How Television Images Effect Expectations in Relationships

Sigh… you’ve just watched your favourite soap or sitcom in which the main couple have argued and made up in a spectacular fashion, have had some good laughs, bonded with their children and made the best love of their entire lives… you turn to your partner with a sultry smile on your lips and, wham! Back to reality.

He’s wondering what’s wrong with your mouth, “Your lips are all crooked…”. You’re wondering why he can’t be as handsome and understanding and romantic as the husband on your favourite show.

You make it to the bedroom for a romantic night in, change into something more comfortable and he says… well, whatever it is it’s not nearly as sexy and touching as what they say on tv shows. When you finally get between the sheets, you’re sure there wasn’t nearly as much wriggling, pushing, grunting, elbows in ribs and hair ripped out at the roots as on tv. Didn’t they just magically get naked [or partially so] with sheets slipping into the perfect vantage points, body positions meeting naturally without any tugging and fighting?

What’s not working that you can’t have the same romantic relationship that they have on tv?

It’s called reality!

Those rough patches, mistakes, mix ups, and digging elbows are edited out. Tv shows are scripted, written by someone else to conform to a set of ideals and wishful thinking that will appeal to the masses. There is no cutting room floor in real life. All the bad bits stay in to be dealt with as they come, good or bad.

Expectations for the perfect or near-perfect relationship are built up by tv shows because of this. TV shows are ideals of relationships not actual experiences, a mish-mash of how other people think, want or hope relationships to be. No one wants to watch a show completely based on reality. Even reality shows aren’t real – enter the editing room floor!

Things often don’t go as well as TV portrays, sex isn’t nearly as smooth flowing, romantic or mind-blowing as we’d like to believe. Turn off the tv and get real. It’s much better!