As we reel back in from Valentine's Day I have no doubt that many people that are feeling a bit let down. She didn't put on that negligee you like. He didn't buy you jewelry like in that commercial or the latest Jennifer Lopez/Aniston RomCom. Many are feeling like Cupid missed them in his romantic conquests.
I consider myself a romantic, but I'm not sure how many guys can attest to the same. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and do overt romantic gestures for the people I love that I think they would enjoy, but the more that I speak to men about this the less I hear that they feel the same. I love romantic gestures, but over the years have noticed that romantic gestures tend to not always be enough.
I was talking to a dear friend the other day about why she should try online dating. Her response, "I don't want to meet a guy online! I want it to happen organically, like we both reach for the same cereal box at the grocery store."
I laughed at the joke but she was very serious. I asked her what gave her the idea that this type of thing happens "organically" and she said very matter of factly, "romantic comedies."
I decided to do a little research of my own, and after a night of Netflix and as many RomComs as I could handle, I realized that us men have a lot to live up to.
As a male in the dating world, I would like to invite my other male counterparts to view what is expected from us by doing what I did and watching romantic comedies. Needless to say, we have a lot to live up to.
Romantic comedies are a great way to distract yourself from real life, but that is purely what they are, a parallel to our normal "not-as-romantic" universe. I would love to tell you that most men think that putting together a flash mob in the middle of Times Square is the way to go to show that you love someone, but the reality is, most guys' minds don't even cross that thought.
What we are left with as a group of guys trying to get the gal are big shoes to fill, and we're competing with a bunch unrealistic of movies.
Guys definitely should be romantics, but not all guys feel comfortable doing the extra mushy stuff. It's just not part of some of our wiring. Many of my clients say, "Well, he should just know that this is what I want," and maybe he should, but he probably doesn't so don't be too hard on him.
Gentlemen, if you want to see what you are up against, find time to watch these classic romance gushers and pick up a few pointers.
Two women, one (Cameron Diaz) from America and one (Kate Winslet) from Britain, swap homes at Christmastime after bad breakups with their boyfriends. Each woman finds romance with a local man (Jude Law, Jack Black) but realizes that the imminent return home may end the relationship.
What you'll see: Finding love on vacation when you need it most. Probably hardly ever happens but Jude Law plays the ever-so-affectionate-and-sensitive guy that makes so many swoon. You'll spot him crying in one scene that really steals Cameron's heart (and the heart of every woman out there).
A poor and passionate young man (Ryan Gosling) falls in love with a rich young woman (Rachel McAdams) and gives her a sense of freedom. They soon are separated by their social differences.
What you'll see: A man who never lets go of the woman he loves no matter who or what may take her away from him. A man who fights to be with the love of his life throughout different obstacles life brings. Every woman I have talked to about this movie is swept away with Ryan Gosling's character (is it the rock hard abs?) because the idea of never giving up on the one you love and truly fighting for them is beautiful.
Friends with Benefits
While trying to avoid the clichés of Hollywood romantic comedies, Dylan Harper (Justin Timberlake) and Jamie Rellis (Mila Kunis) soon discover however that adding the act of sex to their friendship does lead to complications.
What you'll see: This whole movie is a cliché but it also is a HUGE lesson to be learned -- friends with benefits is NEVER a good idea and always leads to one person's feelings hurt at some point. Also, it shows that huge displays of affection (flash mob in New York perhaps?) is always a heart string puller.
These are my top picks because they are pretty diverse in the story line but one thing remains the same, after our wives and girlfriends watch these with their friends, they come back home to us. Sorry guys, you've been warned.