7 normalizing toxic idea films that damage relationships

Growing up, I was a real sucker for chick flicks and romance movies. And although my mother often said, “That’s not how it works in real life!” I didn’t really realize what she meant until I turned thirty.

After a number of failed relationships, some of which were due to my high expectations (thanks, Disney), it dawned on me:

Love and relationships are incredibly misrepresented on the big screen.

And sure, they provide great entertainment, tickle our hearts, and give us hope of finding “the one,” but do they cause more damage in the long run than we realize?

In this article I will explore this idea in more detail. Here are 7 toxic idea films that damage relationships:

1) Love at first sight ignores the importance of building relationships

Let’s start with the most obvious lie that movies love to play with: the idea that two people, complete strangers, lock eyes and instantly fall in love.

It’s a nice idea, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned during my time on earth, it’s not love, it’s lust.

Because real love takes time. In order to blossom and deepen, a couple must gain many different experiences together.

Let’s face it, we’re all sweet on the honeymoon. But things change when work, stress, childhood trauma, habits and family come into the mix.

So if you haven’t magically fallen in love like in the movies, don’t beat yourself up for it. Real relationships need commitment, time and a lot of communication to build real love.

2) Too much emphasis on grand gestures and materialism

I remember once checking out an ex because he never did anything “big” for me. Looking back, I realize how ab*tch I must have sounded.

It’s not that he never did anything nice, but they were small, meaningful gestures, and I wanted to be surprised and surprised, like in the movies.

But the truth is, this is an incredibly damaging expectation.

Expecting someone to constantly prove their love through gifts or extravagant dates is not what happy relationships are built on.

And I must add, if movies push this idea, social media takes it to another level. The next time you notice your partner doing something wild and fun, look around you:

I bet the happiest couples you know don’t live by this idea.

3) Jealousy and possessiveness as signs of love

We’ve all seen movies where one person is excessively jealous – and instead of showing this as toxic, it’s portrayed as love.

Movies have a way of making us think this is healthy in relationships.

And sure, some jealousy is normal, but limit your partner or pretending to “own” them is not.

I admit that I have fallen for this idea in the past. It turns out that the jealousy that made me feel so ‘wanted’ and ‘wanted’ was actually the start of an abusive relationship in which I was constantly monitored and controlled.

Ultimately, a healthy relationship is based on trust. It’s when two people recognize that they are still individuals who chose to come together out of love.

4) Normalizing toxic masculinity and gender stereotypes

I was never a fan of it Fifty Shades of greybut I still read the books and watched the first movie.

While it is challenging and I can see the appeal to the millions of women who enjoyed it, it is a great example of normalization. toxic masculinity.

Because insofar as we can argue that there was some degree of consent, ultimately a woman is once again depicted as subservient to a man who does all kinds of things out of ‘love’.

This is what it is about:

It’s 2024.

We must overcome the idea that a man must pride himself on himself, command the entire family, and rake in the bread just to be seen as a real man.

And women – well, we’ve proven that we can do much more than just slay in the kitchen and bedroom.

5) The “makeover” trope that reinforces superficial values

I have to admit, I love a good makeover transformation. But only if that’s what the person really wants for themselves – not to attract their loved one.

Because newsflash:

It’s surface level. It does not contribute to an overall happy relationship.

I actually did this after watching so many movies (Bold, Ms. CongenialityAnd Beautiful lady to name a few). I spent stupid money to look good for a man.

Did it make him want me?


But it didn’t make him respect me more. It didn’t make for a good relationship. In fact, we weren’t even very compatible, and besides, I was terrified of a bad hair day in case he lost interest.

Anyway, jokes aside, if someone doesn’t like you the way you look, the way you are, that’s okay.

You may not be their type, but you are definitely someone else’s type, so don’t change the way you are unless you do it for yourself.

6) The idea that love conquers all, even abuse

In Bollywood, one of the most famous films of all time (Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham) shows a woman, a mother, who is forced by her husband to cut off her adopted son.

Every time she tries to question her husband, he silences her. He calls all the shots. He effectively divides the family, but is still revered as the powerful father figure, the husband who maintains the household.

And of course everyone makes up in the end and they play a happy family again.

But while the movie is still great to watch, it doesn’t reflect reality.

People who do not get a say in such important matters control or abuse of any kind not having happy relationships.

And no matter how much they make it seem that way, an abuser does not abuse out of love. That’s an incredibly harmful idea.

7) Immediate resolution of conflicts

You know how in the movies a couple fights, spends some time cooling it off, and then magically makes up for steamy sex after the fight?

Yeah…it doesn’t quite work that way!

In reality, conflict needs communication and time.

One argument may require several conversations until both people fully understand each other and come to a healthy solution.

Copying the movies and expecting your partner to just “move on” after you say sorry is a surefire way to build resentment and tension over time.

And believe me, that is a dangerous combination that usually leads to divorce in the end.

Bottom line: It’s okay to enjoy a good movie every now and then, but don’t base your relationships on what you see on the big screen.

In real life they are much more complex, nuanced and delicate, and accepting these toxic ideas can cause incredible pain for both parties.

Ps – I mentioned above that my high expectations have ruined quite a few relationships. If you also want to break out of this toxic mindset, watch this free video. It’s helped me make so many improvements in my relationships, so it’s worth checking out.

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