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The Dirty Secret About Romantic Movies And Your Love Life

Dec 7, 2007
For most of us, especially women, the simple act of watching a romantic movie can change our mood. Especially if the movie is well crafted, with an attractive and appealing leading man and leading woman. (By the way, for most women viewers, the female star is infinitely more important than the male.)

If the acting and the story are strong, and the actors appealing, the film creates an effect on us, even if we are not consciously aware of it. This effect can last for months, years, and even decades. In fact, the movies you watch become a powerful part of your "mental diet" because they involve sight, sound, and emotion. This trio influences how you think and feel, and quietly, the decisions you make.

Your mental diet has as much effect on your love life as advertising for food products has on your diet, and ultimately, your waistline.

-Pay Attention To Your Own Viewing Habits-

Many people notice, once they think about it, that watching a movie and identifying with a heroine who was wronged by her lover makes them feel angry, or sad--almost as if it happened to them personally or to a good friend. This is especially true when the disloyalty, pain, or hurt is not resolved well by the movie's end.

While we are engaged in watching, we almost live vicariously through the protagonist's life. We pick up and integrate borrowed, second-hand emotions that can color our feelings about the love interests in our own lives.

-Give Yourself This Simple Test-

If you don't belief this, ask yourself: have I ever felt angry with the man in my life when he hasn't done anything wrong to me? If the answer is yes, or maybe, ask yourself the next question: What was I watching or reading during the week?

Think back carefully: what movies, books, news stories, and websites have you paid attention to recently? What stories have your friends or acquaintances shared about their current relationships or past romances?

-What To Do-

There is nothing wrong with being affected by what you hear or see, even if it's fictional.

Fiction is created by a novelist's or screenwriter's view of life. Who would we be without great literature to teach, inspire and persuade us? And who would we be if our hearts could not sympathize with a character's plight?

But do remember that the creators of these fictions are not just attending to soul truths but also to the anticipated box-office reaction and the bestsellers' list. In other words, making money and winning awards are what motivate them more than what happens to your love life after viewing their art.

When a negative emotion clings to you from outside your life and you bring it inside your heart, you can sour a good relationship that has been beneficial to you. And spoil your perspective on a partner who is good for you.

-What This Means To You If You're Single-

If you are not in a relationship currently, this may be even more important to you. You may need to watch your diet of films and novels even more carefully because they can affect your important initial choices: who you'll date, how you'll present yourself, and many other small decisions you'll make along the way.

I shared these thoughts with a mind-coaching client recently and she interesting. She became very thoughtful. I watched her face, and said nothing, letting her sit with her silence. Then she spoke up.

"Wow. I just thought of a man I was dating for a few months," she said, "We really felt connected, then something happened. My sister and her fiancé were coming into town from California, and I wanted him to meet her. But he had a trip already scheduled with his buddies. He absolutely wouldn't cancel. I got myself so angry and hurt, I broke up with him. Truth was, his trip was scheduled way before we ever met, his friends were coming from all over, and it was hard to coordinate eight guys' schedules. He was doing the right thing. I wasn't."

And then she explained why she was telling me this story: "This all happened after I saw a movie where the guy canceled a crucial business trip to hang out with a woman he just met. I figured that was love."

-So Now What?-

Continue to enjoy your movies about love and romance. Watch them for entertainment and pleasure, and to put yourself and your date in a warm, romantic, sexy mood. But don't use them as your guide to life. Your own heart and mind can do that job a lot better than a novelist or screenwriter can! ©2007 By Wendy Lapidus-Saltz. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Wendy Lapidus-Saltz, principal of Jaguar Mind LLC, is a mind coach certified in hypnotherapy, NLP and other disciplines. She created the Hypno-Attraction® Hypnosis for Love CD and workshops on the topic of love and relationship. Her office is located in Chicago's Gold Coast area. Websites: http://www.hypno-attraction.com and http://www.nonsmoker4life.com
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