped wanting to hang out with her, and she wondered why. The reason is simple: I was an asshole.
Kids, don’t try this at home. When you become a friend, it’s because she likes you as a friend. More importantly, it should be because you want to be her friend. Don’t hang out with her and help her out and be her shoulder to cry on if your ulterior motive is to stick your P in her V.
Similarly, if you’ve been friends for ages, and she hasn’t felt any attraction to you yet, it’s never gonna happen. Don’t believe it will, just because it happened to Jason Biggs or Seth Rogen or Ross from Friends. Real life doesn’t work like that.
If you’re in the friend zone, chances are you’re stuck there. Read this to avoid the friend zone from now on.
Try Instead: get over it, get out there, and meet someone else.
Movie Lie #3: The Makeover Gets You Laid
How many times have you looked in the mirror and thought “if I had better hair, I’d get laid more?”
Or “all I need is to get in shape?” or “once I get this dream job, all the ladies will want me?”
I see this is movies all the time: who you are sucks right now, but if you make some quick cosmetic changes, you’ll instantly become desirable.
You just need a someone with a brilliant sense of style to show up and show you how to look infinitely better. Then, the moment women see the new you, they will all want to make sweet sweet love to your penis.
Movie Examples: Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Nutty Professor, Larry Crowne, Superman, Grease 2
Is it true? NO!
First off I’d like to mention that looking good helps. Geeks, by all means, please learn to dress better, groom yourselves. Please get in better shape, and take more care of what you put in your body. These are all Good Things™. No one will fall in love with you at first sight if you look like this:
So looking good will help. But remember, it’s not enough.
If all it took to get the girl was being well-dressed and flashing some cash, then every time I go to a club, I wouldn’t see a bunch of handsome losers in expensive suits standing around two magnum bottles by themselves.
The new suit and haircut will help get you in the door. When you talk to a girl, she’ll be more likely to stick around if you look well put together.
But after that? If you don’t have anything captivating to say, she’s outta there.
The problem with this movie trope is that it encourages exterior changes instead of interior ones. In real life, the best combination is to do both.
Trust me, making some changes in how you approach women, how you view them, and how you view yourself, is much more potent than a new suit. But for maximum effect, do both.
The reason I love Crazy,Stupid,Love is because after Steve Carell gets his makeover, he still manages to fuck it up with a cute hairdresser by opening his mouth and saying something ridiculous.
That’s when Ryan Gosling decides to also teach him how to talk and act, which is what we should all be doing.
Try Instead: well, this one’s more like an “and” than an “or”. Learn to talk to women, and get her number, in addition to learning to look good.
Alright folks, that’s all for this edition of Lies Movies Teach Us About Dating. I’m thinking of making this a regular monthly column. Let me know if you dig the idea in the comments, and feel free to email me if you have any movies you want me to talk about.