What movies have taught me about relationships

by rodney on September 14, 2013

fatal 1A number of weeks ago, I wrote an article on what we can learn from the 3 angriest movie characters.  In that article I wrote about how many things I have learned about life have come from movies and number of them have shaped who I am today.

Today, I’ve been reflecting on what the movies have taught me about relationships. Many valuable lessons about the nature of relationships and how to behave when in one can be learned from watching movies.

I’m also not talking about airy fairy lessons like the good guy always gets the girl, there is such thing as love at first sight and happily ever after exists, that a lot of romantic comedies seem to regurgitate. I admit, a lot of these movies help to set people up to fail by reinforcing unrealistic expectations.

However, there are a lot of movies that don’t and can actually teach you a thing or two, if you let them. Here are 3 relationship lessons I’ve learned from movies.

Fatal Attraction

Fatal Attraction is a classic story of a one night stand gone horribly wrong.  A married man has an affair with a colleague while his wife and daughter are away for the weekend. After when he attempts to end the affair, his colleague becomes obsessed and starts to stalk him. This obsession eventually results in fatal consequences.

While some of you may think the lesson learned in this movie is that some people are just batshit crazy and should be left well alone, the real lesson I see, is that when we enter into relationships, we are playing with the emotions of people. If we don’t play nicely with peoples emotions, it can have devastating consequences (if not on you then at least your pet rabbit).  Be open with people in the beginning so realistic expectations can be set.

The Notebook

In The Notebook, an old man visits his wife in a nursing home and tells their own love story to her in the hopes she will have a moment of lucidity as she lives with alzheimers.

There is more to the movie than that, however, I feel that this is one of those movies that can fuel unrealistic expectations however, what I did learn was this. All relationships end. Even if you are lucky enough to be in a relationship with the same person for many years, in some way or another, that relationship will end. People will die, become ill, may not even remember you in the future. People will change and they won’t even be recogniseable as the person you once knew. Knowing that all relationships will eventually end, you can focus on enjoying it while it lasts.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is about a guy who struggles to cope after breaking up with his girlfriend. In an effort to forget her so he can move on, he goes to Hawaii, only to run into his ex and new rock star boyfriend.

The lesson from this one is, breaking up and ending relationships are hard. There is a lot of pain involved and it takes time to deal with it and move on. Many people cut off all contact from the other person as they attempt to heal, but often, that is not possible. With time, finding support amongst friends and continuing to live life, you will cope and eventually move on.

There are so many more lessons from more movies I can share and may do in a future article. In the meantime, if you are having difficulty with your relationship, consider seeking professional counselling.

 

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