Is it Dumb to Wish for the Kind of True Love as in the Movies?

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

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Reader Question:

Is it dumb to wish for the kind of true love as in the movies?

-Randy (Wisconsin)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Movie love is so tidy, isn’t it? Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl again. Bring up thundering music, zoom in on passionate kiss, fade to happily ever after.

Randy, is this really what you want? A simple plot formula designed to inspire hope and stir up a quiet desperate loneliness in the audience.

Movie love is about as close to real love as movie theater popcorn butter is to the butter. One comes out of a can, the other out of an animal’s breast. Movie love is a mind trick done with smoke and mirrors: fleeting glances, dramatic music and erotic love scenes where no one loses an erection or gets a bladder infection.

But your real question, Randy, is, are you dumb? Of course you are not dumb! Are we all dumb to crave salt, sugar and fat? No way. Our anthropological ancestors grew an insatiable craving for these trace nutrients and every fast food restaurant has capitalized on that craving today.

Likewise, our small band of wondering hunter/gatherers developed a serious craving for love and connection with any foreign genes they encountered – a way to enlarge the gene pool. And now Hollywood has capitalized on that craving for you.

Real love, my dear Randy, is a choice, an intellectual commitment to exchange care with another person, even when that other person looks not one bit like a rom-com heroine. And the ability to have that is what make us human, not manufactured.

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