Friday, April 18, 2008

Has Your TV Programmed You to Be Disappointed in Love?

I wrote this article a while ago. The previous question prompted me to post it here:

Are you a fan of the fun new American TV show, My Boys, which chronicles the life and dating adventures of an attractive 20-something woman?

Do you still watch Sex and the City?

A lot of women do. A factor these shows have in common, like most fiction, is that the protagonists are rarely satisfied in their quests for love.

For instance, on an episode of My Boys last season, the main character, PJ, met up with her old flame, which sparked warm memories. She discovered she was still wildly attracted to him. He seemed to return her interest.

She got her hopes up.

He asked her out for dinner, leading her to believe they'd get together again. But, over drinks, he lowered the boom: He'd just gotten engaged--to someone else.

Like My Boys, Sex and the City is loaded with romantic disappointment. It drives the show. Face it, nobody would be tuning in for all these years if Carrie married Mr. Big in Season One and gave birth to triplets in Season Two.

Who'd care?

Drama--conflict-- makes for great TV. It makes for good books, good movies, good art. Happiness is boring.

The problem? Take in enough of this stuff, and we start believing that happiness is unattainable (or, more important, boring). We automatically assume that love must disappoint us. We subconsciously seek out drama. We go for less than we deserve.

But just because PJ and Carrie (and Charlotte and Samantha and Miranda) can't find love, you can.

You can be happy in love (even if your friends aren't, your parents aren't, your sister isn't). You can be lucky in love. Look to people in your own life who are happily married. Use them as role models.

Boredom is hardly inevitable!

By all means, enjoy television, but keep in mind it's drama. It is not reality. Write your own script when it comes to the romance you desire. What, for example, will make you feel happy and secure in a relationship?

Do you even know? If not, it's time to give it some thought. Make it concrete by writing it down. Start envisioning yourself in the relationship you desire with the kind of man who'll make you happy.

This works.

You may wonder: What's more important? Visualizing your perfect relationship, or getting out and finding it? I'd been getting out for a long time and ending up with all the wrong men until I started visualizing. The right men didn't register on my radar screen until I did.

Please do not discount the power of visualization. It works. And it doesn't cost you a dime. To attract the right man, visualize first. Then get out of the house.

Do the things you love to do (I have a theory that if everybody who claimed to love taking long walks on the beach actually took them, online dating would cease to exist).

There's a man out there who's dreaming of a woman like you. If you want him, you can have him.