I’ve always wondered what really happened after the final scenes of a romantic comedy. Sure, the two lead characters share a romantic kiss atop the Empire State Building/in the rain at the big football game/as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve/in the middle of someone else’s wedding, but then what? Will they ride off into the sunset with the promise of spending the rest of their lives together, or will they break up in a few months because of all of the conflict and dysfunction that led up to their change of heart and so-called “happily ever after” moment?
Of course, because most of these movies are fiction, the world will never know. Nevertheless, the entire romantic comedy genre still seems to have a huge impact on the way many of us conceptualize love and relationships. After all, at one point, nearly every (straight) girl has wanted to snag a bad boy who would change his ways for her… because it happens in the movies all the time. Plenty of girls and guys I know have enjoyed the whole “tortured love story” routine, dating someone they fight with every day and have no practical future with because – if things did work out – wouldn’t it be romantic to overcome all odds to be with your soulmate? Because sprinkled in between all the fighting and chaos are the occasional grand proclamations and outpourings of affection, complete with horse-drawn carriages and fireworks.
However, based on observation, I firmly believe that it’s the little things that take place day to day that matter far more than these enormous gestures. After all, you can only declare your love for someone atop the Empire State Building or pay a marching band to play Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You so many times before you: a) get sick of New York, or b) run out of money.
Unfortunately, the grand gestures that the movies teach us to expect and crave are generally only used for apologies. We never really see the characters doing nice things for each other just because. While I understand that movies aren’t long enough to depict real relationships in their entirety, I do think we need to take the grand gestures with a grain of salt and realize that relationships are more than a few pivotal moments. They consist of the little moments as well — the ones that seem perfectly inconsequential — and the way you treat one another in general on a daily basis.
Realize that doing kind things for the person you care about shouldn’t be reserved for apologies, and that the grand gestures aren’t the only important parts of a relationship of any kind.