Published: 2008/12/16 10:02:45 GMT
Rom-coms 'spoil your love life'
Watching romantic comedies can spoil your love life, a study by a
university in Edinburgh has claimed.
Rom-coms have been blamed by relationship experts at Heriot Watt
University for promoting unrealistic expectations when it comes to
They found fans of films such as Runaway Bride and Notting Hill often
fail to communicate with their partner.
Many held the view if someone is meant to be with you, then they
should know what you want without you telling them.
Psychologists at the family and personal relationships laboratory at
the university studied 40 top box office hits between 1995 and 2005,
and identified common themes which they believed were unrealistic.
The movies included You've Got Mail, Maid In Manhattan, The Wedding
Planner and While You Were Sleeping.
The university's Dr Bjarne Holmes said: "Marriage counsellors
often see couples who believe that sex should always be perfect, and
if someone is meant to be with you then they will know what you want
without you needing to communicate it.
"We now have some emerging evidence that suggests popular media
play a role in perpetuating these ideas in people's minds.
"The problem is that while most of us know that the idea of a
perfect relationship is unrealistic, some of us are still more
influenced by media portrayals than we realise."
As part of the project, 100 student volunteers were asked to watch the
2001 romantic comedy Serendipity, while a further 100 watched a David
Students watching the romantic film were later found to be more likely
to believe in fate and destiny. A further study found that fans of
romantic comedies had a stronger belief in predestined love.
Kimberly Johnson, who also worked on the study, said: "Films do
capture the excitement of new relationships but they also wrongly
suggest that trust and committed love exist from the moment people
meet, whereas these are qualities that normally take years to
The researchers have now launched an online study on media and
They are asking people to participate by answering questions
about personality, relationships, and media consumption habits by
filling in a questionnaire which you can click on here