Has anyone seen the Kissing Booth or After? (Not saying I recommend either, both are definitely awful.) Well, we’ve been seeing a lot of fanfic or WattPad stories being made into movies (why?!) Aside from the predictable storylines, awful writing and really questionable performances (by actors that are great in other things) one theme I’ve noticed throughout them is that they really play into the whole ‘let’s show toxic behaviour, but make it romantic’ trope. It’s by no means a new move. We’ve seen it in a ton of TV and movies for years. Some of people’s favourites have a whole lot of toxic relationships that are still being shipped hard. Looking at you The Notebook, Beauty and The Beast, Fifty Shades and Romeo and Juliet (to name a few.) So, we thought now was as good a time as any to break some of that toxicity down. Here are 6 toxic dating traits that are romanticised in pop culture…
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but a partner being jealous is not a sign that they really care about you. Yes, jealousy is a natural emotion that we all have or will experience at some point. However, there’s a healthy way to approach it and in your relationship, trust should be the main driver. Not the toxic dating trait that is jealousy. If the person you’re seeing is getting jealous of every single relationship in your life, that is a red flag that will likely lead to the next point on our list…
Let’s just address this right now, controlling someone by
using your money is a form of abuse. End of.
Hello, next step of jealousy in relationships! Yes, being controlling and possessive is not sexy. Trying to take over every aspect of someone’s life from who they interact with and how they interact with them is unacceptable. We’ve seen in Fifty Shades when (spoiler alert) Christian tries to control everything from what Ana eats, how she dresses to her working environment. Buying the company that someone works at because you want them to work for you, after they’ve said no? Not romantic. Let’s just address this right now, controlling someone by using your money is a form of abuse. End of.
No means no. How hard is that to comprehend? The dictionary is very clear on that. It has never meant ‘maybe’ or ‘try harder’. It’s just a straight up no. One of the most toxic dating traits for sure and one that means that we’re still having to have conversations (and arguments) about consent. Take The Notebookas an example. When Noah first asked Allie out, she said no. Whether she had a boyfriend or not aside, she said no. Did he accept that? Course not, it’s a movie. What he did is hang of the carousel she was on at a funfair and threaten to kill himself until she went out with him. A nice 2 for 1 here. Controlling and ignoring her wishes. Fun.
If your relationship is having issues, address them and
end it before moving on with someone else.
The number of affairs that have been romanticised is nuts. Isn’t there a show literally called The Affair…? Let’s see, there’s Olivia and Fitz in Scandal (if you haven’t seen it, the amount of times they’ve literally endangered lives for their relationship is mad.) There’s the love triangle from the early days of One Tree Hill (Brooke is a queen who deserved better and I stand by that, come at me!) Those are just a couple of examples of this toxic dating trait and it’s not ok. If your relationship is having issues, address them and end it before moving on with someone else. If you want to find out a potential match’s thoughts on cheating, check out CLiKD.
Ah, Joe Goldberg of You fame, this is all you. The whole series is a look at him justifying his awful behaviour. He’s trying to protect the woman he loves; how could he be wrong? Yup, I’m calling complete BS. It’s an invasion of privacy and it’s unbelievably outrageous. We also see it in Fifty Shades and Twilight (which we can ‘thank’ for the existence of Fifty shades… yay…) when they just show up in the other’s apartment, when they were never given a key.
The truth is you likely can live without them, if you really
put your all into it and you’ll probably be the better for it,
especially if they’re showing any of these toxic dating traits.
The whole dramatic ‘I can’t live without you’ relationships are overrated, let’s get real here. Co-dependency is pretty unhealthy. The truth is you likely can live without them, if you really put your all into it and you’ll probably be the better for it, especially if they’re showing any of these toxic dating traits. You and your partner don’t need to be the only people in each other’s lives. It’s ok, encouraged even, to have friends, family and other interests that are separate. Yes, you’re together but you’re still individuals. Remember that.
So, there you have it! 6 toxic dating traits that are romanticised in pop culture. You might be asking why it’s important, they’re probably fiction, right? The truth is that pop culture informs a lot of our views on life. Whether that’s relationships, love or career. The positives and the negatives. I know I can’t be the only one that was surprised when I grew up to find that most people are unlikely to be 24, working an entry level role and living alone in a massive apartment in a major city on that salary. A sad reality, but remember these ‘romanticised’ behaviours are not to be accepted.