Have crazy high expectations for what the beginning stages of a relationship should look like? You can blame rom-coms for that.
Below, nine things that always happen in romantic comedies that have happened zero times in real life. Also included? A side-by-side comparison of how each plot point would play out in your love life, just in case the Hollywood powers-that-be ever decide to green light a movie about that. (Don't get your hopes up.)
The Meet-Cute Moment
Expectations: You meet a really cute guy at the dog park. Your dogs run up to each other and their leashes entangle, which almost causes you to trip. Aww, how "101 Dalmatians" of you!
Reality: Your dog takes a dump just as you're about to walk over and charm the pants off the park cutie. Your dog also does that thing where he drags his poop-covered bottom across the grass. Park cutie uncomfortably laughs and walks away, disgusted. Come back?
Your Cutesy, Cushy Job
Expectation: You're gainfully employed in a creative field. You pen a sex column for a monthly women's magazine, for instance, or write greeting cards. You're also somehow making bank.
Reality: You're interning at a tech start-up for free two days a week and making only slightly more serving coffee to moms headed to yoga the rest of the week. You are definitely going dutch at dinner tonight.
Your Totally Unrealistic Living Situation
Expectation: Your apartment is the stuff of Pinterest board dreams. Seriously, what kind of deal with the devil did you strike to get a brownstone? (Because we want in.)
Reality: You can touch your refrigerator with your toes while sitting on the toilet. "It's quaint!" you tell all your dates as you shuffle them in.
The Return To Your Roots -- And The Hot Boy Next Door
Expectations: City life and Tinder dates have got you down. You head back home and discover the gawky boy next door is now Hemsworth-level hot.
Reality: Everyone moved out of your hometown except the kid who used to sniff glue during fifth period. You would do anything for love, but you won't do him.
The Wingman Who Should Really Just Be Your Boyfriend
Expectation: The only constant in your endless search for love is your male best friend. The guy is basically the strong, dependable north star in your life. Call off the search and just date him already.
Reality: Your best guy friend is gay. You're barking up the wrong tree, girl.
Love At First Fight
Expectation: The only thing more intense than your hatred for each other? Your untameable lust for each other. This is totally the secret to James Carville and Mary Matalins' marriage.
Reality: Nope, you just don't get along. If you have to hear him drone on about the benefits of a gluten-free diet one more night, you're going to die.
The Big Romantic Meet-Up
Expectation: You make a pact to touch base at dusk at some epically romantic place, like the Empire State Building or the Palace of Fine Arts. Then and there you'll declare your love for each other and begin your happily ever after.
Reality: [Booming traffic god voice]: Today is just like any other day, puny human. Your date with destiny will have to wait. Enjoy the ungodly traffic and getting overly acquainted with your Uber driver.
The Steamy Kiss In The Rain
Expectations: "I love you," you confess. "Let us now make out in the rain while still looking hot."
(Yes, we realize "The Notebook" is not categorically a rom-com, but that gif is too hot not to include. You're welcome.)
Reality: There is currently rain in your shoes and you look like a wet dog. If that's not a mood-killer, we don't know what is.
The Eleventh-Hour Sprint Through The Airport
Expectation: He chases after you in the airport, right as you're about to board a plane for a job in London or some other far-off place.
Reality: He hesitantly
shouts pipes up, "Hey, wait, uh, text me when you're back in town, I guess."
No. Just no.