I get sad when I watch romantic comedies. Which is a shame, because they're my favorite kind of movie--aside from a well-made musical adaptation, of course. And yes, I know that they're not works of art, but they're enjoyable.
But how can I say that they're enjoyable when they make me sad?
Well, I don't know. Maybe I'm writing this to figure it out. Let's start with why they make me sad.
That's a simple one. Rom-coms make me sad because I'm lonely. I'm 20 and I've never had a boyfriend and it feels like I never will (even though that's statistically untrue providing that I don't suffer an untimely death. Fingers crossed, folks!) As much as I'm happy that these characters are happy and in love and I truly feel that empathetic happiness, I am sad because I don't truly have that feeling.
And now I've realized why I like these movies. It's a small sliver of the reason as to why I like acting.
Clearly I'm a person who...hasn't experienced a lot of things. Basically anything romantic is an obvious no, but I also choose not to drink or smoke. Without covering a lot more than that, I'll just take this opportunity to label myself a square, a stick in the mud, a pussy, whatever you wanna call me. It's true to the level I accept it to be true. From you, 0%. From me...a solid 85%. I am 85% square. The explanation for those choices is long-winded and uncentered, though, so I'll leave that for another day. My point is:
Empathy. That was the operative word up above. I don't feel any of these feelings in real life. I've never been in love and I've never had physical intimacy with people and it's been rare that I've had emotional intimacy with a boy. Like, only one instance comes to mind.
But that's what these movies are all about! They surround you with these experiences until you're as enveloped as you can be fictitiously. You get to come as close as you can to experiencing these feelings voyeuristically.
And you know what, I don't mind that I'm being a voyeur. (Not a sexual one, mind you, haha). Because if it's helping to tide me over until that day down the line where these things get to happen to me, then so be it. Obviously I need all the help I can get.
I am lonely. And I don't do anything about it as far as seeking romantic relationships out. It skeeves me out. Tinder and all that...can't do it. I do seek out hanging out with my friends, but that's a different hole that's being filled. I guess if I want to try to leave anyone with any advice today, it's this:
I understand feeling lonely. I, myself, have been desperately lonely since I was about 12--that's 8 years. And I understand fear and hesitation in seeking out companionship. It's a lot more comfortable to wait for it to come to you. And I'm not about to talk you out of that if you're feeling the way I'm feeling because, lord, obviously I have no right to give that advice. My advice, rather, is to find something to fill the hole. If it's the real deal and going out and meeting people, by all means, do it; you're braver than I. But if it's something easier like watching a rom-com or reading a romance novel or doing things for yourself or hanging out with friends, then do it. If it makes you feel better and it's not hurting anyone, no one can tell you it's wrong. But always take the time to re-evaluate for yourself if it's still the right thing for you.
I'm a late bloomer, so I'm not afraid that I'm holding myself back too much as of right now. I have plenty of time and I've already experienced new things in college that I didn't in high school. After college, the plan is to move to Manhattan, where I'm sure I'll be experiencing more things. So I know that substituting right now isn't hurting me. So I'm going to damn well enjoy my chick-flicks, even if they pain my heart for a couple hours and squeeze a couple tears out of me.
Don't let anyone shame you out of the things you like. You do you, man. Always.